Birthday greetings from Scotland. It’s a wild windy drizzly day today and thank goodness it’s one of the few days on the hike where we had the choice to opt out early. Which we have. Kicking back in our gorgeous b&b with our feet up and some hot packs after a half day walk – positively luxurious. Getting ready for an afternoon whisky and dinner at the Clackann Inn, adding something new to the list of fantastic food we’ve been served so far. 2015 has been pronounced the year of food and drink in Scotland and they have both been superb.
We got through the last two big days – each was 28km of walking – though there’s no way I can say it was easy. The first day in particular we were up on the wild moors, with nothing in sight but grass, hills, rocks, a few sheep, and windfarms. Very dramatic and you’d think it would be easy to see where you’re going – but the waymarks are small brown posts, widely spaced, occasionally knocked over by cows and at times very very hard to spot. Navigation is ordered by some system that I haven’t quite got the hang of yet, so there is a bit of wandering around trying to find the way. All good so far, but fingers crossed we never find ourselves in a mist.
However – just when you think it’s all too hard or too cold or too wet and muddy, the sun breaks out and everything changes and the next thing you’re strolling through a glade of oak trees and bluebells and it’s like being in some fabulous English fairy tale, or in Hobbitown. Or you come out next to a loch, or by a beautiful stream, or a stone-walled field full of sheep, or a breathtaking outlook where you can see for miles in every direction. And it’s all fantastic.
I thought the last two days were challenging, but in fact the most challenging days are coming up. Hopefully a half day rest will restore us to full energy and send away those niggling aches and sore bits.
I looked over at Andi as we were walking this morning – she was rugged up against the cold, wearing all her waterproofs, gloves, scarf, beanie, the lot – water dripping off her nose and running down her face. Not a word of complaint. I’m sure she’d rather be somewhere else, but she is her loving, adventurous self, throwing her whole being into whatever she’s doing. No matter how hard the going gets we are good with each other and I’m so appreciative of that. What a gal. What an adventure.
Love Jesse xxx