Woke up to an absolutely beautiful day.
Packed up and head into the bog with Steven, Rob and Tilo.
Ready for the day (or so I thought).
They soon outpaced me and I was on my own, scrambling up boggy hills. There was no track, I kept one peak to my right and another on my left and trekked on.
It looks benign enough, but it is a wetland.
I struggled up and around multiple rivulets of water, trying my best not to fall. But several times I did (no need for a photo of my shins).
After walking through the bog and up and over a hill, still a bog (how can water be like that?).
The way down on the other side of the hill was 45º. I bounced down the best I could. Then, an odd thing happened, my left knee started to ache.
I discounted it as just discomfort from the slog through, up and over the bog.
Is that snow, or a crazy wolf from a 1940’s Warner Brothers cartoon?
I finally reached the river where I turned left onto a track.
Typical outstanding view along the track.
But as I walked down the track my knee started to throb. That is not the part of my anatomy that I want to throb. And it was a surprise to me, I’ve never had knee problems. I have had foot problems, mostly putting them in my mouth.
The track turned into a road and I struggled on. I made another eight or ten kilometers until I came to the point where I needed to turn right and walk through a gorge and then left on a road, all-in-all another ten clicks into Cannich.
The road through beautiful country.
A crossroads. Yours truly was at decision time.
My legs were ready to go, with the exception of my left knee. It was like Bernie Sanders holding out on a Senate vote. “No damn way you are doing that without me!”
And damn those independents, he won. As I realized I may not be able to walk the distance, A Land Rover came along the road and I flagged him down.
John had been out trout fishing all day (caught a few, too small, the flys are not out yet) and I asked him for a ride. “Hop in.” He said, “and ignore the smell, my dog found a dead pigeon and rolled around in it.” The windows were down and the smell was something beyond what I have encountered.
John was a newspaper pressman for 35 years until he and the rest of his crew were sacked because of economics. It was cheaper to print the papers in another town and ship them from there. Now he works for a Laird, managing the land. “I rather like it. It’s so different being outside all day.” He said.
John brought me into Cannich, which was my end point for the day.
After a pint in the village, I hobbled over to the road to Drumnadrochit and started hitchhiking to my hotel. I walked along the road with absolutely no traffic. So, the good news is I was able to walk off three kilometers from my deficit.
Finally, I was picked up by Paul and Karen from England. Paul is doing the TGOC for the first time and Karen, his wife and ground crew, had just picked him up from his end point in Cannich to bring him into Drumnadrochit and their hotel.
And they were kind enough to bring me to my hotel with the promise of picking me up at 09:00 and a lift back to Cannich so we could hike into Drumnadrochit.
My knee is killing me, a game changer.
A stats up date:
Day 01: Strathcarron to Pait Lodge:
763 meter climb (273 stories)
Pait Lodge to Cannich (interrupted)
31 kilometers (19k actual)
781 meter climb, actual 508 meters (154 stories)