That’s what I got for being too lazy to change out of my ‘good gear’ the day before when I was attempting to garner a few Brownie points by tidying up the garden. Front and back lawns mowed and strimmed, I made a start on the weeds in the borders. Anybody a smidgen brighter than me would have gotten changed first allowing them to kneel or sit as they leisurely worked their way along the garden pulling out the offending greenery. To keep my expensive strides clean I thought I’d just squat for the 5 mins it would take….45 minutes later I ripped the last Dandelion from the dirt. No wonder I’d started the morning walking like I’d spent the night straddling ‘The Weather Girls’ !! Recalling the sage advice of my old football coach and master of inspirational words, “it’s hairs up his arse son, no rockets” being his favourite cry at an over-hit pass, I’d just have to run…well...walk it off. We left Perth around 07.30 heading up the A9 to Dalwhinnie before heading West towards Spean Bridge. Arriving at the large turning area/carpark at Fersit by 09.30 to find 7 or 8 cars had already beaten us to the punch.
We were now an hour in and as we were sheltered from any real wind it was bloody warm, I decided it was time for me to take a breather and get the factor 50 on. I’ve repeatedly joked on these pages that my genes are half Ginger & half Vampire, honestly I think I would burn if someone waved a copy of a famous ‘Red Top’ newspaper in my general direction ! Wullie on the other hand is blessed with the ‘Berry Picking’ genome of his Romany forefathers and can carry on regardless whilst turning a lovely shade of mahogany. An enviable attribute. However it is not without its drawbacks, I’m never sure when we return from a walk to a particularly picturesque layby/carpark whether we’ll be heading home or ‘moving in’ for a fortnight !!
The views on the way down were good over Glen Spean to the Creag Meagaidh Munros beyond and looking behind us gave a great perspective on the morning's first climb up Sgriodain. Further down the slopes we were once again sheltered from the cold Easterly winds and the early afternoon sun meant it was pretty hot, O.U.G.H.T, hot. Time to shed a layer or two for the final few furlongs. Stopping just shy of a wee rise after stepping over another little stream we dropped the packs and stripped back down to the T-shirts. Wullie decided this was the ideal opportunity for a quick pee before getting back to the busy carpark, whilst him and wee Wullie were getting reacquainted, Indie decided she would check out his downed rucksack for any remnants of our earlier lunch. In doing so she nudged his pack which sent it rolling down the slightest of slopes and upside down into the burn we had just crossed. Wullie still in ‘mid-flow’ was unable to react quite as quickly as he would’ve hoped, however as it was only the top of his rucksack in the water he was not overly concerned. Fishing the pack out, he immediately turned it up the right way not realising that whilst the top was submerged it had filled the top pocket and the contents had now just flooded right through the big compartment of the rucksack. I know his particular bag was a hydration compatible rucksack but surely he was missing a vital component of the system !! Fortunately he is a smidgen OCD and the contents were all protected in individual dry bags, or so he hoped ! What he did not anticipate was that he would be subjected to a constant dripping down the back of his legs for the remainder of the walk…he’d better get used to the feeling cos he aint getting any younger !