Day 10 (I think): Shenavall Bothy
Some of the wettest days have gone and now I am being shot full of hail stones with what feels like a machine gun.
Shenevall Bothy was great. I made a fire with some bog wood which must have been hundreds of years old.
There are no trees here, just half buried remains of tree stumps, the remains of the great Caledonian Forest which once covered Scotland almost entirely. Mankind since stripped the land bare. The Wilderness of Scotland is not at all a natural place, there is not a single part we have not changed here. But it is still beautiful.
Having been walking over a week you begin to see the season change. The thaw has started, meaning rivers are running high and the ground is slopping wet.
I walked just 20km today, which felt a lot due to the pain in my ankles. I have be doing 30-35km days and I think that’s why I hurt. So I chose to rest at Ullapool.
That would have been another seven mile walk from Inverlael, had I not met a shepherd who gave me a lift: I had asked for a bus to Ullapool, he said “nae bother”, he would drive me there instead. This is a perfect illustration of the kindness of the people here. They go out of their way just to help a stranger and have a friendly chat.
I got dropped at Ullapool outside a B&B which I took (it has tartan carpets), and then got fish and chips. I’m shattered. I thought it was only day 9, but it is indeed day 10. I have around 7-8 days remaining to reach the North West Point of mainland Britain.
A local asked me why I was doing this.
I don’t know why. I hope to discover why I am doing this by the time I reach that lighthouse at Cape Wrath.
But to be honest it’s nice to have a really long walk sometime in your life. If there is no other reason than that, then I will be happy.