Today: 21.7 miles
Total so far: 998.0 miles
Percentage completed: 59.8%
(Click map to enlarge)
The Cashel midges are notorious and this morning they excelled themselves: I packed everything inside the tent and just had to drop and pack the tent. You try to stay calm - they will not get to you. But after a very short while the little blighters are in your eyes, nose and ears and you are running around trying to lose them, all composure shot through.
After the first good night's sleep for a few nights I made good time and resolved to catch up the missing 7km. Today was always a bit of an ask, but then it started raining and the West Highland way became the West Highland Wade.
I met a really nice family amongst the greasy tree roots - the McLeans from Edinburgh, and they donated ten pounds to Sue Ryder. A wonderfully generous donation as they too were struggling in the conditions.
Beinglass Farm provided soup and a welcome bit of charge for the phone, but no signal. I then headed off into the cold evening showers to climb up the track that looks after a huge water pipe that leads eventually to Toman Biorach; a wonderful airy spot under big mountains and a sort of huge sponge for Scotland's Water industry. As I was climbing out of the glen I met a few walkers dropping back down to the warmth of their cars and then home.
I stopped a few km short of the intended destination, but felt pretty pleased with myself for catching up most of Denis's Deficit (not quite fair, but a nice alliteration all the same.)
The night was as rough as hell, with fierce rain showers and heavy winds battering Wanda, who had been pitched rather thoughtlessly on a pretty windy and rocky knoll. All internal strapping and external guys were used but it was a very noisy, rough night, hoping that the tent pegs would hold.