What started out as an easy wander down Glen Garry turned into happiness and joy, all wrapped up in a little pink tutu, calling me 'Daddy'.
It's not that Lord Elpus is sharing my room and we have beds to spare and a shaverlight that actually works (did I ever tell you about our theory of British hotels? Perhaps later)
No. After seemingly miles and miles (and miles) of endless bogs and rain showers, we eventually staggered off the hill below Ben Tee (that's a big hairy Corbett with no charm at all that just looks like a slag heap at close quarters) into the arms of the Eagle Barge at Laggan Locks.
How on earth have we missed this little oasis on past Challenges? It is run by a couple who love the place and the people who pass through's lives are enriched. We are currently sat sitting in the bar having wolfed down supper with pints of Red McGregor with Welsh Ron (from Pean Bothy) and Andy Walker and Hump3, discussing the Ascent of Rum Doodle.
We are billeted at the South Laggan Hostel, improved immeasurably after being freed from the chains of the SYHA. It is certainly better than our stay last night.
So ~ to our hotel theory: After years of staying in medium priced accommodation on the Challenge, the Acid Test (and the capitals are important here) of any hotel is as follows:
Walk into your room. Ignore the sumptuous bedding. Ignore the tasty selection of comestibles. No. Walk straight into the bathroom and turn on the Linolight (that's the shaverlight above the basin). If it works there is happiness and joy. All your hopes and dreams of a good hotel will be catered for. Dancing girls will attend to your every need and your children will all be beautiful and love you.
However, if the Linolight fails to ignite, then your stay will be one of abject misery. Your children will see you for what you really are. The only girls will be the ones in the room next door, making mad passionate love noisily until three in the morning, as you lie there, alone. The taps will not work. There will be no milk in your jug and you will not be able to open the window which is sealed shut with years of poor decoration.
I am pleased to say, unlike last night, tonight the Linolight worked perfectly.
All is well in my world. Happiness.