Sunday 11 April 2004
Youth Hostel, Glen Brittle
Rest day so we stroll to Glenbrittle and look at the shells on the beach. I am looking for Groaties, the small white cowries with the imprint of a babys finger that you find in Scotland. After this we hitch to the Sligachan Hotel with an Australian couple and have lunch there before hitching back, with 3 separate lifts even though it is only 11 miles. Even then we have some walking thrown in between the lifts, past the bird-rich spinney. Hardly anyone is going down to Glen Brittle. We have dinner back at the Hostel with some wine brought back from the Hotel. Really rest days are as hard as action days.
Monday 12 April 2004
We arise at 5 am. Jim has made stovies mmmmm We leave at 6.15 (civil twilight) Leave all our gear packed up at the hostel ready for taking to the Sligachan bunkhouse at the end of the day, and walk up to Coir a Ghrunnda. The mist is turning to rain, and we need waterproofs on. This is a 3 hour walk for us in the mist and wet. At the Lochan in Coir’ a Ghrunnda, we wait for a while, in the fog, we can just about see a yellow tent nearby. Deciding that the weather isn’t going to get any drier, we scramble up through the peridotite boulders to An Caisteal. We are very wet by now so find a sheltered spot on the ridge for a bite to eat before scrambling along to the summit of Sgurr Nan Eag through dreich black rocks, swirly snow and sleet flying in the mist. Here we decide finally that the sun is not going to appear this day, so turn around. The sun does come out when we get back down into Coir a Ghrunnda again. But we are down too far now so continue on down the long path back to Glen Brittle. But never mind, we have coffee, ice creams and crisps on the wooden seats outside the campsite shop in Glen Brittle. Instead of hitching, today we take a taxi along to the Sligachan Bunkhouse, calling at the Hostel for our gear as we pass. The Bunkhouse is empty when we arrive, and it is like having our own country mansion in lovely grounds. I especially love the plantation of nurturing trees that stands around the bunkhouse, gracing it with the sounds of owls and cuckoos. After showers we go to the hotel for tea.