It is no surprise that I didn’t sleep. Or at least didn’t sleep much. Whatever my partner said about listening to me sleeping. I was awake when it got dark late in the evening (about 11 pm this far north) and when it got light (about 4.30 am). It had rained overnight and the wind had flapped viciously at the fly-sheet but we woke to a dark still morning with the beguiling promise of sunshine to come.
My body was heavy and difficult to move when we got walking. Broken sleep, blistered and painful toes made me slow and awkward over the uneven footpath beside Loch Laidon.
Our aim had great possibilities today though and I tried to be enthusiastic. We were heading to Kingshouse where there was an hotel – it was only about 12-14 km – and if there were no beds there we were going to push on another 16 km to Kinlochleven.
There was no room at the hotel but at 11.45, it was time for a lunch stop, although we had to make do with sticky toffee pudding until the hotel began serving food. And then we had to make the decision. Wild camping or pushing on the next 16 km?
The hotel positively encourage wild camping near their premises and it seemed too much of a temptation for my partner who declared we would have yet another night in the tent.
I was more than grateful to rest my feet once the tent was up; I spent an entertaining afternoon with blister plasters and watching the semi-tame deer being fed by eager tourists whilst all around me our isolated tent became part of a much bigger city.
We had now reached the West Highland Way and our isolation of the past couple of days was all but over.
To walk the route we took, this link takes you from Rannoch Station to Kingshouse: