Friday, August 23, 2019

Trying to Outwalk the Rain

Day 5
We knew today’s timing would be tricky. A big storm was impending at 1pm, so we’d have to get out early to make something off the day. By 11am, we were waiting at the Corran ferry. 

It was a chill breeze off the Loch, and we held on to our hats as we crossed. It’s a quick trip, but you’re surrounded by the pretty water, the hills/mountains, and casual clouds. We made note of the inn at the ferry dock in case we needed to take cover on our way back. 

Our mission was to take the casual walk to the waterfall. The directions were to follow the road to the right, and pick up the trail after the church. Pretty little houses, some with abundant gardens and others plain, and we came across the shaggy-haired-I-can’t-see-through-all-this-hair “Highland Coo.” He cooperated and posed for Claire, but he didn’t care about giving me the money shot. 

The walk started off as a pretty one on a well worn forest track. The trees were covered in lichen, moss, and fungi. It smelled so good, and there was a breeze. 

Then the trail began to climb and wind. Having lived in Boulder, CO in the mountains, Todd’s “storm’s a comin” senses were going off. He decided to take the pack and head back to the inn. He didn’t want to get caught in the rain, and we weren’t ready to give up on the waterfall. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s we can both take care of ourselves the way we need to. 

Claire, Marie, and I carried on for another half hour. The path got a bit muddier and then quite steep. We knew we were on the right path, but we had no idea how close we were to the falls. Claire and I decided to go up the steep road for ten minutes to see what we could find. We got to a really muddy track and turned back. We saw the pretty falls through the trees and took a few shots. 

We meandered back (it’s always so much faster going back!) and made it to the inn just as it started to sprinkle. Todd had enjoyed some lentil soup, and we were all in good spirits. The rain came down harder by the time we got off the ferry and walked home. 

We made some tea and enjoyed the comfort of our cabin for the rest of the afternoon as the rain kept coming down. We did find a nice looking restaurant for dinner, so we went out to the Clachaig Hotel

The hotel couldn’t be better situated. Sitting at the foot of the mountains, it has stunning views up. The sky had begun to clear, and you could see all the waterfalls cascading down. Having not found our waterfall earlier, we were spoiled for choice this time. This place reminded me why I’d wanted to come to the Highlands for so long. I’d seen the beautiful photographs, but nothing does it justice quite like standing in the middle of it.

We were surrounded by serious hikers with their maps and packs, planning out their next day’s tramping. We had another great meal all around, and I had my first taste of vegan haggis: grains, onion, and spices - pretty tasty!

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