With the heat of recent days continuing, this was almost a rest day for me. Day 81 seems to have marked the beginning of the end of the Round. My parents are up from this point onward, staying until I finish on Ben Hope on (hopefully) the 7th August.
The Affric Round had knocked it out of me, so when I got up in the morning I could hardly walk! I was breaking in trainers on Affric, and for unknown reasons they gave pressure points on my feet, created blisters in places I haven't had blisters for years, and meant I couldn't walk properly on the morning of the 81st day.
Myself, mum and dad went to Sheildaig and sat in the sun at the Sheildaig Bar. It was a day made weary by the pounding sun and I could happily have passed it as a rest day. But no, mountains needed done.
So I took the laziest course and went for the absolute easiest option on the plate: Moruisg.
This hill is on the edge of Monar, and it's a big round lump. The hill isn't too memorable, but the views are mind-blowing, caught between the great empty mountains south of Glen Carron and the weird formations to the north.
Mum and dad saw me off from the layby on the Glen Carron road, then left me to myself. Moruisg is one big slope, but it's even bigger than it looks. It really took forever.
Once on top, Sgurr a' Chaorachain in Monar looked especially spectacular; the stratified schist was crosslit by the sun. Monar was so close you could almost touch it, but I wouldn't do these mountains for at least another week.
|Looking souh from Monar. The mountain on the right is Bidein an Eoin Dheirg,|
a subsidiary top of Sgurr a' Chaorachain. An Riabhachan at Mullardoch holds a
Regretfully, some of the beauty was masked by the mounting stress of the approaching north, and the lethargy induced by the hot sun - even at 9pm. It's hard to appreciate when your head is somewhere else. I headed off down the slope and without pause made it to the car (in very fast time) and ultimately to Gerry's Hostel at Achnashellach.
I'd dropped a food parcel at Gerry's in April. Back then, I was so over-awed by what I was trying to do, and knew I'd have cracked it when I got to Gerry's. Now I was here.
I got in late, but put on a curry (yes Struan - another ;-) ) and had a chat with a nice lady from Carrbridge who had been up doing the Monar hills.
A short day, that felt more like a holiday than a Munro Round day.