Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 21/Aug/2006: "2.5 Munros, 1 Island and 3.5 Books Later"

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2.5 Munros, 1 Island and 3.5 Books Later

Picture of a walker in front of the summit cairn and trig point on Ben Macdui
Picture of a hand holding a compass in front of a path disappearing into clouds
Picture of a view along a mountain ridge
Picture of a golden sandy bay in the sun

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote 4 Munros, 1 Island and 1,900 Miles Later, this year the numbers are a bit lower (and I don't know how many miles I drove, but probably less). In other words, I'm back from my holiday.

It had all started very well: After driving to Lancaster on the Friday evening I continued towards Aviemore on a nice and mostly sunny Saturday, stopping in Dunkeld for a nice walk along the River Tay. The Sunday turned out very nice despite a grey and drizzly morning, allowing me to walk to the summit of Britain's second highest mountain, Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms (1,309m/ 4,294ft). Very nice views and probably quite a few nice panoramas to come from this walk!

On Monday I travelled on to Wester Ross. The weather was still nice, I saw dolphins in the Moray Firth and salmons at Rogie Falls. Unfortunately the weather then turned against me: It was cloudy, rained a lot and was also very windy from Tuesday until Thursday. Not really hillwalking and in particular Munro walking weather as far as I'm concerned. I used the time (and the comfortable lounge at the Kinlochewe Hotel) to read a few books:

YesMan by Danny Wallace was a nice read, followed by two Christopher Brookmyre books: One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night and Country of the Blind. I also started reading The Creative Economy by John Howkins, which takes a bit longer to read. But the weather finally got better on the Friday, allowing me to get out into the hills:

First I went up the second Munro of this holiday, Slioch (980m/ 3,215ft). While it initially looked as if the clouds might lift completely they didn't in the end, nevertheless I went to the summit (with a bit of help by a map and a compass). On the Saturday I went up Beinn Eighe, walking up to Creag Dhubh and then scrambling over to Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe (963m). While these tops have Munro height they don't count as Munros, the 'official' Munros of the Beinn Eighe group being Ruadh-stac Mòr (1,010m) and Spidean Coire nan Clach (993m). That's why I'm claiming half a Munro for this one.

The Sunday was spent driving south to Argyll, from where I took the ferry to Islay. The weather on Islay was much better: Not much time for reading books, but a lot of time spent visiting a number of places, including beautiful Lossit Bay on a brilliant sunny afternoon. I also visited a few old and new friends, thank you very much for your hospitality!!

The week on Islay flew past, far too quick it was time to board the ferry to the mainland again. I arrived in Arrochar on the Saturday evening for my last night in Scotland, arriving back in Swindon late Sunday afternoon. I'll start the travelogue soon, it will start appearing on my Travelogue, Isle of Islay and Charles Rennie Mackintosh site soon.

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