2021

Day 29 – Is that a midge?

Inverarnan to Tyndrum, 21Km

Today was the first rainy day but it was only an intermittent shower or two, nothing too intense. It felt a lot more like the Highlands and that’s why I started the day with a bowl of porridge and a bacon sandwich. There’s nowhere to stop en route to Tyndrum except for a grim camp site where the owner barricaded himself behind plastic screens like banks used to do in the Wild West and sold Nescafé in plastic cups at prices that had you reaching for your credit card. It didn’t seem like a photo opportunity but I wish I’d captured it.

Colin & Rachel joined me for breakfast and we walked together again. That was very nice because I much prefer company to solitude especially when they bring a little stove to make coffee. The little stove with its gas canister comes from a world I’ve never inhabited and I looked on in wonder as water was scooped out of the burn and boiled in a minute or two.

There was plenty of overnight rain and the burns were flowing with renewed vigour. We even saw some possible midges. Not having seen a midge before, I couldn’t be sure but we are heading into the midge heartland and Rachel said they were midges. I assumed they’d introduce themselves in a manner more fitting to their reputation. In the Po Valley there was no mistaking the mosquito even if you’d never met one before. They were everywhere. I’ve now been in Scotland for a month and despite all the grim warnings it’s only now that I’ve had a sighting of them, if that’s what they were. There was a small gathering on the ground enjoying the rain shower and having a midge-like meeting, like we used to do before 2020. They ignored me. I could have laid my bare arm beside them without disturbing their discussion. I have so many bottles of midge spray in my bag. I hope I haven’t wasted my money.

The West Highland Way continues to impress. We had lots more hills today, mostly hidden by clouds, some attractive woodlands and many waterfalls.

A burn
Highland mist
A Hansel & Gretel forest
Today’s photo for fans of fungi
Highland farm
Up in the hills
Colin, Rachel and me stopped for coffee. It was the only time the sun shone
The magic gas stove
A drink with Linda this evening

10 comments on “Day 29 – Is that a midge?

  1. wonderful commentary today! Love the coffee gadget!!

  2. Philippa

    Like Vicky I’m a fungi fan so it’s great to see more; those red toadstools are shinier than the ones I’m familiar with (and minus white spots). Are the trees with red berries rowan trees? It all looks beautiful and as I remember it from so long ago!

    • Hi Philippa, there’s so much more to fungi than what you see. Fascinating life form. Yes the trees are Rowan Mountain Ash trees. Well spotted!

  3. Linda s

    So glad to meet you at last tim ! Best wishes for the rest of your adventure!

    • Hi Linda, great to see you too. I took your advice and enjoyed the chicken with haggis. Thanks!

  4. Tassie Kaz

    Hi Tim,
    Why are creeks called ‘burns’? 🤔
    I had not a single mozzie encounter in the Po Valley…or anywhere else on the VF. As you seem to be seeking a lesson in insect annoyance, I suggest St Olav’s Way in Norway (flies thicker than I’ve ever encountered…& I’m an Aussie!) or the Milford Track in NZ (sandflies defy description in quantity or deviousness …OMG! 😯😫)
    Gambatte.

    • I always listen to any tips about St Olav’s Way. I’d like to tackle that one but you’ve just put me off. Flies thicker than you’ve ever encountered and you who didn’t notice the mosquitoes in the Po Valley. Perhaps I should get up to Norway to check. They do say the midges in Scotland are the worst insects anywhere but everything is relative. Anyway I deserve a break. Tim

  5. Vicky Williamson

    Kia Ora, Tim, thanks for the foto of the fabulous fungi. As for the coffee maker Jet boil was created by some NZers in 2001 – winners again! I second Tassie Kaz on the biting bs in Milford – they’re voracious, vicious and always victorious.
    Kia kaha, Vicky

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