Just back from a wee trip out with Dave Smith, who is obviously coming along nicely after his recent illness.
We set out in the van on Monday afternoon and drove through to the west, stopping for the night as shown on the map.
We had a barbecue, sat and chewed the fat and put the world to rights. As it got chillier, Dave wore a very natty pair of Speedo swimming trunks on his head. It was about this time I realised I had packed tent, food, bedding, portable toilet, barbecue… but not my rucksack with wet weather gear, walking poles, map, Mars bars etc. Went to bed hoping for good weather in the morning!
Dave slept in the van and I used my wee tent, which was very comfortable.
Tuesday dawned dry and overcast – well that’s a) inaccurate as it never really got dark and b) mere supposition as I was asleep. Anyway, it was dry and overcast when I got up at 8:00am. We breakfasted on granola cereal and cups of coffee, then drove along to the foot of Stac Pollaidh. The car park was already fairly full, partly with more than its fair share of Germans, with mobile mansions that put my little tiddler to shame. There were people in day-glo lycra about to cycle away somewhere, people pulling on boots etc. and we headed off up the hill followed by several small groups of walkers, some of whom passed us on our ascent.
I’ve only ever been up SP once before and that was with Dave just over a year ago. He’s done it many a time over the years and we chose it as an interesting hill that doesn’t present too much of a challenge to someone getting back on his hill-walking feet. The path is superbly built and maintained and we chuntered up it stopping on a number of occasions to admire the view. It took a respectable hour and a half to reach the summit ridge.
We sat for a few minutes but as the weather had started to close in we turned and went back down, reaching the van with nothing more than the occasional patch of light drizzle. Who needs rucksack, map, waterproofs, poles etc!
After drinking coffee in the car park, we returned to Tain where Dave lives and he lent me his collection of Woody Allen DVDs. Altogether an excellent wee trip and great to see Dave getting back in his stride.