Saturday, October 10, 2009

I survived The Coffin Route diversion

Warning: This post contains a heck of a lot of whining.

I'm writing this post from my room at the Kames Hotel, near Tighnabruaich, on the Cowal Penninsula in Argyll. A hotel which has three small bar rooms in the floor below. Joy.

What am I doing here? Well, this is my big walking weekend at Cowalfest, the Cowal Walking and Arts festival! More about the walking festival in another post. This post is reserved for complaining.

The walk I'd signed up for today was The Coffin Route. In the festival program(me), the was is described as follows:
Imagine you are a pall bearer carrying a coffin. From Glenkin we take the Coffin Route over the saddle to the graveyard at Inverchaolin church and explore the history of the area. Forest roads and some rough open ground at maximum hight of 400m.

I admit that I was a bit nervous about this walk because it was rated as an E on a scale from A to E with E being the most strenuous. But I was looking for something a bit more challenging, and this seemed the best possibility for Saturday. And it didn't look impossible. "Some rough open ground at maximum high of 400m" seemed doable.

Well perhaps it would have been doable. The only problem was that thanks to some folks who wanted to go shooting, we had to divert from the usual route (which would have taken us within range of the shooters) to higher, rougher ground. A lot higher and a lot more rough ground. It's funny. Those hills seem so nice and smooth looking at them from far below. You'd never know that they were full of ankle-twisting ground, knee-high grasses and bracken, and moss so deep and spongy it swallows your whole boot when you step on it. I fell several times, and I'm still amazed that I didn't break an ankle.

Oh, and that first time I fell -- yeah, that's whem I'm pretty sure I lost my camera. (And trust me, there was NO POSSIBLE way I could have gone back to try to find it. I could have dropped it 5 feet away, and I probably couldn't have found it. Such was the terrain. It's what they call heather moorland.)

I lost my camera!!!

I'm really upset about this, in part, because it was my camera. My parents gave it to me. But what I'm really, really upset about is losing my pictures of this somewhat horrible day. Plus, in theory I have one more walk tomorrow, and I won't have my camera for that walk either! (Ok, I did stop to buy a disposable camera on my way out of Dunoon, but it's not the same.)

Sigh. In spite of the struggling through bracken and twisted ankles, the scenery both macro and micro was beautiful. I was trying so very hard to capture as much as I could so that I could remember and share. Even the darn twisty grasses and mosses of the moorland were beautiful. Golds and greens and even some reds. The heather was mostly done blooming, but here and there a few small, purple buds were mixed in to add little dots of color. The top of the hill was in clouds, which made for chilly walking, but also whispy views. Argh!!!! I want the pictures on my camera!!!

I guess, it kind of feels like I did that walk all for nothing. Just about every muscle in my legs is aching. I am grouchy and tired. I really wish I had stayed in Dunoon for another night or two rather than comming out to the other side of the penninsula. Because the buses don't run on Sunday and now I'm basically stuck here until Monday. Whine, whine, whine.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to go on one more walk, but I don't know. As I said, my legs hurt, and I'm really feeling like wallowing in my misery. I think I'm going to leave it to fate. Will I wake up in time, or won't I?


Merry said...

Damn! -- for the shooting diversion
Double damn with a side order of @#$! on the loss of your poor camera. That's frustrating.
Probably if you buy a new one it'll be lighter, faster, and have extra bells & whistles, but it's still a shame.

On the other hand, kudos to you for posting an update! I'm sitting here icing my foot and trying to whip my brain into post mode. I don't think it's working.

rssasrb said...

(((Theresa))) So sorry you lost your camera. Still I admire you so much for the challenging walking programs you are doing and how much of the country you are seeing.

You are a role model for me. Complain away if you need to, sometimes you just need listeners.