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Sunday, 1 November 2015

The 2015 Challenge, day 7: the "Burma Road" (1)

I got away from Red Bothy at about 9.30 - neither the first nor the last away. While I was sorting out my gear, Lindy Griffiths passed through. She had been feeling in need of solitude the night before, she said, and had stopped for the night at the estate hut 2 kilometres back along the track. I was glad I had not been there to spoil it for her!

As I headed off and dropped down to the bridge over the Allt an Tudair (pictured), a couple of Challengers who were camped by the river asked me what had happened at the ferry. I asked what they meant, and they explained that when I didn't turn up Gordon Menzies had waited as long as he dared, but in the end he had to sail without me. I was a little nonplussed by this, to say the least. I had very clear memories of making the boat crossing (and photos to prove it). I certainly hadn't swum across Loch Ness, and I haven't yet mastered the art of walking on water. (Douglas Adams once explained that "flying is the art of throwing yourself at the ground - and missing". I'm sure the art of walking on water works in a very similar way ...) Moreover, nobody had had to wait for me, as Greg and I had been the very first ones there, well before Gordon Menzies himself.

A brief discussion ensued, during which it became apparent that whereas I was talking about the 8 o'clock sailing, they were talking about the 9.15 sailing!

"But I was told to be there for 8," I said.

"Well," they replied, "he had your name down on the list for the 9.15 crossing ... and you weren't there."

"Of course I wasn't," I said. "He'd already left me at Inverfarigaig. How was I going to get back to Drum??"

At this point, of course, it dawned on me that I had paid for a breakfast at the Loch Ness Inn which I hadn't been there to eat ... and all for nothing! Well, doesn't that just take the biscuit?

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