Walking was great. The path was variable, but once we got properly into Easter Glen Quoich, they were good. A couple of interesting watercourse crossings tested our rock hopping skills, and I sang quietly as we walked. Nonsense songs, but it felt so good to be out and about: legs stretching, our lives on our backs, and waterproofs on.
For we needed them that day: the rain came in swirls and eddies. The sun would come spinning across the hills, spots of light that never quite seemed to land on us. The rain we could see coming down the glen towards us, sheets of water that came from low clouds, cold and heavy, but it always passed in the morning. The afternoon it seemed to stick, and we really tested our waterproofs. They worked, and we were happy.
After a (supposedly easy) day which was 20km walking and 1000m of ascent, we were ready to find our camp. One big, turbulent burn to cross and then we wound our way down the hill towards the birch wood that we'd hopefully circled as a place to camp. Not far off the track, we found a site, next to a standing dead birch, and within sight of the burn we'd just crossed. We were cosseted in the centre of all the hills, and our world shrunk to this wee area.
Tent out, put up tent. Unpack sleeping stuff, and get wet boots off. Stove out, food out, cook food, change out of damp walking clothes, eat. Smile a lot, chat gently, read a little: "I think I'm going to get in my sleeping bag. What about you?" "Mmm, me too... not to sleep, right, just to be cosy." Ten minutes later, both asleep. Early to bed, deep to dream, happy as could be.
HOW WE DID IT
Did you know: the word 'quoich' is a Gaelic word, and is the name of the ceremonial, two-handled drinking cup used in Scotland. The Glens we walked through (Easter Glen Quoich and Wester Glen Quoich) have possibly been named thus due to the incredible shapes of the corrie - cup shaped and defined.
When discussing this trip, the biggest bit of research we did was into which tent to purchase. It was not cheap, and not easy, but in the end, for us it came down to the MSR Hubba Hubba and the Big Agnes Copper Spur. We, in the end, went for the Hubba Hubba, and are utterly delighted with the decision. So easy to put up, take down, pack away. Quick drying, kept us dry, and kept standing even in windy conditions. Good room for two, good porches, lovely colour (it is subtle in the day and glows at night). Overall: Super.
My bag is the Osprey Ariel 65, but an older edition to that that I've linked. It was carefully chosen about 6 years ago, and I absolutely love it. So comfy, so adjustable. It has been on many trips with me, and I expect it to last for many more. Love my bag.
We got Otter waterproof socks for the trip and they made it much more pleasant. They were more waterproof than either of our boots and it meant that instead of putting on wet boots in the morning (a sure mood dampener), instead, we had dry feet.
These wee lanterns were perfect for some night time light time.