Once upon a time in the west

The blog has felt a little neglected since I returned from the coast to coast. There were 2 mags to put to bed at the same time (see previous posts) and a couple of trips away, both of which were family friendly. At least, that's my excuse.

Staying in Inverie village for the nearly a week in the luxury of a cottage, was unadulterated tonic. The trip begins with a boat trip from Mallaig, an adventure in itself. Then half day strolls with the wean in the carrier, the evenings spent reading and stoking the wood burner, or on my bike scoofing around the double track. We shed a few city layers, and bedded in.

It was good to spend a few days in such a unique place, and nice to not always be moving on. Hanging out in the cafe, chatting to 1 or 2 of the locals, we just scratched the surface, but I think I got a bit more of a sense of some of the challenges and opportunities the Foundation must face. There was little serious hill walking - only an aborted visit to a nearby Corbett, on which I lost my mojo in the rain and saved it for another day. I kept the company of some bogland plants instead. It's a really beautiful ridge south of the village, it needs to be given good grace and a fair day, preferably under some snow.

My bike really came into it's own though, and was an excellent tool for scouting evening photos and avoiding being food for midges. I've barely touched on it's potential, but the 29+ format really worked in this environment - the larger wheelbase meant momentum on rough tracks, and fatter tyres rather than front suspension just feels more solid and dependable. I'm starting to give a bit more thought to opportunities for using it to it's full potential. But basically, I gave it a workout this time, and it didn't flitch. Big grins at 11pm whilst hooning down the track after a late night visit to tip my hat to Ladhar Bheinn.

I've written another thing about this trip, but I have to wait on that for now. Here's some more photees in the meantime...