Always use protection

I’m on the final summit push, legs aching and the scorching sun searing my flesh and you know the most amazing thing…I’m in Scotland!  I’d forgotten about the sun, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it but there, on the weather map, a few days earlier I’d spotted a little yellow circle.  I wonder what that means.

I decided to take the day off and head into the hills on the next leg of my fitness campaign and attempt to out run middle age. In the cool of the evening I headed in to Fionna-abainn bothy which sits a couple of miles off the A 890 Glen Carron road.  It’s easy to get to so I thought that even in my current state of unfitness I should be able to make it.   (Fionna-abainn is Gaelic bothy of the whimps)

The bothy is immaculately maintained and boasts four rooms and a big solid fuel stove. I couldn’t manage to get any coal for the walk in but got a thing called “A fire in a Bag” to keep me warm. This is brown paper bag stuffed with a couple of kgs of fuel.  This proved incredibly efficient and after a while I had to open the bothy door as the heat was threatening to burn the place down.

The following day dawned bright and I headed up the glen and puffed my way up Maol Chean-dearg.  This hill is also aptly named as that’s Gaelic for bald red head, which is a pretty good description of me as I sweltered my way up there in 23 degree heat.

I made 2 mistakes that day:

  1. I forgot my sun screen; well I haven’t needed it for almost a year.  As a result my pale northern skin was burnt to a crisp and I suffered a week of pain as I eventually shed most of it in a passable impersonation of an Adder moving on to its next size up.
  2. 2.       I had a bright idea.  (I have a lot of those).  I bought some soluble tablets that make a healthy orange drink.  You’ll have heard the adverts You on a good day I thought I’d mix them with vodka You on a bloody marvellous day.   I should have read the label, If taken to excess may have a laxative effect.  Let’s just say that there are certain boulders on the way up behind which will be forever England.

Fantastic views of Toriddon though and well worth the trip, just remember – Always wear protection.

Photo pinched from

Maol Chean-dearg as it usually is.

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