Day Eleven –Started out drizzly but we knew the weather was set to get the worst it had been so far. We had a sheltered, pleasant and easy ride down from the bothy and through the woodlands to Invercauld Bridge. A pause in the carpark was appreciated for a “proper” loo, a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar or two. Yogi however was ready for the off and would not stand still. Last time here I’d stayed at Mar Lodge after this day’s ride –he knew where it was and he likes it there! Taking a different route this time however, we were to head into the hills and we were both in two minds about it as the weather was now wetter with strong cold winds.
Reaching the edge of the shelter from the next woodland, we knew it was decision time –did we continue or not? If we stayed there for the night, we were going to have just the same kind of weather to fight through tomorrow and stopping mid way was going to make for a very long day tomorrow indeed. If we didn’t do the distance today, we were going to struggle to catch up.
With a cry of “lets just do it” and “lets just get it over with”… we were onward bound. At first we were in the lee of the hill and the ascent wasn’t too bad… rounding a corner near the top however, and we were both buffeted by the wind so badly we felt we would be blown off the horses. Walking, we crept around the hill as fast as we could with horizontal rain being driven through to the bone by gusting 50mph winds. I could hardly see where I was going –Swift was hiding behind me on my left side with her head practically under my arm and her right ear poking me one eye, the wind was driving the rain into my other eye from the right, so I couldn’t see out of that one either. Not that there was much to see –visibility was pretty poor!
It seemed a very long way to Corndavon Lodge where we could find some shelter from the wind for us and the horses. The rain didn’t let up though and by morning I didn’t have a dry piece of kit (sleeping bag included!).