We had planned two day trips for the days not spent organising the bags: bagging the biggest Munro in Ben Nevis (Ben to the locals) and a trip on the 'Harry Potter' railways line to Mailllag and somewhere onwards.
Ben Nevis never popped his head out from cloud for the one beautiful morning and two and a half days of rain that we were there, so we didn't venture onto him. Apparently the paths were stilled snowed under. Foolishness happens regardless on Ben Nevis. And people who are sensible and prepared still step on what they think is firm ground and find, a thousand feet later that it is a snowy overhang. We preferred bar hopping with blogging, sewing (still sewing the damn Brownie uniform!) and reading.
The day we tripped to Mallaig rained. All day. Relentlessly. But the train was warm and it sailed over sodden fields surrounded by beauty. The onward ferry point we chose was Inverie. I'll take the blame actually—the boy, I believe, thought I was mad. You see, the ferry was a little bit of an exaggeration. It was more like a fishing boat, seating six comfortably, and as many as wanted to stand outside in the weather uncomfortably. It landed us in Inverie for an hour and a half. Enough time for a pint in the most remote pub in mainland Britain. The 'ferry' or and eighteen mile hike are the two options for reaching it. It was surprisingly full of hikers. V—— did very well, boat-sensitive as he is, especially on the rather bumpy return trip.
Have you noticed how many 'Inver-'s we have been to? Snaid, arnan, oran, ie, and on our next hike, garry, moriston and ness. I randomly asked Mike, the host at the Balcarres B&B in Fort William what 'inver' means. On the morning we left he presented us with a print-out of the origins of Scottish place names that Jackie, his partner, had looked up when Mike mentioned it to her (can they get any cuter?). Turns out 'inver' means confluence of waters. So much water, so many 'invers'—makes perfect sense.