Sutherland Trail: Suileag Bothy
Back in the bothy we were shivering. The air was damp and our bags had been too heavy to carry fuel for the fireplace. Yet our timing had been only slightly out as I’d met people on the hill who’d had a great roaring coal fire and company the previous evening. But we were alone with only matches and a few kindlers to burn. It was barely enough.
We boiled water, made soup and pasta then at 8pm, wearing every piece of warm clothing in our rucksacks, we crawled into sleeping bags to drink hot chocolate. It was bedtime in the bothy.
Just before midnight I woke up. A full howling storm was battering our tiny stone house, torrents of rain pelting down on the noisy metal roof and rattling windows which looked out to the dark hulk of mountain. I lay and listened, absorbing the full might of the weather and idly pondering (as you do through the night) how the modern roof was attached to the ancient walls and just how secure it might be. Occasionally there would be a respite and then the wind whirled around us, sucking up enough energy to batter and blast with wave after relentless wave of fury. Rain soaked in under the shaking doorway and somewhere at the far end of the bothy another door banged all through the night.
How fortunate that we had retraced our steps and not camped as originally planned. It would mean an extra few kilometres walking in the morning but for now we were safe and dry. And finally warm.