No Alps trip after-all, but crisp autumn light in the Cairngorms yesterday...could be worse.
So the car broke in Eastern France….camped in a wood overnight…car recovered next day…taken to garage…waited for news….waited some more….drank some beer….ate baguettes….read lots of books….phone call from garage….1,200 euros to repair the car engine.
That's it in short, and basically I am back in Glencoe a week after leaving, having never even reached Switzerland let alone done any climbing.
Luck was well and truly not with us this time. A mixture of losing the car and the unforeseen expenses surrounding it's recovery etc, added to early heavy snowfall over the Alps made trying to salvage the trip simply not worth it. Gutted.
So after lots of waiting around in rural France, getting sunburnt and impatient, sitting and sleeping on pavements waiting for buses, I am now back in Glencoe.
Autumn has started in the Highlands. The quality of light has changed and I'm already getting that slight feeling of anticipation that I always get at this time of year, excited at the subtle but constant change that will happen over the next few weeks.
So despite feeling a bit sorry for myself, I'm aware that it is soon going to be my favourite time of year. Before I know it, winter will make its return to the mountains and I'll be able to indulge again in my near-obsession with winter climbing.
But first I have some work to do. Running and hill-time has suffered a bit over the last few weeks for a variety of reasons and I feel a long way from being on my best form. I can't have my Alpine trip so I'm going to put the time to good use and get fit for winter again. It'll be here before we know it.