Today was another first for me: I scrambled up a gill for the first time.
A "gill" is a rocky mountain stream, and even though I had rain pants and a waterproof jacket, my footwear was woefully inadequate. We climbed up a waterfall anyway, and my feet were soaked for the rest of the day, which put me in a bit of a bad mood.
We took too long up the gill (my fault), so we didn't have time to climb anything, but the view from the top was pretty epic anyway.
Once we were back on the road and just a few hundred yards from camp, we ran into a gentleman, Clive, who was looking for his walking partner. Apparently they'd gotten separated up on the mountain, and he hadn't seen him since -- no one had seen him. And people had been looking for a few hours.
Clive called Mountain Rescue, and Marcus headed back up the hill to have a look while there was still daylight. I waited with Clive. We were standing quite still, because it was the only place his cell phone got a good enough signal to contact Mountain Rescue. As we stood, I put on my second jacket and my gloves; Clive donned his hat.
After 30 or 45 minutes, up walked the missing friend. Clive called him a "wanker," before he got within earshot, I think out of relief and frustration. Apparently he'd gone down the other side of the mountain when he couldn't find Clive (just as Mountain Rescue said he'd likely done, incidentally), and it cost him a 30-pound taxi ride to get back over here, where their car was parked.
Now it was Marcus I was worried about. The sun hadn't quite set yet, and we'd agreed to meet back at the campsite, so off I went. Clive felt terrible, and offered to buy me a meal at the pub, but they needed to get back to Manchester, so I declined with a thank you, and our small group parted ways.
After an hour or 90 minutes (and after I'd had several spoonfuls of peanut butter at the campsite), I wandered back over at dusk to the access road and ran right into Marcus. Relief.
We agreed tonight was an acceptable night to splurge on dinner at the pub.
A pick-up/local band was starting up as we finished up our meals, and they had a sweet border collie "mascot." We surreptitiously fed her a couple of fries, then after speaking with her owner, Marcus gave her a few hunks of my chicken I couldn't finish. She was pleased but generally not bothered by our affections.
It was a cheery end to the day after a late-afternoon scare.