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  • Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Midges

    The next morning my tent was covered in gnats. Thankfully, they couldn’t get through the bug mesh. I know they are harmless, but they were maddening when I went outside to take down camp. They flew into my eyes, nose, and ears.

    Hours later, I noticed my arms were covered in itchy red spots, and I knew they weren’t gnats at all. They were the evil all the locals said would soon be the bane of my existence. The infamous midges.

    One such predictor of this future worked in an outfitter in Glasgow where I purchased the maps and supplies that I would need to cover this route. Before I left the shop, he handed me a silver bottle.

    “Here,” he said. I looked at the label. It was a waterproof midge repellent. “There’s no charge. You’re going to be glad you have that.”

    The following morning, a cloud of midges swarmed around my tent again. This time I pulled out the silver bottle and covered all exposed skin before getting out. It was absolutely useless at keeping them from flying into my eyes, nose, and ears, but I seemed to have fewer itchy spots.

    In addition to the midges, the normal Scottish Highlands September weather is back. Rain has kept my camera in my pack and when it isn’t raining, the fog hides the view and dulls the color. I’m still enjoying myself, but my pictures are suffering.