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Sunday, 17 January 2010

The 2004 Challenge, Day 11: Descending the Ladder

My plan for Day 11 was to walk the ridge of the Ladder Hills - Monadh ant-Stuichd Leith, Carn Mor, Dun Muir, and Little Gael Charn, then take the path down beside the Coulins Burn to Glenbuchat Lodge and ridge walk Ladylea Hill, Clashenteple Hill, Mid Hill before taking the track round below Corlich Hill to Forbestown and the Colquhonnie Hotel.

It was a short day - only 21 km or so. But waking up to an overcast day, having had no supper the night before, even this seemed a long way. AND there was the question of water. I had less than half a litre remaining, and would not get a chance to collect more for over 8 km.

I didn't feel like cold beans and bacon, any more than I had felt like cold chicken hot pot. So I ate my lunch for breakfast (my lunches consisting, typically, of a variety of cereal and flapjack bars with impressively high calorific content) and decided to try to make the Colquhonnie in time for lunch.

I walked the ridge as far as Dun Muir (cos Carn Mor is the Corbett of the Ladder Hills, and I could hardly miss that) then took the track down over Finlate Hill to Duffdefiance (which turned out to be nothing more than a ruin). Walking through the woods of Glen Nochty, I had my waterproofs on and off half a dozen times, as first it began to rain heavily; then if cleared up and was too hot to wear them; and so on. I stayed to the north of the Water of Nochty and made good time through Tornagawn and Ledmaday. In Bellabeg, they were taking down the marquee from the Strathdon gathering, whcih had taken place there the day before.

And I was, indeed, in the bar of the Colquhonnie before 1 pm.

I ordered a pint, and asked for a menu.

"Kitchen's closed on a Monday," the proprietor said.


I explained my situation; and bless him! The dear man went and cooked me scampi and chips himself. And it was VERY good scampi and chips.

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