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Saturday, 17 April 2010

The 2006 Challenge, Day 2: Loch Mhuilich to Luipmaldrig

I don't recall all that much about the second day of the crossing. I woke up, ate breakfast, and broke camp without putting on my socks or trail shoes. I paddled across the stream, dried my feet, put my shoes on and headed down the stream ... only to find a bridge which doesn't appear on the map, GR 129419 or thereabouts. A good, substantial bridge which will still be there if you are ever that way. I then continued down to the path and turned left along Loch Monar.

There are good, unmapped bridges over the Allt a' Choire Fhionnaraich and the Allt na Cois, too. It certainly seems that there is no need to get your feet wet in the Monar Forest! (Incidentally, if you have ever wondered about all the Scottish forests being treeless, you need wonder no more. The Chief Tourism Officer for the New Forest once explained the etymology of the word "forest" to me. It does not actually meean "woodland" at all - it means "a hunting ground". Hunting grounds MAY be wooded, but there is no need for them to be. And the Scottish ones, by and large, are not.

So I passed below the Creag na h-Iolaire and turned up the path beside the Allt a Choire Dhiomhain, then down the River Orrin past Loch na Caoidhe and Am Fiar-Loch. I had the company of a party of three other challengers for some of this way. But, as I say, the day fades in the memory. I am sure it was very beautiful - but I simply cannot remember.

The overnight stop was Luipmaldrig Bothy - a truly wonderful little bothy, and the only one on which I have ever laid my sleeping bag out on a proper bedstead with well-sprung mattress!!! I had a very good night's sleep indeed that night, and was sad to be leaving the following morning.

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