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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The 2006 Challenge, Day 11: Tarfside to Back Burn of Arnbarrow

Away from Tarfside, I followed the well-worn track from Cairncross to Blackcraigs and Mill of Aucheen, then by way of Hill of Turret and down the Water of Dye. Some brave souls go high again and tackle Mount Battock - but I had my eyes fixed on the coast now and gave this one a miss.

The path over to Water of Dye looks easy enough on the map. But the map doesn't tell you about the whopping great deer fence that you encounter on the north face of Hill of Fingray (or, for that matter, the great Edale-mimicking peat hags encountered at the top of Fingray). Neither obstacle was insurmountable, however, and before long I was happily tramping along beside the Water of Dye.

The building on the map at the foot of the Burn of Badymick is an open stable with an earth floor. In an emergency it would be available for overnight shelter; but it is worth pushing on because it is only another 3 km along a good track to Charr.

Now what can I say about Charr bothy? Other than ... wow! I spent a little time in the sitting room at Charr, sharing a bit of banter with a few other Challengers (one of whom nearly waltzed off with my Challenge 25 baseball cap, the swine!!) then roused myself and headed south.

The building at the foot of the Old Hangy Burn is another stable. This one has a rocky floor, and I really would not recommend it even as an emergency shelter. It's only 2km from Charr. Use Charr!

Turning away from the Water of Charr I followed the path that takes you up between Hound Hillock and Whitelaws - the last serious ascent of the crossing - and then it was down towards the Deer Dyke. I fell in with another Challenger and together we scouted out some good camping spots beside the Back Burn of Arnbarrow. No good for large tents. but a couple of one-man tents were easy enough to pitch.

It rained heavily during the night!

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