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Sunday, 14 November 2010

The 2010 Challenge, day 6: King's House to Bridge of Gaur (5)

There is no photo for this entry, because there wasn't really anything worth phtoographing between Rannoch Station and Bridge of Gaur.

A little way along the road I realised that I would be better walking in my Teva sandals rather than my boots, so I stopped to change footwear. And this is where being a group of solo Challengers who happen to be walking together because their routes coincide really differs from entering as a group. I stopped, but my companions didn't. Why should they? If I caught up with them again, fine. If not, equally fine. They had their crossings to make, and I had mine.

In the event I did catch them up - but not for some 3 kilometres! It's just as well that I did, though, for I had made a serious miscalculation over this one! My original plan was that I would make camp in the vicinity of Rannoch Barracks. The site of an old barracks, I thought, would be ideal for wild camping - level and well drained, and if I was lucky a few walls still standing to provide a wind break. I thought of Glenelg, where I had started in 2009. If I hadn't chosen to stop the night at the hotel, then the barracks would have been a great place to camp.

The only thing was, I hadn't noticed that "Rannoch Barracks" is NOT written on the map in ye quainte olde script used by OS to mark antiquities. And it is not a ruin. It is an imposing private residence, and I kinda guessed that I would not be welcome to pitch on their well-tended lawns.

My original companion was also beginning to think, for reasons of his own, that he needed to re-plan his overnight accommodation.

Cue our new companion, who had managed to get himself into the Bridge of Gaur guesthouse, even though it was technically under refurbishment and not yet open! He gave them a quick call for directions for the last few hundred yards, and then casually asked if they would be able to accommodate two walking companions of his as well.

Yes, yes ... no problem there.

Could they provide two additional evening meals, as well?

Oh yes, no problem.

By the way, one of them is gluten-intolerant ...

Well, what can I say? Thank you, Bridge of Gaur guesthouse. We had a fabulous evening, a wonderful meal, you were superb hosts.

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