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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The 2011 Challenge, day 4: Tomdoun to Laggan (1)

I woke up on the fourth day with something that might be described, by some, as the mother of all hangovers. I really couldn't understand why, either, until I went to pay my bill and found that my bar bill was scarcely less than the price of my room!

Others were packed and away almost as soon as breakfast was served. I wasn't. I took my time. Of necessity. But eventually I'd collected my laundry, packed my rucksack, had a very aceptable breakfast of smoked haddock and poached egg, and was ready to go.

As I set off, Richard Baker and his walking companion (whose name I don't remember, I'm afraid) were also heading off in the same direction, so we walked in company for a while. Along the road to the bridge over Loch Garry, and through the woods to Greenfield, my camera still firmly tucked away in my rucksack.

There are more tracks around Greenfield than are shown on the map; but I had come this way in 2007 and knew which was the right way to go. Which just happened to be the path that had three Highland cattle blocking the route. Richard took photographs of them; but I didn't want to take time digging out my camera. We approached cautiously, and they ambled aside. We breathed a sigh of relief and continued.

After a while we encountered a young Belgian walker coming the other way. Late teens or early twenties. He had the most extraordinary Heath-Robinson contraption attached to his belt and rucksack harness, which held a GPS unit about 18 inches in front of him at waist height, where he could refer to it constantly. He told us of the terrible time he'd had in the woods, as the GPS told him that the track was about 100 metres from its true location. We struggled to suppress the guffaws which so wanted to come out. Rule number 1 of navigation: if the map (or GPS unit) and the ground tell different stories, believe the ground - it knows what it's talking about! He wanted our views on whether he'd be able to make it to Kinloch Hourn in a day. We said we doubted it. I didn't think to ask whether he was intending to go via Garrygualach - but I imagine he was. I guess he ended up getting pretty wet.

Our paths diverged at NN 230003, where I turned South and Richard and his companion continued in an Easterly direction. There is a little open-fronted timber shelter there (which I did't recall from 2009, but it's obviously not new) with a table and benches. We sat a while and I had some lunch, and then I bade them farewell and turned south.

1 comment:

  1. That little open shelter has been there since the late 19th century, if the carved graffiti is to be relied on.