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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The 2011 Challenge, day 8: Kingussie to Cairngorm Lodge (11)

Shortly before Loch Morlich, there is a small lochan just off the track called Lochan nan Geadas. I had not noticed it when passing through in 2009 - when my principal if not only concern was my battered feet - but this year I spotted it through the trees and wet to take a look. It was beautiful, lonely and serene; and I sat for a while enjoying just being there, and took a couple of pictures of which this is one. Then, needing to get on, I headed on to Loch Morlich.

In 2009 I had gone around Loch Morlich in a clockwise direction; so this year I went anti-clockwise. I may have found a little shoreside path which branches off the main track slightly earlier than the one shown on the map (I'm still not entirely sure about that) and as I followed it I encountered a couple called Gavin and Rebecca, who were touring Scotland by bicycle, and had made their camp for the night on the shores of the loch. They were just cooking their supper, and invited me to share their wine while they ate. In the end I sat and chatted with them for the best part of an hour, before taking my leave to finish my day's walking.

I rounded the end of the loch, crossed the footbridge and followed the path to the beach. After walking along the shore for a way, I cut through the caravan site and to the youth hostel. As I cooked my supper, I shared the youth hostel kitchen with a school party who were just washing up their supper things. They still had a large amount of food which they offered to share, but as it was not gluten-free I had to decline their kind offer. They told me that they had been high the previous day, and that the wind had been so strong that one of their teachers had been blown off her feet and broken her wrist. I decided to pay close attention to the weather forecast the next morning at Glenmore Lodge, and think long and hard before going high if any sort of strong winds were forecast.

After supper I strolled up to Glenmore Lodge to enjoy a pint or two of cider in the bar, before returning to the Youth Hostel and bed.

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