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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The 2012 Challenge, Day 3: Oban to Loch Arkaig (9)

I reached Glenpean bothy at 3.30 and found the door wedged open and somebody's kit all nicely laid out inside. I saw a figure down by the river beyond the bothy and waved to him. I am sure he saw me too, but he didn't wave back and didn't come across to speak. Indeed, he soon disappeared from view altogether. I spent half an hour at the bothy, making an entry in the bothy book so that any rescuers would know I had made it this far and carried on to Strathan. I desperately hoped that at Strathan I might be able to get a mobile phone signal, and so prevent any rescuers from being called out at all.

I was also at the edge of my map now. Once I was in the woods, I would be off-map and navigating on the basis of local knowledge alone. But I knew full well that the track led to Strathan; and that from Strathan I could follow the road all the way to Loch Lochy and then through Gairlochy and past the commando memorial into Spean Bridge. I didn't know the distances for sure, but I knew they were manageable. However, I wanted more than anything to reach the metalled road before I stopped and camped for the night. That way I could spend the whole of Tuesday walking in sandals; and when I got up in the morning, I should not have to start by plunging my nice fresh dry socks into boots which would still be wet from their dunking in the River Pean's overspill.

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