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Monday, 4 June 2012

The 2012 Challenge, Day 12: Is there a bed at Tarfside? (2)

Jim soon opened out a healthy lead on John and myself; but John's natural walking pace and mine were almost perfectly matched, so we walked in company. We caught up with Jim again at Stables of Lee (pictured), where we all took a breather and a glug; but once we left Jim was soon opening up the gap again. Hurrying to Tarfside is, of course, an old Challenge tradition. Beds at the hostel are allocated on a "first come, first served" basis - although John was saying that he had been promised a bed for tonight and would turf somebody out if needs be, and I wasn't altogether sure whether he was joking or serious. Earlier in the week, you would have needed to arrive at or not long after noon to be sure of a bed. But today was the last day that the hostel was open and I had no idea how busy it would be. Perhaps it was safe to arrive a bit later on the Wednesday, with the majority of finishers trying to be at the Thursday night dinner in Montrose.

About two kilometres down the glen from Stables of Lee, there is a small wooded area. There has been some felling here, and a little building can now be seen which was, apparently, previously hidden away in the woods. It is not shown on the map but it is there. And when I went to investigate it proved to be a nicely appointed little bothy with a table, chairs, and plentiful supply of firewood. No bothy book that I could see, however, and clearly not MBA. But if ever forced to stop short of Tarfside, I think I should far prefer this to the Stables of Lee as my overnight shelter!

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