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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Some unfinished business (1)

In August, I decided enough was enough! I needed to know what had gone wrong with my navigation in the Rough Bounds, and I wasn't going to figure it out by sitting around in Bedfordshire looking at my maps. So I took a few days off work and I headed back up to Arisaig, being sure to take a GPS unit with me so I could check every location very carefully.

This was all done pretty much on a whim, and I couldn't get a sensible price on the Sleeper at short notice - so I travelled by the cheapest trains I could book, arriving at Arisaig at about 11 at night. I didn't think to check whether the station buildings are left unlocked and so available for sleeping in, but apparently they are! Instead, I bedded down for the night in a bus shelter. I chose unwisely, however: the one I chose had two ends which were open to the elements. In the morning I discovered that there was another bus shelter with only one open end, which would have been much more snug and cozy!

In the morning, I retraced my steps of the first day of the Challenge. The weather was pretty similar, but I was a couple of hours ahead of where I'd been in May because I didn't have to walk the coast road from Morar first (OK ... so maybe it WAS an Arisaig start in disguise ...)

The first challenge was the woods above Scamadale. Where is the bottom end of the path that avoids having to climb the deer fence? In May, when I met the edge of the woodland I had gone left ... so this time I went right and bingo! There it was. That was one mystery solved!

I then followed the path upwards. The cloud base was rather higher than last time, and so I was able to spot a few cairns such as this one (pictured) which I had missed in May. I managed to stick to the path for rather longer; but again after a while I lost it. So I decided, rather than using the GPS to help me find my way back onto the path, I would go and take a closer look at Lochan Fada, using the GPS unit to confirm locations and compare what I saw on the ground with what was shown on the map.

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