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Monday, 26 May 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 2: Loch Aline and Gleann Dubh (1)

I left the Salen Hotel at just after 9. The weather was overcast and drizzly, and the day began with 12 kilometres of uninspiring road walking to the ferry terminal at Fishnish where I had an Irn Bur (my first of the Crossing, but certainly not my last) and got into a conversation with a lady wearing a TREC top who had, it transpired, ridden at the British Championships in 2004, as of course had I. However, whereas I was competing in the Level 2 class(finishing 5th, and taking the Pony Riders' Association rosette for the highest placed competitor whose mount was under 15hh) she had competed in the Level 4 class (finishing 8th). I wish I could remember her name now, but alas I cannot: and I have been unable to find the 2004 results online, although they were definitely all neatly catalogues back in the days when Sarah Thurnell's twin - whose name I also now forget - was running the BHS competition office and website. In any event, we had a pleasant chat about mutual acquaintances - and particularly Maddie Jacob, who had inspired her to persevere competing with her Eriskay ponies - before the ferry arrived.

When the ferry came, it turned out to be the Loch Linnhe again! It took us across to Lochaline, and I photographed it as it departed. The sun was shining brightly, and I was in no great hurry, so I bought myself some leek and potato soup at the little refreshment kiosk at the ferry terminal, and sat down to enjoy the sunshine. Then I changed into some fresh socks (enjoying the luxury of knowing that, with a laundry opportunity the following day at Ardgour, I could afford to use two pairs of socks a day on this leg of the crossing) and I was only just starting out from Lochaline as the ferry returned once more.

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