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Saturday, 31 May 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 3: All the way to Ardgour (1)

Sunday 11 May. With no curtains at the windows I woke early with the morning light; and it's as well that I did. Today was, according to my route card, a 35km day (mostly on the roads); but Crosben cottage was a good 5km short of my intended overnight stop, so I now had 40km to cover. However, that 40km included very little ascent (being mostly along the shore of Loch Linnhe) and I was confident of my ability to cover the ground. I just needed to make an early start, and keep plugging away at it.

After breakfast I gathered all my gear and re-packed my rucksack. I did a final tour of inspection to check that the cottage was exactly as I had left it, and at 8 o'clock on the dot I set out locking the door behind me. Mr Thornber had warned me that the path might be difficult to find for the first few kilometres, and sure enough it was less than obvious in places. But the line of the glen was clear enough, and every time I seemed to lose the track I just kept going in the right direction, and sooner or later (usually sooner) something approximating a track reappeared. Was I following sheep tracks rather than "the path"? Possible. But it doesn't really matter. The point is, I made steady progress up the glen.

After Crosben, the next named location shown on the map is Lurga. Mr Thornber had told me that this was the site of an old mine and that there were no buildings there, just ruins, and so it proved. They are rather atmospheric ruins, however; and so I took some photographs.

When I set out from Crosben I had not needed my waterproofs; but by the time I reached Lurga I had put them on, and I was to wear them for most of the day as it proved to be a day of on-off drizzly rain. The air was still, however, and there were no really heavy or uncomfortable showers; so the walking was pleasant enough.

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