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Saturday, 31 May 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 3: All the way to Ardgour (6)

After Locahn Doire a' Bhraghaid, it was only a short distance to the main road; but the views were stunning, such as this one looking up the Coire an Iubhair, with Beinn Bheag and Sgorr Mhic Eacharna in the background.

The A861 main road may be an A road, but it is still pretty wild and remote, and very lightly trafficked. It also has good verges most of the way and there is no difficulty about stepping aside when necessary for passing vehicles. During the course of the day I had been slowly composing a poem, called "The Song of the Challengers", and as I walked this stretch of road the first verse was completed. It goes:

Oh it's hard to ford the Geldie when in spate
And it's hard to bear a twenty kilo load
It's hard to climb a rusting iron gate
And it's hard to plan FW for Jock's Road
But we'll tramp, tramp, tramp 'til we reach the cold North Sea
Yes we'll tramp, tramp, tramp (finish not at Blowup Nose!)
We will tramp, tramp, tramp for we love to roam so free
So we'll tramp, tramp, tramp 'til we meet up in Montrose

At the time, I thought I'd probably get around to composing a few more verses during the course of my crossing, and have it finished by the time I reached Montrose. Alas, however, this was not to be, and in the event this is as much as I wrote during the 2014 crossing. There'll be plenty of opportunity to finish it in due course, however, so watch this space ...

My 4.55 - 5pm break was taken at Gearradh, where a kind householder allowed me to refill my water bottles from his supply. The rain started up again, however, so it was back into my waterproofs; and I decided to resume my boots, too.

At Sallachan, I took the track through Coile na Cuile to Ardgour House. I passed a dog walker who told me it would be a lovely walk which I would enjoy; but actually, the track is pretty grim, and I almost think one might as well take the road round to Clovullin. I took my 5.55 - 6 pm break in the Coile na Cuile and then pressed on. The track takes walkers behind Ardgour House, and then along a lovely avenue and past the two lochans north of Clovullin. By now my feet were beginning to hurt a bit, and I took a couple of painkillers that I found in my pack. I don't know how long they'd been there, and they were probably hopelessly out of date. But they seemed to do the trick.

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