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Friday, 26 August 2016

The 2016 Challenge, day 1: Oban to Taynuilt (2)

There's an old and utterly unpronounceable Scottish proverb about the "best laid plans of mice and men", and it seems surprisingly apt to apply it to the first day of my 2016 Challenge. The first three kilometres of my route, on the A816 (a pleasant enough road to walk, it has to be said) went perfectly well enough. But as soon as I turned off onto the Upper Soroba track, that's when things started to go awry!

The problem was that beyond Upper Soroba, the track that loops back West and round to the woods is not actually walkable. By which I mean, it is SERIOUSLY unwalkable. There is a working quarry there, and the track goes right through the middle of it, and there is a security guard and lots of high fencing and, one way and another, I did not think it was wise to attempt to walk that track. So I took a quick look at my map, and I decided that the thing to do would be to climb up to the trig point, then drop down to the track at the point where it enters the wood, and continue on my way having bypassed the quarry. So I huffed and I puffed my way up to the trig point on top of the little hill (pictured), and took a look down at the track. And it was fenced all the way to the edge of the wood (that's why it's edged on the map with a solid line rather than a broken line, see) and it was clear that I wasn't going to get into the wood that way. So I returned to the trig point and had another look at my map.

Well, it was a bit early in a crossing to be abandoning my planned route altogether (even for me), but clearly there was nothing for it. I decided that I was going to have to follow the edge of the wood round past the back of Upper Soroba, then loop round past the south end of the little lochan in grid square 8727, then climb up to the track beneath Cnoc Mor. It wasn't too much of a diversion, although the ground was broken and tussocky. So I pointed myself South East, intending to use the edge of the wood as a nice collecting feature, and I set off down the hill.

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