Sunday, 28 August 2016
The 2016 Challenge, day 4: Tyndrum to Killin (8)
John had booked a room in the Lochay Bridge hotel, which was the first hotel we came to. My own booking was at the Killin Hotel - which was another kilometer or so up the road (a kilometer, be it noted, that I was going to have to walk again in the other direction the following morning: John had clearly made the better job of choosing which hotel to book!) Before we parted John invited me to join him for a drink in the bar at the Lochay Bridge Hotel, an invitation which I was delighted to accept. John said that when I had first suggested joining him for the day's walk, he had been less than delighted, but too polite to say that he would rather walk on his own: but that now he was glad he had had my company for the day. And I have to say, it definitely WAS one of those days which, had you been alone, would have been a sore trial of your staying power and endurance. Sometimes a little company in the hills is just what you need!
I finished me pint and we wished one another well for the remainder of our crossings, and then I walked through Killin to my hotel. The receptionist (who came from Tenerife) had one of those delightful personalities which you encounter once a year, if that - the sort of person who spreads happiness and joyfulness to all around them, just by being there. After a brief and enjoyable chat with her, I went to settle in to my room. Alas, as so often now in the Highlands, there was no bath, only a shower. And there was no telephone in my room, either. The mobile reception was good, however, so I used my mobile to phone Challenge Control and gave Alvar a brief update on my progress.
Having reported in I showered (nowhere NEAR as good as soaking in a bath after a long day's walking!), shaved, and changed for dinner. The hotel served me a delicious beef tomato and mozzarella salad, followed by a pan fried fillet of sea bass. I suspect I enjoyed a bottle of wine with that, but I can find no mention of it in my notes. They had no desserts I could eat, however - which is not really that much of a surprise.
After dinner I settled my account and turned in early, telling them that I should be making an early start the following morning - before reception opened - and that I should not be needing breakfast. Day 5 was the biggest day on my card - the five Munros of the Lawers ridge and down to Fortingall - and I wanted to give myself plenty of time to complete it and reach the Fortingall hotel before they closed the kitchen for the evening.