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Sunday, 28 August 2016

The 2016 Challenge, day 4: Tyndrum to Killin (8)

The pictures from this section of my crossing all look much the same, so I shall not overburden my blog with more than a very small selection. As long afternoons walking on landrover tracks beside Highland rivers go, it was pleasant enough. But we've all had plenty of long afternoons walking on landrover tracks beside Highland rivers, so I'll say no more about it. Eventually we reached the road, and even more eventually we reached Killin.

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.

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