About the Loon

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A happy chap who likes a walk every now and then

Sunday, 25 May 2014

THE TGO CHALLENGE 2014.....D DAY (Guinness and Glens)

Day 1 Mallaig to Sourlies 11 miles

The day i had been looking forward to for months finally dawned with no wind and a light drizzle (it soon dried up), again the wonderful sound of the cuckoo could be heard echoing from the woods. A wee bit apprehensive for the last couple of days if the truth be told, but a fantastic last breakfast in the springbank b&b (it was a great find) set me up just fine for the day ahead.

 On board the MV Western Isles nearly ready for the transatlantic crossing of loch Nevis to Inverie,  the highly recommended springbank b & b is the wee white building, just to the right of the big off white/cream building

 And we're off, this walking lark is easy, i might try the wine from water thing later

 Turning into a lovely day


The real reason for starting here, the thought of pitching nearby and spending 13 days in the forge did cross my mind

Like a Saturday night in the cells, bergans lined up outside the doors rather than shoes.

West Coast feet, the last time they were dry for a while.

My west coast steen, carried lovingly the whole way to the east coast (100g for the records)

After the highly enjoyable pint in the sun I thought it best to get a gildi on and drag my fat arse off up yonder hills and over to sourlies for the first nights doss. 

A bit of a cheeky hill to start with, an even cheekier decent and a downright bastard of a swamp, just to compound the already sore feet, the tide was in so an additional climb up over the headland before I could get the steak on for supper

Pretty benign looking start as the LR track ends and the path into Glen Meadall starts

 The first of many river crossings of the trip

 Last view back to Inverie after the three mile wander up to the bealach at 550m, rather cheeky for a fat lads first day with 14/15 odd kg on his back.

 The bealach at the top of the first climb, going down.

 A decent from hell for me as I took a couple of tumbles and back jarring slips on the way down, I really should have hurt myself but got away with it thankfully,  it was at this point I first realised I had made a pretty daft error in my choice of footwear, I went for old ultra comfortable faithfulls on their last legs, rather than sensible ones with decent soles. After the first two days I was seriously wishing I'd worn my trail shoes, not just for the grip but the knoydart trails doubled as wee burns and my boots were soaking within hours, live and learn I suppose. 

 The swamp from hell, nearly lost a boot, did loose the bottom 2 sections of a Lekki pole, loads of fun recovering them.......

 Sourlies bothy, as expected quite few challengers pitched up here, initially when planning my route I had debated/hoped for the possibility of maybe going further as I'd only come about 10 miles from Inverie, but on arriving it was very apparent that it was more than enough for me, I was puggled, day 1 supper was quite extravagant, steak and flatbread, tomato soup with tobasco and a macaroon bar, lighter bag tomorrow...... I was probably asleep by 2000hrs.

The first of many stunning pitches.

 First days impressions
 Knoydart is absolutely stunning. Challengers are dead friendly and hills are bigger and more of an obstacle in real life than they look on a map. Plenty of cuckoos around

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