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A happy chap who likes a walk every now and then

Sunday, 25 May 2014

THE TGO CHALLENGE 2014.....DAY 2 (Bangers and Burns)

Day 2 Sourlies to Loch Arkaig 12.5 miles

Very very nearly (but not quite) stuck to the planned route above

Up quite early on a pretty driech second day, that probably had a lot to do with being bedded at a ridiculous ungodly early hour the previous night, a habit that was to continue for the next couple of weeks. Mind you what I regard as ungodly seems to be normal for many, It seems heaps were already up and away as quite a few tents had disappeared, maniacs.....

First proper morning in the cudds and it was a case of start as you mean to go on, so super strong cofee and sausage wraps ala broon sauce (sachets painstakingly collected from local bars during research missions), for breakfast, with another half dozen or so cooked off and stashed away for a lunch wrap or two later. 

I'm just nae a fan of any of that healthy, green or dehydrated shite tbh, I know they can be quite a bit lighter, but I actually like food, aye really really like food if the truth be told.... I did have one vague attempt (see day 4, I think) at fitting in, but it was minging and proved to me that steak and sausages are for real men. 

Anyway as i was polishing off the full Scottish a steady stream of challengers wandered past to start their first climb of the day, up the finiskaig burn. Although I had started subscribing to this bloody early rise thing, I still faffed around so much in the mornings that more often or not it would be a couple of hours later before I was actually ready to walk, over the course of the challenge if I was walking by 0900 I was happy, the gentlemans hour,  I believe.

Looking back down the rather damp path to Sourlies, I think this is from the start of the zig zags, quite slow plodding this morning, sausage wraps were still weighing me down at this stage, along with stopping to take a photo, have a drink or even catch my breath, thankfully I wasnt in a hurry to get anywhere. 

Further up the afore mentioned zigs, a few nutters with bergans zigging and zagging below.

Not a great photo,  but please note the stream that doubles as a path, at this stage I'd given up on the dry feet thing and was still kicking myself on the choice of footwear Knoydart is wet, very very wet.

A wee burn that turned into the first proper river crossing for many, I just ploughed through as quick as possible, it seemed to work for me, I certainly didnt get any wetter......

Nearly on the bealach,  flat for a while anyway

The first of the two wee lochans on the bealach

I jumped down from a rock and just about $#! t myself, this old girl was lying there, not quite what I was expecting.

Thats pretty much the end of the knoydart phase, for all my whinging about the wet I loved the place and will be back very soon.

Now there was a drastic landscape change as I entered Glen Dessarry. I followed the higher path for a while, if anything it was wetter than the knoydart side, at least back the're're the paths were mostly solid under the water, over here it was very soft, marshy and boggy going, halfway along the first plantation there was another cheeky wee burn crossing, I decided to cut down through the woods and join the LR/logging track which went past A Chuil bothy, I loosely planned to stop there for lunch.

The start of dry feet for the next two days, boost. I soon passed the A Chuil bothy, no way was I going down to it, id need bloody ropes and an ice axe to get back up to the track, id like to suggest a cable car is installed to get weary travellers up and down to it

For pigs, read wild boar, loads of reports of wild boar having "escaped" (steve mcqueen has a lot to answer for) around Desserry/Arkaig,  ach well I'm sure someone will just have to hunt them down, it probably helps that there is no close season on "escapees"......

Wow, civilisation, what a stunning place for a house.

Three ancient looking planes (RAF then) came out of one glen and headed off up glen dessarry, they didnt look British (apart from looking clapped out) and had some red markings, maybe we've been invaded, I'll worry about that next week, as long as wicked tuna has recorded on sky+ it shouldn't effect me to much.    

Love these sign posts in random locations, what I did notice though, was there's never any follow up ones.

Cracking view, Loch Arkaig and the suns finally coming out, that means, boots aff and feet in the loch, tbh they were fairly dirling after two days tabbing, some Gehwol and fresh air and it was off on a road walk down the loch to find my planned bivi site, I passed three or four lads who had pitched up on a very decent spot that was capable of holding a good few tents.

I eventually got to my chosen spot a mile or so further down, you might just fit two tents on it, but other than the little patch I had the rest looked pretty sketchy,  very stoney ground.

Really nice evening, no midgies either, nae steak left so it was a nepalese chicken curry boil in the bag and a mushroom soup, very fine it was to.

Socks washed and hung out for a couple of hours, the rain came back on about 2000hrs and I think stayed on most of the night. I was pretty goosed and was again out of the game for 2100.

Day 2 (like day 1) had started with a constant stream of challengers, to be expected I suppose as Mallaig was a popular start point and although its nice to chat to folks, I found it a bit too busy, until I took a detour there was always a few in front and a few behind.

Knoydart as previously mentioned is wet, yes, but its also absolutely stunning, i started the challenge here because it was the one part of Scotland I had never walked in before. No regrets


1 comment:

  1. I'm thoroughly enjoying your account.
    Ta for writing it up in such great style.