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A happy chap who likes a walk every now and then

Sunday, 14 June 2015

TGO CHALLENGE 2015 THE FIRST FEW DAYS DAY 1 & 2

Oban to Stonehaven, hopefully...

 I decided Oban would be the start point this year as it looked like a nice easy start to break ourselves in, Susan had never walked this far before and I haven't been to Oban in 30 odd years. The rest of the route was also planned out to be on the easy side, just as well really, our training had been very limited,  in Susans case, very very limited, mainly due to work.  If i was being honest, I wasn't overly confident of both of us making it. So not the ideal frame of mind and not the ideal preparation,  what could possibly go wrong...

We're off

Aberdeen to Oban on the train is a bit of a trek and it was a relief to eventually arrive. The few hours spent in the Scot Rail (or whatever they're called this week) cooncil class seats between Glasgow and Oban nearly required an erse cheek rebuild. Nice scenery mind.

The guesthouse in Oban (Corriemar) was perfect and right next to the sign out point, we checked in and headed off to spend the afternoon and evening checking out the local establishments of ill repute and having a really fine pasta meal (Professional training at last) down by the harbour.



Day 1
Oban to Caolasnacon (via Lismore island)
13 miles



We woke to a cracking still morning, but with a crisp frost (the last of the year nae doot...) whitening the ground outside. The view at breakfast was worth the train journey, and the black pudding was worth the room price. 

Not a breath of wind as we wandered down to the ferry port

The ferry coming into Oban to collect the six or so challengers that were eagerly awaiting the 40 minute trip to Lismore

Lismore was a very easy, enjoyable walk, we even bumped into and had a quick chat with Cameron McNeish and his crew, much to Susans delight.

The Calmac ferry leaving Lismore for it's return trip to Oban. 



 Five or six odd miles later and its time for another ferry (during rush hour), Lismore to Port Appin this time

 and we were back on the mainland in time for lunch. 

A couple of road miles and we crossed the fancy new bridge, well its new to me, I'm sure it was a scabby old thing when I passed here a couple of years back.


After crossing the bridge we got straight onto the old railway line/cycle path and wandered along for a few miles, eventually we made it to the Creagan Inn, just in time for supper, the food was okay, we were hungry, the beer was cold, we were thirsty, a few miles further on we reached the Glasdrum nature reserve in Glen Creran for our planned overnighter.

We ended up with a nice pitch, a decent distance up the hill, en suite,  running water and a bench for breakfast, I suspect it was also a popular abode for the locals as well, we didn't find this out until the next evening when we discovered we owned a tent full of ticks, a couple of which had taken a liking to my nether regions. 

Made it through day 1 without mishap, It had been a nice, very flat andeasy day to break us in.

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Day 2
Glasdrum to Caolasnacon
14.5 miles



The day dawned looking like it was going to be a scorcher

Another couple of miles alongside Loch Creran to start the day.

A new pal

At Elleric we entered the forestry section and begun a long steady climb up hill on forresty tracks.

The views were very pleasant



It was a long climb in rather warm conditions,  but a long climb deserves a long lunch, boots off and feet in the ice cold burn revitilised the old trotters.

It seems I forgot (not for the last time either) to mention that there was still a wee climb to do until we made the belach, a short, sharp, cheeky wee number it was too.


The expensive, designer water bottle had had a few refills by this stage, I think that bottle actually lasted for the whole walk, not to shabby

Going over the top the path was ok and well defined, then it either disapeared, or more likely, we lost it on the decent down into Gleann an Fhiodh, Susan had been diagnosed with a piece of bone floating in her knee about 3 weeks before the start, and really didn't enjoy the decent.


Another 5 minute chill out break at the bottom, although going by the expression,  I must have just made one of my kind and compassionate comments

Ballachulish for the shinty,  we were both really puggled by this stage and I had thoughts of finding somewhere near by to doss down for the night.

But an ice lolly and a tin of juice revived us enough to wander along to Glencoe village for a decent feed.

The gathering was just what the doctor ordered, good food and drink. Unfortunately the surcharge for using a bank card left a sour taste and stopped me leaving a tip, either that or I am a tight fisted Aberdonian (no comments required, thank you)

The climbing wasn't finished though, after leaving Glencoe village we cut up and along side the Pap of Glen Coe to get to Caolasnacon,  in hindsight I should have gone the long way around, on the road, the path became really horrible, especially the down section at the Caolasnacon end and Suz was really suffering with her feet today and our mantra "slow and steady" was born. 


The early evening views over Loch Leven were cracking though.


It was a relief finally getting off the path and arriving at the camp site, the rain came on just as we got the tent up, Susan got her boots off to find a large blister underneath her big toe nail, ouch, we drained and dressed it, although I wasn't overly confident what condition it would be in tomorrow.

Two days done, still going, Slow and Steady



WARNING - WARNING - WARNING
Minging trotter picture below, proceed with caution












3 comments:

  1. No comments?
    Well, I enjoyed the read - thank you.
    :-)
    I came this way a few years back with Phil Lambert & Andy Walker. It was Phil's 10th crossing and so he planned the route. We headed north for five and a half days before turning to head east. He's not been allowed route planning duties since then...
    I'm looking forward to Part II, Richard.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Alan,

      Im sure it was your blog that made us aim for the Lismore start, see somewhere we would probably never go to otherwise, well worth the ferry trip.

      Its a slow process, this blogging lark, i blame my jet set life style, others maybe refer to it as laziness, but I prefer my description.

      Think I might investigate speech typing for the next one, do it live on the hoof, although it would require severe censorship before being released into the public domain...

      Delete
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