This posting is by way of a pictorial overview of last weekend’s ‘Parcel Delivery Trip’ in preparation for the TGO Challenge in May, as mobile postings only work with a maximum of five images.
If you click on any one of the pictures, you can scroll through good resolution versions without being subjected to my commentary.
Starting with a parkrun in Penrith on Saturday morning got the trip going efficiently on a quiet motorway. Some 378 runners and walkers took part in the regular 5 km event. I had a good run (results here) then met with Mike P for half an hour or so, taking delivery of a package destined for a B&B in Blair Atholl.
Polly’s boot was full, but she wasn’t heavily laden as:
1. Our fairly southerly Challenge route doesn’t fit with the routes of other local Challengers, and
2. Certain individuals had failed to get their acts together.
After dropping off my first parcel at some dubious looking accommodation in Bridge of Orchy, I headed up through Glencoe and on to a fine welcome from Ali and Adrian in Newtonmore, the destination for several more packages.
En route, and as usual, I paused in front of Buachaille Etive Mor. The poor air quality and lack of a good zoom lens led to this very average depiction of the mountain that greets those entering Glencoe.
A bit closer, the hills above Glencoe Mountain Resort still hold enough snow for a few metres of skiing…?
Overnight rain didn’t clear the air, so on Sunday morning, after dropping the Blair Atholl parcel off, my cross country route to Bridge of Gaur offered only hazy views towards Schiehallion.
After a pleasant interlude with Eddie and Heather, whose fine accommodation on the Challenge will make up for any Bridge of Orchy deficiencies, the drive beside Loch Rannock was a pleasure. Here’s Schiehallion from another angle.
It’s a pleasant view up Loch Rannoch from Kinloch Rannoch, where the next two pictures were taken in opposite directions from the same spot. The bird life and red squirrel life beside Loch Rannoch was nothing short of ‘rampant’, and that adjective could also be applied to the loch side campers.
More country lanes saw me through Strathtay, with a package dropped off at what looks like a nice B&B (Dundarave), then on to the Clova Hotel, recipients of my final package. Clova Hotel, at the head of a long valley, is the antithesis of a run down hotel. Today it was smart and vibrant, welcoming all comers. It’s pictured in the distance below. I hope we get this sort of weather on the Challenge!
Polly’s load, apart from a bag of boots and the survival kit that goes everywhere, was now dissipated.
I’d booked into a Travelodge in Dundee by 4 pm, allowing plenty of time for a walk into the town centre. Desperate Dan was marching along in roughly the same place as last time I was here.
The Caird Hall and town square were looking splendid on the warm afternoon sunshine.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go into the new V&A museum. That’s a pleasure for the future, but the new museum building, next to the dock in which the magnificent vessel ‘Discovery’ lies, is a truly magnificent structure.
Dundee is a city on the ‘Up’, and visitors arriving by rail can’t help but admire the new station.
Strolling back up a hill to my lodgings, I passed a small park bordered by and containing a series of brightly coloured mosaic squares.
An earlyish start on Monday got me to a small lay-by at the head of Glen Ogle by about 8.30. The sun was shining on another hazy day. About 50 metres from the start of my walk I crossed a bridge over the disused railway line that now houses a fine cycleway.
My path was supposedly alongside a wood. The remains of it can be seen on the last but one picture. The wood has been felled, and not yet replanted.
Beyond the vague path beside the debris from the wood was a tussocky wilderness, with no particular objective visible. Hard going for a while. Despite it being Easter Monday, there wasn’t another soul on this hill.
As I rose steadily, the view across Lochan Lairig Cheile to Killin and the Tarmachan ridge slowly improved.
Eventually the northern ridge of Creag Mac Ranaich provided easier ground for the final stroll to the twin summits of that mountain. Those summits can both be seen in the picture below.
Not knowing which summit was the higher, I strolled over to the far top, which I now discover is one metre lower than the first, 809 metre, summit that can be seen across an unseen void in the next picture.
Looking the other way, there was a good view of Meall an t-Seallaidh, which we climbed last September on Cary’s final Munro weekend.
Back at the main summit, another view towards Killin, this time with snow streaked Meall Ghaordaidh on the left of the picture (click on it for a better image).
I then wandered down to a minor protuberance, at 772 metres, shown on the right of the next picture.
From here, a good view down Glen Kendrum to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin – Cary’s final Munros, and (below that) back up to the summits visited on today’s walk.
A straightforward walk down, with care needed over some rough and steep sections, brought me to this view of the felled forest and the lay-by in the distance where Polly was patiently waiting before continuing on this round trip of over 900 miles.
Here’s my route – 8 km with 500 metres ascent, taking three hours, with the second picture showing it in a wider context.
I got to Bacup by soon after 5 pm. Jessica kindly shared her Easter egg with everyone, after Kate had supplied some tasty spaghetti bolognaise.
An enjoyable trip, despite quite a lot of driving.
PS I hope someone appreciates this (though of course it's mainly for my own record), as 'Blogger' has been particularly obtuse this morning in its unwillingness to accept anything drafted in Open Live Writer. And it used to be so easy... Any experts in switching to Wordpress out there? I'll pay good money!