Metres ascent: 748
Time taken including 1 hour 30 min stops: 7 hrs 30 mins
No of Challengers encountered: Quite a few in the Dalwhinnie Inn
How to get misplaced and back in a forest:
•Follow the sign to Dalwhinnie and find an immaculate path leading to the ruins of a village in a clearing in the middle of a forest, where long-legged brown Soay sheep from St Kilda run freely.
•Return to correct 'path' = tramp through bog.
•Locate bridge that crosses stream on path leading in wrong direction.
•Go to corner of forest 1 km north of planned route.
•Brew up whilst congratulating oneself on bringing GPS and surprising a low flying heron.
•Head up boggy forest rides in attempt to locate planned exit from forest. ••Succeed!
•Giddy with success, euphorically head up deep steep heather to a rocky plateau with 40 metre drops all around.
It had been a calm night.
Today should have been an easy stroll, and in truth it can't have been bad as we finished at 2.45 pm. The early morning descent to the A86 was easy, and the views down Loch Laggan were superb, with lovely reflections of snow capped mountains in the surprisingly still loch, and a soundtrack of gently chirping birds.
The road walk to Feagour was tolerable, then a small bird serenaded us and the forest fun began. After that we braved the deep heather, occasional bog, stiff breeze and false summits of the gnarly Graham with a big bite, Meall nan Eagan, before heading down to the Fleshpots of Dalwhinnie (aka The Dalwhinnie Inn), despite the efforts of the wind to blow us back west and the efforts of a house called Allt an t-Sluic to steal the path.
The fieldfare, lapwing and oyster catcher population of Dalwhinnie provided a fanfare as we strolled into town past the smart distillery that hardy Alan suggested we visit. Not even Denis had time for that today.
Amongst those at the Inn are said Denis Pidgeon, Heather T-S and John Burt, plus quite a few more.
We are pleased to see that Markus collected his secret stash of CCS a couple of days ago, but disappointed that he didn't leave us any beer! "Your fellow Challengers have drunk it all" we were informed.
We are also delighted to hear that Caburn found the 'Coire Lair Whisky' and even happier to discover that he saw fit to share it out!
No news from Darren, whose blog ends abruptly at Day 3. Oh dear?
And I think we may have survived the evening in the company of Denis better than Alan Sloman did on his LEJOG walk a couple of years ago when he went 'missing' for a few days...
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