Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 15 May 2009

TGO Challenge 2009 - Day 7 - Slightly Lumpy Camp with Two Ticks to The Fleshpots of Dalwhinnie - Trying not to be 'Pidgeoned'

Distance walked: 22.2 km
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.
•••Oops!

It had been a calm night.

But the cool easterly got up again during the day, so fleeces were required by lunch time. Another clear blue sky greeted us, with fluffy clouds soon scooting across the horizon. But later this afternoon the sky cleared again, so those camping (Patrick will soon set off up the aquaduct) may have a cool 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.

"Come this way!" sang the willow warbler, enticing us off route into the beautiful forest.

We had the pleasure of seeing these Soay sheep (above) at the ruined village of Druim an Aird, but our diversion left us exhausted - in need of a welcome brew!


The rough ascent of Meall nan Eagan afforded fine views back to Creag Meagaidh and 'The Window'

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.

The biggest 'Fleshpot' that Dalwhinnie has to offer - did any of us visit the distillery?

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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3 comments:

Phil said...

Allt an t-Sluic - a shameless attempt to hi-jack a right of way. In 2005 Alan & I ignored their little signs & walked right through it, passing the house in a pandemonium of barking dogs and screaming children that continued unabated for the next 15 minutes. Serves 'em right!

Martin Rye said...

Mr Denis Pidgeon. Now I recall a wee dram or two with that man. Say hi and also to the nice chap from Austria when you see him. He will recall having a beer with me in Blair Atholl in 07 and trying to photo copy a map in the morning.

Alan Sloman said...

Phil - you forgot the amzingly loud cockerels and and the snarly bloke shouting at the dogs, children and cockerels...

People can be such treasures when they try.