Metres ascent: 364 (Cum 10480 m / 32300 feet)
Time taken: 4.8 hours including 1.1 hours stops
No of Challengers seen: 0
Amount of clothing washed: All
Enjoyed a lie in then headed down through a cloud inversion, past a female black grouse on her nest (I got to within a metre - she'd have pecked me rather than leave), then strolled along the B846 road for a while, beside the tumbling waters of the River Tummel, before hitting forest tracks at Easter Bohespic.
In contrast to the uplands of previous days, the riverside woods were full of the twitter of songbirds, whilst oyster catchers, grouse and chickens competed for space in the neighbouring fields.
Wood sorrel and primroses lined the hedgerows.
The pinewoods after Easter Bohespic were a little oppressive on the hot day, but the scent of fresh pine was gorgeous.
A long brew stop and early consumption of my last tin of fish was enjoyed overlooking Loch Tummel and Schiehallion.
A great spot.
After a further diversion by way of a phone call home whilst I had a signal, the inevitable happened. It was just 12 noon when I reached Loch Tummel Inn - much earlier than originally planned. That gave me time for a tasty lunch outside, watching goldcrests in the fir trees and the reflection of hills in the placid waters of Loch Tummel, before setting out on the task of washing all my clothes. There aren't many. It didn't take long!
Annoyingly, there's no phone signal inside, but whilst lunching outside I perused the activities of some of my fellow bloggers.
(Since I've hardly met anyone, this is the closest I can get by way of a feel for how others are getting on.)
I'm not going to insert links (until back home) but you can easily Google them or pick them up from the TGO Challenge message board (to which I can't seem to respond to comments using this phone, but thanks Gibson for the mention).
The blog report will certainly 'mature', but here's my current take on them, and no criticism should be inferred - I know it's much harder to make postings on the move than it is from your keyboard at home.
'London Backpacker' (George) seems marooned on Day 2 - where 'Tales from the Riverbank' hint at an easy, low level, meander across Scotland.
Bellavist (Aussie Mike) tells of a wild camp at Glen Tromie yesterday - a brief report on a long day, but I can't see any evidence of what he got up to during the intervening week.
Alan Sloman's reports are punchy, entertaining and up to date. The F16s (was that what they were?) flew very low yesterday - far below me - they must have been quite scary for those beneath them. Whilst Alan may be putting more energy into blogging than into actually walking, he has at least tried to go high - baulked by the bad timing of the only two poor bits of weather on the Challenge. He has bagged a Munro, which is more than I've done. That's 1:0 to you Alan. Well done!
Phil Turner is up to his Day 4 (Tuesday) and seems marooned in the Monadliath with Humphrey, no doubt at one of Humphrey's many 'secret places'. So they may never be found. His blog is hard to view on this Blackberry phone.
'Sheddweller' (new to me) is up to his Day 5 (also Tuesday). He must be in a completely different climate to me. He has been cold! With two sleeping bags and a down jacket! Is his blog a work of fiction, I wonder? Or has he forgotten to bring a tent/shed? He seems to be on a low level route with lots of roads and erratic distances. A novice?
Litehiker (Geoff), who I met on the train, is blogging like a professional and is up to his Day 6 (Wednesday). He has rushed across on an easy, low level, route - choosing to ignore even easy summits like the one from the top of the Burma Road. He has reached Loch Morvich and will next report on his Cairngorm crossing - by the easiest route available, I presume. Is Geoff's route much of a challenge for such an experienced backpacker? I think not, but he seems to be enjoying it.
Steve Horner is supposed to be blogging, but it appears I am not authorised to access his website!
Sectionhiker (an American) has posted a route but doesn't seem to be blogging about his progress along it.
UKmase - another on the list, but he doesn't seem to be posting anything.
So there don't appear to be many of us active, just Geoff and Sheddweller, and maybe George, on low level routes, Phil Turner lost in the Monads, me taking my (excessively?) exclusive high line, and dear old Alan pretending he's Paul Theroux. His blog is the pick of the bunch, and it's impressive that he's doing it whilst carrying on various other nefarious activities. He must be keeping 'his man' busy.
I'll do a gear report tomorrow, but after this afternoon's rest in the sun beside Loch Tummel, and this evening's sumptuous feast...
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