Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday 17 May 2013 -TGO Challenge Day 8 - Wild camp near hut to Grantown-on-Spey

Route: as planned except that I continued to Kinross House B&B rather than stay on the campsite

See http:/www.topwalks.com/tgoc2013.html Day 8 for map

Distance: 26 km (Cum 201)

Ascent: 600 metres (Cum 6810)

Time taken: 8.4 hrs including 1.4 hrs stops

Weather: fine with sunny intervals

Challengers encountered: Ali O

Ali and I set out together at 7.30, as planned last night in the lunch hut, where Ali decided to spend the night inside and risk getting cold rather than soggy, rain having been forecast. 

This was new ground for both of us, and we didn't see a soul before the outskirts of Grantown. Wild country. 

We soon reached the second of three bothies, a fine wood panelled affair with a stable devoted to the storage of mink traps. This is serious grouse moor; their predators are ruthlessly eliminated.

We didn't visit the bothy at Knockdu, but it's pictured above. More alert readers will note that today Millie has been substituted by Ali. 

A pathless section found us utilising the planks on which the animal traps were located, to facilitate river crossings. Luckily the planks just about bore our weight. 

Lunch followed shortly after a mid morning break - by a large cairn on Carr Mor that must have a historical significance. Then Ali took a direct path to Grantown whilst I bimbled through beds of wood anemones to the 471 metre summit of Beinn Mhor. This minor peak enjoys wide ranging views towards the Cairngorms, where snow is still the dominant feature above 1000 metres or so. 

Here in the relative lowlands it must be much warmer.  Today I was distracted by my sunburnt nose and a lizard. Greylag Geese and Lapwings were busy in the skies in their differing ways, and it was Ali who nearly stood on a grouse's nest. 

Lovely countryside despite some new roads being built through these remote tracts of land. 

I followed Ali past a tame oyster catcher and some classic cars (including a stunning white 1971 Ford Capri) into Grantown shortly before 4pm and we took full advantage of our shared bathroom before adjourning to the Garth Hotel for an excellent meal, then to the Co-Op for supplies. 

In between all this 'Control' was informed of our survival thus far, albeit expressing concerns over our bathroom facilities, which for the avoidance of doubt are shared, but not at the same time. 

Goodnight. 

Sent from Kinross House, Grantown-on-Spey

6 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

I am enjoying this ongoing fantasy story - looking forward to the next instalment.

Phreerunner said...

I'll do my best Conrad. Just observing the sun kissed volleyball players on the beach...

Tony Bennett said...

I think "Stunning Ford Capri" is probably an oxymoron. It'll be the rain affecting your faculties I expect.

Phreerunner said...

Cheeky - it was fine yesterday. Softened us up for today's rain..

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin
Thank-you for your company over the last few days. I met Sue Moore in the PO who was withdrawing as she twisted her knee and its very swollen despite a days rest. Think she will come back again another year though.
I am being looked after royally by the new owners of the Delnashaugh Hotel. No rooms free but allowed to camp nearby and to sit in their lounge as long as I like. Food is good as well.
See you in Montrose
Ali Ogden

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Ali
Hope you find less tarmac than me on your run for home. I'm having the usual problem with white roads and dashed black lines.
The Grouse Inn was good though
M