Route: virtually as planned
See http:/www.topwalks.com/tgoc2013.html Day 7 for map
Distance: 17 km (Cum 175)
Ascent: 580 metres (Cum 6210)
Time taken: 6.5 hrs including 1.4 hrs stops
Weather: fine with sunny intervals; hail showers in the afternoon
Challengers encountered: Ali Ogden arrived at 8pm and is camping nearby
This was my shortest day. I had in mind a semi rest day. 'Just as well', I thought, when I awoke at 8.45am this morning. I get my best sleeps in tents - I would never wake at that hour at home.
Anyway, setting off at 10.20 I immediately had my one and only encounter of the day - with a very fit looking lady who was running down the hill. Apparently there are three hills, of which this (Beinn Bhuidhe Mhor) is one, used by the fell runners of Inverness for training. I heard quite a few of them pass by last night.
My next encounter was on the summit of BBM, with Millie, pictured above in the centre of the picture to the left of the trig point. She or others of her family were to keep me company all day. They, and the grumpy grouse, one of whose nest of ten eggs I nearly stood on.
The 5km yomp to my 615 metre high point of the day (Carn nan Tri-tighearnan) took over two hours of hard graft. Picture the roughest parts of Bleaklow. Hard work for a 'semi rest day'! The continuation to Carn an Uillt Bhric wasn't much easier, but after that the extensive grouse moor road system of the Cawdor Estate came into play, making the going easy, but the eyesores of freshly built tracks rather spoiled the 'wilderness experience'.
The sandy waters of Allt Breac provided a most welcome brew stop in ideal conditions - my most enjoyable such stop of the trip.
Down at Drynachan I passed fields of frolicking lambs before crossing the first of two bridges, beyond which lay the easy pull over Carn na Sguabaich to my planned camping spot.
As I ascended, a woodpecker drummed in the nearby wood whilst a cuckoo unmistakably announced its presence and two fishermen tried their luck in the river below.
On Carn na Sguabaich there was a strange enclosure, and further down, next to the track, a beautifully constructed enclosure and outlet for a well. There's a history to this place.
Arriving at my planned camping spot at about 5pm, I managed to whizz up the tent just before a hailstorm arrived, so I didn't perhaps choose the best spot. As I write, at 8pm, Ali O has just appeared, having come all the way from Inverness today. She's gone down to the nearby lunch hut to pitch her tent.
Sent en route to Grantown or near to wild camp if I can find a signal