Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wednesday 15 May 2013 -TGO Challenge Day 6 - Dochgarroch Lock to Wild camp beyond Dalroy

Route: as planned, but passing through the centre of Inverness for provisions

See http:/ Day 6 for map

Distance: 28 km (Cum 158)

Ascent: 650 metres (Cum 5630)

Time taken: 9.25 hrs including 3.25 hrs stops

Weather: dry but cool into Inverness, then showery, becoming fairly constant rain and hail, easing to showers in the evening

Challengers encountered: none

Recapping from yesterday:

The photo is of Ali and Charles outside the Cnoc Hotel.

My enthusiasm for amending my route to avoid the rough ascent of Cnoc na Gaoithe was misguided. I should on reflection have gone up the hill and wild camped by the burn to its south. But I didn't realise that the woods above Dochgarroch were private, easy to enter, and hard to escape from. Nor did I realise I'd made a mistake with the campsite - I had sfter all found it on the Internet. It must be somewhere else - perhaps at Scaniport?

Finally, the fire. I was lighting my stove using my new fire steel. I haven't mastered the technique. After several strikes I managed to light the stove and knock it over all in one action, resulting in an inferno in the enclosed porch of the tent. How I managed to open the door and chuck the fireball out with no damage to anything will forever be a mystery. A lesson has been learned.

On to today. I was on the canal towpath soon after 8, having again borrowed the key to the toilet from the friendly Air Cadets. The alternative may have surprised a few dog walkers. 

This was the best bit of the day weather wise - you may guess that from today's picture. 

The heavens opened as I passed through Inverness. I could tell that from the windows of the supermarket. And from the windows of the coffee shop. 

Once out of Inverness, the path to Culloden was very pleasant. Bullfinches greeted me as I approached the impressive gates and buildings of Culloden House. I later noticed that the building looks the same as it was in some of the pictures that are contemporary to 1745.

More paths and cycleways led onto Culloden Moor, where I paid a visit to the Prisoner Stone, though I'm still not sure of its history. 

A visit to the Battle of Culloden Visitor Centre was perhaps the day's highlight. I wish I'd had more time to appreciate it. Let's just say it's not your average visitor centre. 

Whilst I was being impressed, and taking advantage of the café facilities, clods of hail were bombarding the building. Waterproofs were needed for the rest of my walk up to some boggy moorland to this surprisingly comfortable pitch. En route I have to admit to having weakened during a short pause in the deluge - I booked a B&B in Grantown for Friday. 

Finally - hello Tim, I'm delighted to hear you are following my progress, and look forward to seeing you soon. 

That's enough for one day, albeit an easy one. It's time to let the rain lull me to sleep. 

Sent from a hill south of Inverness - NH 787 413


Louise said...

I know that spot Martin! If you have clear skies in the morning, you will have fabulous views along the Moray Firth. The Culloden visitor centre is award winning and worth a visit. The Prisoners Stone is where 17 prisoners were believed to have been shot after the battle of Culloden. The campsite at Grantown is lovely (piped radio two in the shower block!) but the b&bs tend to be quite plush in this little grey stone town, enjoy! We'll be passing through on the way back from an already booked hotel at Kingussie that we might aswell make full use of, we'll wave as we pass!

Sir Hugh said...

I'm also a fan of Matteson's sausage = very versatile.

That sounded like a lucky escape with the fire. I once saw a brand new Black's Mountain Tent disappear in about three seconds in Langdale circa 1959 which riveted something into my brain for the rest of my life.

I hope you are enjoying your trip as much as I am.

I've bought a Railcard and plan to have a go at backpacking again starting first week in June - more later.

Bonne continuation.

Phreerunner said...

Excellent views indeed Louise, and Wyvis is finally clear this morning. I weakened yesterday and booked the same B&B as Ali - it'll be nice to meet another Challenger, even if it is someone I've already seen!

Conrad, I have similar memories of a Force Ten going up in flames at Glenbrittle many years ago.
Good luck with the backpacking - I do hope it goes well.

Paul said...

I first crossed paths with the TGO/Ultimate challenge in Glen Feshie, May '99, when a group of us were wild-camping/bothying in Glen Feshie for a couple of nights. We just happened to be there when lots of Challengers were passing through.

Most memorable was a night at Ruigh-aiteachain. Heard lots of amusing stories from the resident Challengers that evening, including one about an elderly gentleman Challenger who'd managed to set fire to his trousers.

I'm not sure what moral to draw from that, Martin, other than that you should always carry spare pants. And be careful with that new fire stick of yours.

Enjoying reading your updates. Hope things are going well :-)

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Paul
The fire stick has been retired to outdoors use in the car camping kit box. Matches and a lighter will be fine for backpacking, and they are lighter than the fire stick. A failed experiment.

Spare pants (alright, long johns) were needed in Huntly, when I discovered a laundry!