Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Friday 9 May 2014 - TGO Challenge - Day 1 - Morar to Sgurr nam Meirleach  

Route: more or less as planned

Distance: 27 km (Cum: 27 km)

Ascent: 1550 metres (Cum: 1550 metres)

Time taken: 10.5 hrs including 1.5 hrs breaks

Weather: fine and sunny for much of the day; cloud base 600 to 700 metres

Click on the link below (Day 1) for details of my planned route:

The day started with a quick breakfast in the presence of Jim Taylor, a 91 year old Challenger. I hope he makes it.  Then I made my way to the 8 am bus. The driver kindly made arrangements for me to change buses at Arisaig so that I could be delivered to the entrance of Johnny and Val's campsite at Camusdarach.

A coffee there went down well. Jeremy Prall, a first timer from Sedbergh, turned up and stayed for a bacon butty whilst I signed out and started walking at 9.10.

A path to the beach saw me diverting from my Anquet blue line and splashing in Atlantic surf before heading on past some interesting architecture to Morar.

Jayme and Peter were strolling along. I joined them for the rest of the day. Heather and David joined us for the latter stages after we'd inadvertently overtaken them.

We found Jeremy later, not far from where I am now camped. He has a prime spot by a small lochan. J and P joined him there,  whilst I moved to the other side of the hill to avoid Peter's snoring. H and D have carried on a little further, but 10.5 hours on the first day is quite enough for me, and I only just had time to finish my meal before darkness fell. 

Today's walk was very fine indeed. After a short stretch of tarmac a lovely path undulated along the north shore of Loch Morar (pictured), before heading over to Tarbet. J and P went down to the pier at Tarbet for a longer route, but I took a short cut from a large cairn. A stile took me over a fence below a steep climb, beyond which a deer fence had no obvious way through. I climbed it. All participants survived undamaged. 

The lochside walk had been a floral delight, with, bluebells, milkwort, butterwort, tormentil, violets and celandines featuring strongly together with the bright yellow gorse. Cuckoos were not unexpectedly in evidence, as were a number of diving birds and plovers.

A wait ensued when I'd gained the ridge, as I spied the foursome behind me, after which we negotiated the rough but broad ridge together. 

Cloud featured on the later stages of the walk today, but it has been generally warm and calm. I spent some time trying to resolve a technical issue - where was my sun cream? - and I've already spent more time with just my t-shirt than on last year's entire event. Having said that, the forecast is poor and it has turned showery tonight.

Sent from Scotland


Anonymous said...

Interestingly, you had a much dryer day in Scotland than we did on our last day's walking on the Lycian Way in Turkey - it poured at times and we were in the clouds at around 300m above sea level! Have fun, love Sue

Anonymous said...

The first day of your walk in Scotland was dryer than the last day of our walk on the Lycian Way in Turkey, where it rained heavily and the cloud was down to about 400m! Sue

Phreerunner said...

Haha - lovely and warm here, and mostly sunny. Slight problem with midges though...