Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Monday 12 May 2014 - TGO Challenge - Day 4 - Gairlochy (Torness) to Annat

Route: as planned from Gairlochy Holiday Park to wild camp at NN 357 917 just beyond Annat

Distance: 24 km (Cum: 96)

Ascent: 1200 metres (Cum: 4450)

Time taken: 9.1 hrs including 1.6 hrs breaks

Weather: drizzle soon abated for a cloudy day with rain after 3 pm

Click on the link below (Day 4) for details of my planned route:

After bidding the Forfar trio farewell at the midge infested campsite, I saw just one person all day. That was Sam Hackett, in his tent at Turret Bridge, during the short break between the first shower and the continuous rain that arrived about a minute before I got the tent up. Having been both taken down and put up in rain,  the Solar Competition 2 is just a little damp around the edges. It's pictured in the rain in this excellent sheltered spot by a chattering stream. In fact the stream is so talkative that I keep thinking people are walking past.

My designated path led into a boggy field. Luckily a new access road to some lochside properties saved the day until my route proceeded over a 'dangerous' bridge into a conservation area where 'No Livestock' was demanded. After going down the path and over a broken fence to an area of jungle, I came across an area reserved for Gairlochy's annual Bog Trudging Championships. They couldn't really have chosen a better venue.

Quite a contrast to the fine Great Glen Way path on the other side of the loch.

The tarmac road up Glen Gloy was easy by comparison, with fading daffodils and blooming orchids and cuckoo flower, as well as the occasional call from said bird - they seem a little less ubiquitous this year. At the end of that section a good land rover track (LRT) from Upper Glenfintaig took me up to elevenses at 300 metres. A river crossing followed. Looking down, I could see an easy way across. Getting down the greasy precipice to the river was less easy. A dipper watched in puzzled silence. 

Heather, tussocks and endless convexity made the slog up Leana Mhor (684 metres) a bit of a 'slog', past scurrying mice and athletic frogs. But the views made up for that - a panorama stretching far and wide. 

The route across to Bein Iaruinn was gently graded and mainly on grass, with more fine views stretching from the Morar hills where I started, all the way across Scotland to the Cairngorms. A phone signal permitted an exchange of messages with Heather, who had abandoned her injured companion to the whims of a river crossing expert (see an earlier posting) and part time doctor. I'd earlier chatted to Sue - happily behind her desk at work after a good trip to Turkey.

And so, past Sam to Annat, where wheatears seemed to be enjoying an unlikely positioned vegetable garden, to this fine site in the rain. An international gathering had been planned, but it was not to be. ..

Sent from somewhere near Creag Meagaidh

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