Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Day 12 - TGO Challenge 2015 - Broom Hill to Tarfside

 
Date: Tuesday 19 May

Route: as planned except:
1) we walked beside Water of Unich from Wester Balloch, rather than go between the two Watery Knowles, and
2) we omitted the final hill, Hill of Rowan, (tut-tut) as Sue was desperate for a cuppa at Tarfside

Distance: 31 km (Cum: 281)

Ascent: 800 metres (Cum: 10500)

Time taken: 10.1 hrs including 1.5 hrs breaks - (Cum: 95.9 hours including 18.8 hours breaks)

Weather: sunshine and occasional showers; cool

Click on the link below (Day 12) for details of our planned route:

http://www.topwalks.com/tgoc2015.html

A tough day, on which the first seven hours to Hunt Hill were pathless with frequent peat haggs, groughs and grikes. The final three hours were a little easier despite our being followed at times by spitting rain through a weak sun, but after an 8pm sitting for dinner at St Droston's it was midnight before we left the sociable gathering at the Masons.

So this entry is written hurriedly. Tomorrow.

We didn't see anyone until we passed Freddie and Darren, then Mr Grumpy geocaching and complaining he was "past it", a hundred metres from St Droston's.

But we did see two grouse nests, one with eggs, the other with chicks, lots of hares, lizards, a ring ouzel, grey plovers, lapwings and oystercatchers, skylarks and meadow pipits, lots of lbjs, clumps of milkwort, bog asphodel and a buttercup like flower that I'll call 'bog buttercup'. Great crested grebes were seen on a high lochan, with tufted ducks on Loch Lee. After a brief respite, cuckoos are back with us in Glen Esk (the home of Tarfside).

A highlight was the remote summit of Wester Balloch, where a visitors book had been placed in October 2014. We were the first to sign it.

Otherwise it was seven hours of hard going over scenic terrain, including the delightful but pathless Water of Unich valley, followed by three hours of easy going, also over scenic terrain.

A great day, and great to meet up with friends old and new at Tarfside, where there are about 50 Challengers' tents pitched on the village green.

Today's pictures:
Top - our final 'wild' campsite of this trip, near the top of Broom Hill
Middle - descending beside the Water of Unich
Bottom - the Water of Lee from Hunt Hill

Fine views, all of them.

There's a slideshow for the day (31 images) - here. Click on the first image, then click 'slideshow'.

Next Day - Day 13

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