Sunday, 15 May 2016
TGO Challenge 2016 - Day 3 - wild camp at NH 225 391 to Cnoc Hotel, Struy (NH 404 407)
Route: as planned
Distance: 21 km (Cum: 59)
Ascent: 300 metres (Cum: 2650)
Time taken: 6 hrs including breaks
Weather: just a few spots of rain in the valley; cloud on the tops
No nightmares, just a lovely deep sleep away from Richard's snoring. (He later told us he had woken himself up with said snoring.)
Raindrops on the tent encouraged us both to turn over and enjoy a lie in. We eventually got away at around 8.30 am just as Jim Davidson and Charles Bain were passing. I think they may have preferred our camping spot to the one they had chosen a little up the road.
Jim and Charles provided us with excellent walking companions for about 4 km, when they insisted on heading towards Cannich across a rickety bridge. We took our camera to the riverside but sadly (for the emergency services, sensationalist headliners, etc) these two professionals managed the crossing without incident.
Just beyond some barking dogs, perhaps to cool down after we had donned waterproofs to combat a few droplets of rain, we stopped for a brew on a lovely grassy bank full of ticks that have subsequently cascaded from us in all directions. A buzzard fluttered past.
On leaving the tick zone, after a fine brew up, we spotted Richard Fuell just behind us. We walked with Richard for the rest of the amble to Struy, where we clocked into the Cnoc Hotel at 2.30. Meanwhile, we passed and re-passed George Stewart and even met a search party out looking for him. Custodian of a food mountain, George would be able to cater for all the culinary needs of his rescuer.
Lunch was taken on the banks of the River Farrar. Whilst the road had provided wildlife in the form of flat snakeskins and roadside gorse, dog violets, primroses, wood anemones, lesser celandine, greater stitchwort and more, our secluded riverside spot amongst the bluebells brought us close to pied flycatchers, a curious Robin, fearless chaffinches, and busy dippers and swallows.
My catering arrangements revealed a faux pas. We had an extra breakfast of '9 bars' but were short of a lunch. Luckily Richard had spare food, so Sue and I finished the last of our first gas canister with a brew and a Real Turmat pasta bolognese. Thanks Richard, we really enjoyed it.
After a cheery welcome at the Cnoc Hotel, where all eight rooms are full tonight, we enjoyed a cuppa with Richard, and then another one with Alastair, who is having a day off walking during a month long Munro bagging trip.
Clothes were washed, ticks removed, blog entries composed and despatched, etc etc. Such afternoons disappear in a trice.
Soon it was time for G&Ts, and an excellent and very sociable meal. Victor and Nicola from Long Load are also here. We enjoyed a chat with them before adjourning to our luxurious rooms.
Slideshow for the Day
Click on the first image, then click 'slideshow'.
Next Day - Day 4