Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sunday, 19 May 2019

TGO Challenge 2019 - Day 10

Date: Sunday 19 May 2019

Route: wild camp at NO 097 609 near Ashintully Castle to wild camp at NO 247 643 in Glen Damff

Distance: 19 km (Cum: 223)

Ascent: 500 metres (Cum: 7300)

Time taken: 7.5 hrs including 1.7 hrs breaks

Weather: occasional rain showers punctuated the day, but not to any great inconvenience; warm and calm

After a very comfortable night in the tent, we enjoyed a leisurely departure from the wet grass on a misty morning. The tent was soaking but soon dried out when we put it up again this afternoon.

The 'Mini Cateran Trail' path led us over lots of ladder stiles to Lair, and the B951 road. Shortly before Lair we stopped for a brew and Sue enjoyed a chat with Dot (94), who is avidly following our progress across Scotland.

The Cateran Trail proper joins the road for about 4 km to Forter, where we admired the castle and stopped for lunch in a sunny field. Pleasing countryside views.

Common comfrey graced today's hedgerows, bright yellow gorse or broom illuminated some of the hillsides, and sheep, lapwings and curlew all seemed to be vying for our attention. (The oyster catchers won.)

We briefly joined a couple from Glasgow who are walking the Cateran Trail in sections. Then, after diverging to the north east we came across a 4x4 vehicle with three people who I thought may be setting traps. They turned out to be habitat surveyors looking into the state of the heather.

After chatting with this trio, we took a direct line through the heather, just to the south of a red roof, to a gate, where a footpath sign rather surprised us.

A little further on, beyond an obvious fire break, we eschewed the signed paths to Freuchies and headed through a small quarry and along the track to Glenmarkie. Keeping left to go past the farm - quite a little community here, including Poppy and Pickles, two affectionate goats - we soon found a good path beside the forest.

A gate at the end of the forest allowed us to escape and peruse the way ahead. Uphill after Glendamff Burn. The flat grass beside the burn was just too tempting. We kidded ourselves that another shower was imminent. It was 4 pm. The tent went up.

Such evenings are delightful. There's plenty of time for a bit of reading, a snooze, and a leisurely meal. All especially savoured as this is our last wild camp of the trip.

We have seen just one Challenger in four days. By tomorrow evening we will have made up for that, and given that from then on we will be celebrating the social aspect of this walk across Scotland, these entries may be fairly brief.

Today's pictures:
Last night's campsite (spot the tent!)
Chatting with Dot (elevenses)
A view up Glen Isla
Tonight's camp in Glen Damff

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