By contrast, Markus described his night in the TN Laser Competition as 'horrendous'. His new tent doesn't seem to have been designed for wet and windy Scottish nights, and his gear is soggy from condensation. He also worried that the river (pictured - this morning - Markus must be a 'worrier' as well as a light sleeper!)) would burst its banks (that didn't occur to me).
The rain stopped before we got up. My tent dried out, Markus's didn't. We started walking at 9am as usual, along the pleasant tracks of Glen Roy and Glen Turret. After a brief encounter with the ghost of an erstwhile TGO Challenger we embarked up the pathless slopes of Teanga Mhor. Markus said he'd never backpacked up such a steep slope. I said he must have chosen some pretty poncey routes in the past. It was warmer than of late. T-shirt weather! Though sadly a greyish haze enveloped the high snow laden peaks that surrounded us.
We made it to the top, across peat haggs that I found more taxing than the initial steep grassy slope. The peak was called. Carn na Larach (745 metres). There was nobody else there. It's an exclusive spot!
More haggs and an exceptionally boggy track led us to Glenbuck Bothy. I'm not a fan of bothies, but this one was spacious and spotless, if colder inside than outside. An empty pair of Crocs lay on the hearth. Lord Elpus? Did he make it this far?
Easy paths led down to the Caledonian Canal, where I actually applied sun tan cream for the first time on this trip. Swallows and Pied Wagtails replaced the Curlews and Meadow Pipits that we'd got used to in the mountains.
At Cullochy Lock the keeper was letting a boat through. "That's 12 today" he said, adding that he expected to log over 1000 boats during July and August.
Two hours later, after encountering the first backpackers seen by Markus on his entire trip (they were doing the Great Glen Way), we reached Fort Augustus. It was 5pm, after 24 km, 660 metres ascent, and 8 hours' walking. Plenty of time to set up camp at the new campsite (a lovely flat lawn), freshen up, and enjoy a celebratory meal at The Bothy restaurant.
That ends my 'mobile' postings for the time being, as I have to return home after this most enjoyable six day stint with Markus, whose progress you can continue to follow via the link from the home page of www.topwalks.com.
Will he get to Cape Wrath? He's nearly half way. But quite tired...
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