Route: virtually as planned, with Mike omitting Deadh Choimhead.
See http://www.topwalks.com/tgoc2011.html Day 1 for map
Distance: 33km (Mike 30km)
Ascent: 1220m (Mike 925m)
Time taken: 9.5hrs including 1.5 hrs stops (Mike 2+hrs)
Weather: cloudy with sunny periods and a light westerly breeze in exposed spots (surprisingly, no rain!)
Challengers encountered: Heather, Ali, Sue, Roger, Robert, Susan, Des, Frank, Jim, Lou, Phyllis, Ian, Christine, Peter, Ursula and more. Quite a few in fact...
Others encountered: very nice ladies who served a bottomless pot of tea and delicious toasties at the Robins Nest tea shop in Taynuilt.
Flora and Fauna: cuckoos, lots of orchids and red deer on the ascent of Deadh Choimhead, and much more.
Best bit: no rain, lots of friendly Challengers.
Worst bit: the Deadh Choimhead maze - where a zone of felled trees had to be negotiated.
This was an enjoyable and easy first day, with Morven's team at the Kathmore Guest House fuelling us amply for the day ahead.
After signing out at a friendly portacabin we strolled up to the folly, McCaig's Tower (pictured), before joining a slow trail of heavily laden ants along the country lanes to Taynuilt.
Mike gracefully declined to join me on the 300 metre ascent of Deadh Choimhead, the decision being made when he saw the shin deep river that had to be crossed to start the ascent. He wouldn't have liked the tree maze either, but red deer came very close, the flowers were lovely, and the views expansive despite Ben Cruachan's head being in the clouds.
My diversion, after which I continued to enjoy wearing the Crocs I'd used for the river crossing for a few km, put us behind various folk and was a reason for seeing so many Challengers today. All very jolly. But after the tea shop we headed a short way up Glen Noe and then to this spot, which is a good but not a fine site, being a bit lumpy but close to a good water supply.
It has started to rain (9pm) and that at least has shut up our resident cuckoo.
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