Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Great Outdoors Challenge: Lochailort to Abroath (part 2)

Loch Ossian Scottish Youth Hostel

Days 1-3 can be found here.

Day 4. After the storm abated, I restaked the tent, and drifted off to sleep. The morning dawned drizzly and overcast, and it matched my mood. I just wasn't feeling it. I continued east, and wondered if I might catch any Challengers at the bothy. It was empty, however, and it did not appear that anyone had been in it the night before. So, my decision to wild camp yesterday evening, instead of pushing to the bothy, was a good one.

I made a cup of coffee, and had a slight fire to warm up. It was now raining, and I was in no hurry to push on. Eventually, I decided to walk to the next bothy, and see how I felt then.

I continued a few miles to Stanoieg bothy, and again paused here a bit to dry off and read.

The rain lightened a bit, and so I continued on the wet trail. I crossed a wooden bridge, and headed past the bottom of a gloomy looking Loch Treig.

near Loch Treig

The rain came on again as I headed south from Loch Treig towards Rannoch. I sheltered underneath a train overpass, and had a good snack. I then opened my umbrella once again, and headed up the track. To pass the time, I listened to The Memory Palace podcast, a narrative history podcast from the U.S.

As the afternoon wore on, I was faced with pitching the tent in the rain. However, I then came up the Loch Ossian youth hostel. At first, I thought it was a boat house, but then I asked a Challenger I'd seen enter it briefly what it was.

A youth hostel! An opportunity to dry out!

Inside, there was a cast iron stove with a fire. There were a pair of friendly hillwalkers, and a young German woman. The warden wasn't in, so I phoned the Scottish Youth Hostels, and was able to book a bunk.

I claimed my space, and set out my sleeping bag to air out.
My bunk

I warmed up with a cup of hot chocolate. The German woman had brought a viola, and played for us while the rain came down outside. I was warm, dry, and perfectly content. It was a nice way to finish a day with such dispiriting start.

Part 3 can be found here.

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