Sunday, 18 June 2017
The Great Outdoors Challenge: Lochailort to Arbroath (part 4)
Days 1-3 can be found here.
Day 4 can be found here.
Day 5-6 can be found here.
I packed up and headed on the road along Loch Tummel. There was a heavy mist. My route then left the road and followed a right-of-way up through farms and then woods to Loch Bhac. As I ascended, the mist dissipated and it was sunny.
At Loch Bhac there were a group of Challengers who had pitched nearby. I unpacked my tent and sleeping bag, and allowed them to dry in the sun while a cup of coffee was brewed.
The Challengers moved on, and I eventually repacked and headed out as well. I crossed a moorland, and then caught three Challengers, John, Jane and Susan, as we descended towards Blair Atholl in the sun.
I like how many Challengers' minds work: as we arrived in Blair Atholl, we did not check in to the campsite or our accommodation, but rather headed straight to "The Bothy" pub for pints and lunch. Eventually, I left and set up camp, showered, and resupplied at the local shop. I returned to the pub in the evening, and had dinner with Challengers there.
I climbed out of Blair Atholl and into the hills.
I briefly entertained the thought of doing a nearby munro, but stuck to the track. I didn't encounter any Challengers headed across the high ground, and then descending along the brown glen. Here and there were the remains of old buildings, but the land was mostly empty, and again my enthusiasm began to wain.
Eventually, I neared the village of Kirkmichael. I was footsore and weary, and began to look for spots to pitch my tent. I followed a stretch of the Cateran trail, and found a perfect mossy spot to pitch my tent in the woods. It was near the trail, and I chatted with a local guy who walked by with his dog. I retired early, and the rain started at about 7 p.m. However, I was fed, dry, warm and tired. After a few pages of Grisham, sleep found me.