Ramble On - Robert Plant & Jimmy Page (It seemed appropriate for the next 2 days)
Not expecting to be doing so little camping, I had carried a sodding great (small) tent with me all the way. And I wasn't going to need it again today, since a long time back I had booked a place at the SYHA it being my only re-stock spot to collect Cheese and Wine Supplies. As it happens this was a good idea, because I was now NOT going via Aviemore and luckily I had sent useful stuff inc Whisky & Sloe Gin plus cheese to the YHA in a parcel.
Now, all we had to do was walk there.
The interactive map above shows route to Fort Augustus to Water of Caplaich.
AND. It was a bloody long way.
So, we set off after breakfast from the Tipsy Laird.
Gordon was off to do another route, so we had a cup of coffee across the road and then I headed off to meet Carl & Lynsey.
Carl was buying a new Pole to make up for the one he broke yesterday falling over (again).
We got some wine and stuff for the C&W and headed off down the road past Ruthven barracks and out through the forest trails.
Miles and bloody miles of them to cut across eventually to Loch Morlich.
Once you leave the road, there is the nice bimble across via the pylons through the woods, back out onto the road and then back up into the woods again.
Some nice views, but I will only put a few in here.
Before the seriously long walk over we stopped by the bench for a rest and a jelly baby fix
We took the track over near Insh cutting back up into the forest tracks as it met the road.
Then taking the tracks over past Uath Lochan.
There is some wonderful wildlife if you look and listen walking through these woods.
We made our way through the woods to Feshie Bridge, where Carl had promised a coffee shop and dancing girls.
Well, there was **** ALL!! BUT... Massive Disappointment!
And it was getting warm.
And our feet were aching.
|Looking back to Feshie Bridge|
My feet were feeling sore.
No blisters but sweaty socks can cause BIG issues.
Time to fix them.
So a bit of micropore tape stopped the potential chaffing,
We drank as much as we could, had lunch and then headed off again.
Next stop after a lot of miles would be the
Wait for it................
Cairngorm Footspa Club Bridge place (it's an insider joke!)
On route lots of pretty little pools in the woods.
After what felt like days and days we arrived at the start of Loch Gamna and then Loch an Eilein.
By now it was very sunny, and the views were to die for.
And the birds swooping along the top of the water.
Can't even capture that moment.
And then we headed across to the
Cairngorm Clubfoot thing Bridge whatsit!
Where we had a bit of a sit down.
Took shoes and socks off.
It was OK, nobody else was about or they may have been asphyxiated by the fumes
And had a lie down in the sun.
And why not?
BUT...there was only 6 and a bit km to go now.
And at the end of it was a bed and a beer.
It was time to go.
We picked up weary legs and heavy packs and headed off over the bridge for the final push.
Everyone going at different speeds.
Yes I had buggered off into the distance.
Lovely views of Loch Morlich, and then across the road and follow the cycle path down to the SYHA.
I tried to call in, but accidentally got Roger Smith on his home mobile.
Heh.. It happens OK.
He sorted me out!
I carried on.
And then we were at the SYHA.
We booked in, collected parcels, found rooms, had a shower.
No, hang on...
We booked in.
Bought and Drank Beer
Had a Shower
Sorted out dirty kit.
Sorted out gear and repacked
Had more Beer
Went for a Meal
SYHA Cairngorm Lodge last May.
Quite a few kids running about.
Good to see them out.
And the Chef.
Honest decent food.
He even knew our names.
I didn't even know our f***ing names by then.
He knew our names!!!!!!!
Who cares about rooms and shit!
They were like err hostel rooms init.
It's about the people
So, we had food, used the facilities
MIGHT! I SAY MIGHT!!!! Have had another beer OK
Then went to bed.
Creeping into the dormitory
As you do.
Day 8 - To The Water of Caplaich- Cheese and Wine Time
We had breakfast.
A fine breakfast.
Had a chat with the Chef.
Went over the road and sat in Cafe having Coffee.
We only had 14(ish) km to do today.
OK as it happens they were going to a hard bastard 14km, and I blame Pete Goddard.
I am no saying it is his fault we took that route.
I am just blaming the bugger OK.
Actually a nicer chap you couldn't hope to meet. Honest.
So we had coffee, and watched red squirrels and birds and stuff in the cafe
BUT... We had to head off.
J.J. was there with Margaret
We set off over the road and along the track.
John was ringing Denis and Challenge
So he went the wrong way.
It was his 10th FFS.
He went the wrong way.
We shouted and he bludgeoned his way up through the trees.
It was hard not to rush off!
And headed up past the small An Lochan Uaine
Then Up towards Coire Odhar and Bynack More.
Bumping into people (not literally, that would be rude) on the way.
It started out nice, but as we started to drop down towards where Uisge Dubh Poll a Choin crosses the track, the temperature plummeted and the rain began.
We stopped for a drink and put on warm clothes and waterproofs.
|View to Bynack Mor|
I had intended to head over on higher land turning left earlier, but Pete Goddard (aka Grumpy) had said the route up the river was better and easier.
Well, it may have been after 5km, but the first 4 to 5 km along that windy, heathery, uppy downy bit of meandering river were a bit of a bastard.
So I headed off.
Along the meandering bloody river.
Those that have walked with me, or near me, or behind me.
(Sloman will be along with a comment in a minute)
Will know that there are times when I just
GO FOR IT!
And this was one of those days.
So 15 minutes into the river walk I had errrrr GONE OFF
|And that was the last time I saw them until I got to the Party Site|
And that was really the last I saw of MY CREW until they arrived about 20 minutes after me at the water of Caplaich Cheese and Wine Venue.
Looking back it was a nice route (Honest Grumps)
Easy navigation, and ok walking, with some interesting challenges keeping out of falling in the water using the route I took that stuck pretty much to the river bank, although at times, the RIVER.
|Arty Farty Bit|
Look, I just like old rotted stumps.
Had a few chats with the current incumbents
Decided to put up my tent before anyone else came along and pinched the better flatter places.
And that is what I did.
About 20 minutes later my CREW arrived.
And more and more filtered in.
TBA pretty much the same disparate motley crew that normally turns up, with a few innocent folk that may never be the same again by the next morning.
Shame Val and Dave couldn't make it this year, stalwarts of many a C&W, but Val was running some silly Ultra Triathlon thingy in Magaloof or some Spanish place.
So without further ado.
Rather than explain the horrors of another debauched evening of drink and merriment in the middle of **** ALL.
Here are some pictures.
|Me in my tents and...|
The rather wonderful Norma.
Even with a hat on, you know she doesn't have ONE hair out of place!
|The storm that luckily missed us|
|Carl musing on what might have been.|
If only he had never heard of the TGOC
And never met ME :-)
I have to hand it to my old buddies Sloman and Lambert. (see how I used bold there!)
They throw a damned fine bash in the middle of Nowt.
And we all collapsed into our tents.
Tomorrow was pending, and I was going to split up with my new Amigo's I had been with for days (well, until today)
For I was Braemar and then Callater bound.
And for me, tomorrow was destined to be a 37½ Km Day