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Thursday, 3 June 2010

TGO Challenge nearing the end (of the pictures)

loch ericht a small bay
Day N. (fill in the number as appropriate. Please use black ink) It was driech and drab and not a time for wandering about in the mizzle, so I opted for the shoreline path to Dalwhinnie. My vetter said that this was a little exposed for a few steps.
Hah!
The path starts off well enough and then gradually becomes more tilted till there are heather patches with nothing much underneath. Luckily I noticed these. As the slabs encroached, i formed the view that if I was going to fall off anything, I could make it a lot less painful by traversing along at the actual shore level, thus reducing any impacts and bounces considerably, as well as the size of the splash.
one of the craggy bits
This worked well for about fifty metres till I was faced with what can only be described as a crag. It was a crag. i could go back and brave the tilted slabs and bottomless heathery bits, and probably fall to a horrible death, or I could take the diretisssima and risk a backwards fall onto my gas supply which should explode in a ball of flames and attract the attention of any passing walkers. At least that might make the papers.
So I climbed up. the holds were reassuringly big and, generally speaking, roughly in the right places. There was the odd moment of doubt and reflection on a life wasted wandering the hills and not drinking beer all the time. But in the end, I made it and carried on, shaking a bit in the leg department.
shore path
After a while I was caught up by John Enoch, who later admitted to watching me climb the climb and decided on a very high level alternative where a plummet to a horrible dismemberment and subsequent helpless drowning whilst freezing to death and completely sober to boot, was less likely.
We occasionally coincided along the path, which, after the excitements was quite pleasant.
neverland
Soon, I came to Neverland. – Ben Alder Lodge – an unlikely collection of fairy towers and pretty buildings. Clearly the architect was no older than age 6. One house had its own garden stag.
After that the road is dull and just goes on and on till the industrial village of Dalwhinnie is reached. very nice pylons they have and a rather interesting dam wall.
sid the stag
The bunkhouse/cafe by the station was an oasis full of grazing Challengers – Russ, John, Maggie. I had tea and beer and beef stew. It was all rather good.
Later, I camped at the hotel and had a bit of a boozy night.
It was all right.
lovely pylon dalwhinnie
Last episode as told by the photos will appear quite shortly, after a short interval during which I will be paying a short visit to Crook’s renowned boozerama….
I’m trying to forget Kylie after that naughty video…..

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