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Thursday, 3 June 2010

TGO Challenge – Disaster Looms

gaick lodge from way above

Today, after a good breakfast at the Dalwhinnie Hotel, I was followed for quite a way by both a lurking suspicion and a nagging doubt.

I walked along by the aqueduct thingy, which gets  a bit dull after a while, and then up the zig-zags over to Gaick. (Which one is the zig and which one is the zag?)

meall chuaich

I began shadowing Mike and Marion Parsons. We occasionally met and sometimes passed each other.

I descended quite steeply to Gaick Lodge, paddled the beck and had a brew.

north south

Later, I altered the route a bit to go somewhat North of my intended to climb up a heathery, rocky path which is where, as far as the camera is concerned, it all went badly wrong.

I never take the camera from around my neck. It even has a fail-safe-impossible-to-drop-the-camera system of lines and knots. But I took it off. I was about to take a picture of a particularly fine waterfall when I noticed my camera rolling past down the hill at increasing speed to a rather unimpressive plop into a deep, refreshingly green , clear, effervescent pool of superb Highland water. It was cold and delicious but it had wounded the camera critically. The screen was blank. There was no pulse. Bugger.

I continued, past an outrageously steep and dangerous landslip, which I outflanked by climbing up the hill, and, after a bit of peat bog and snow and I found a beautiful campsite on the site of some ancient shielings. I camped in the foundations of one. I had a word with the spirits of whoever was hanging around and there was no overnight trouble.

The pic below is courtesy of Mike and Marion Parsons

the scary landslip

But make no mistake, they were there - were women (girls, really) and children, cosy in their little booths, crooning the tanned and dirty little weans to sleep. A bit hungry but happy.

We all slept well.

This is the end of the illustrated stuff. If there’s any more, it will depend on the generosity of other Challengers.

Or I could just write a story

the last picture

This is the last picture.


Meanqueen said...

That last picture is beautiful. I hope you get some kind persons lending you their pictures, as I have enjoyed following your tenth expedition.

Laura said...

Such bad luck Mike. You even showed me how you had hitched your camera strap to the bag - so later I did mine the same as I thought it was a good idea....At least you've managed to rescue the photos up to this point.
('repigers' - as a word this might appeal to Shirley!)

afootinthehills said...

Mike - I've enjoyed your amusing account and pics. Many thanks for sharing.

Adrian said...

I (almost) feel your pain. I cast my pack aside on Montrose beach for the endy type pic,when putting my cam back,luckily i noticed the memory card,with half the journey, had made a break for it. A bit of frantic searching found it sinking into the wet sand, also it was in its cosy little case so no damage.I'm sure this heartwarming tale makes you feel a whole lot better (sorry).

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks each - I'm happy to say that I've had loads of offers and some photos attached to emails.

I'll have to spend some time going through the collections.

Close run thing, there , Adrian.
You have to be careful y'know... (koff)