TGO Challenge 2018 Day 3

Day 3- The wheels come off. 
trying a bigger font by request
The day was supposed to be very straight forward. 12 miles again, the rest of the way up the loch and then some minor road walking to set us up to do a pass into Glen Coe and toward Rannoch Moor the day after that. We woke to a gloomy start, it had rained just a bit overnight.

The black slugs had started to advance on our position

Our route for today 4.9 miles along the loch side and then cross over to an easy road walk for another 7 miles to find a place to camp before heading up the Lairig Gartain pass tomorrow. 

I suggested that we put on our waterproof socks so we didn't have to worry about where we stepped today. Yesterday we tried to walk around the worst of the wet boggy ground, but today I thought it would be better to take the straightest line possible to minimize the walking Vicky had to do. 

Daylight comes at 3:30 am to the highlands this time of year, so it was hard to sleep past 5:30 or 6 am, so we got packed up and started out early.

 Looking back after starting out you can see the clouds are clearing and blue skies are coming our way, but you can also see the "trail" of water we are walking in along the loch.

The morning was really quite beautiful. The air was completely still and the hillsides were reflected perfectly in the loch.

The path remained wet (below). Again just because there is a single dashed line on a map doesn't mean there is still a path! I chose poorly

 The blue sky is catching up and we still feel like we are the only ones out here for miles around

at a break, we do get a visit from a pair of swans along the shore

We get to the inlet of the loch, where the River Etive comes in. We should have another 2 miles or so of this type of walking to do, but Vicky was really laboring so I got talked into crossing the inlet, even though I knew it was likely to be really boggy. Vicky wearing her polarized sunglasses missed the tell tale sign of the light colored mossy surface which hides the deepest bogs and in she went! 
In my defense I didn't want to take this picture as I rushed over to help, but she made me. She is always a good sport.

After that we still needed to cross the rest of the river inlet. it was moving fast and was about knee deep, but I had Vicky's pack after the bog incident and we crossed without much problem. 

As soon as we got out from crossing the river we stopped for a long lunch. I used the opportunity to dry our tent and other clothes that had gotten wet today in the sun. A backpackers yard sale

Still with a headache and now sore from a hip that has been submerged in a bog, Vicky has had enough.  It is no fun for either of us if she isn't having a good time and she just never really got going on this year's trip. While she slept I tried to figure out what we do next

 We spent about 90 minutes just resting and doing some recovery while the tent and clothes dried and when Vicky was up and feeling some better we discussed getting off the route for a rest. We needed get somewhere we could get a ride or transportation to a place we could regroup and make decisions about what would be next. 
Vicky- "can I call for a ride?"  

The road we were on, even though it dead ends at the loch was very popular and busy as it comes off the A82 highway near the old Kings House Hotel and the Glen Coe Mountain resort. We decided to walk the road and eventually decided to try and hitchhike to a place we could regroup.

Above- walking the road through the glen we get to see some magnificent highland deer, perfectly framed by the hills behind. 

We are lucky enough to hitch a ride with a young couple from Edinburgh in their camper van out for a few weeks of adventuring. They are very nice to take us out of their way to Kinlochleven. 

Kinlochleven is a mountain tourist town in the heart of Glen Coe area and was the perfect recipe for Vicky to rest and relax and not be anxious as she thinks that her actions somehow make me upset we had to change our plans... silly girl, I am out here to spend time together, Hiking is how I relax but not at the expense of her comfort or health. I don't need to be doing anything in particular, it is Scotland after all. 

nothing soothes the aches and pains like a good beer in a glorious location

and Dessert! 

We checked into the Kinlochleven Blackwater Hostel. We were very warmly received and they had a room with 4 bunks left so we settled in for the night

 Our room for the night and a day.

1 comment:

  1. Vicky is a really good sport! She wanted to do this with you so badly, and I know she felt terrible about not being able to complete the whole hike. However, let her read your comments about wanting her to be with you and not caring about anything except that she feel okay at the end of the day. (that will mean a lot to her) I have to admit that the pictures were great as usual, but not as lovely as the first two blogs. Your narrative was super as usual. Looking forward to the next chapter.


Support Our National Parks - Preserve - Protect - Enjoy