The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 10 May 2010

Day 46 - Glen Finnan to Sourlies

Saturday 8 May
Distance: 15.25 miles (Tot: 789 miles)
Audio accompaniment to the day: cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo (if it was chiming the hour it'd be 862 o'clock by now)

What an absolutely splendid day! I don't think there are superlatives enough to do it justice.

We awoke to a clear sky (and only a tiny touch of frost on the tent), which was setting off the surrounding hills nicely, albeit those hills were preventing the sun from reaching us.

Away up the glen we were striding before 7.30, trying to re-gain a little of the heat that we had lost in taking the tent down. We were soon warm from the effort, but it was over an hour later, as we reached the top of the glen, that we finally got the sun.

We may not have taken the most obvious line through the bogginess to drop down to Strathan, but our route worked as well as any. It was slow going though, and combined with numerous faffs (including a few "look at all those deer" pauses) it was looking like our short-mileage day was going to be long on hours.

The good track up Glen Dessarry sped us along, though, and when it ended the path was still perfectly obvious, even if it was a touch damp as much as it was dry. Much dancing around the worst bits was done to ensure that no legs were lost.

Still in awe of the views as we approached the top, an unexpected sight was seen - a vehicle coming towards us. It was one of those eight-wheeled all-terrain jobs and the occupants waved cheerily as they passed by.

By this time we had another person in our sights. A chap with an enormous backpack and with a carrier bag in each hand. It didn't strike us as the most comfortable way to carry an excess load, but it didn't seem to be bothering him and we never did catch up with him.

The ascent to the top of Glen Dessarry is a gentle (but wet - did I mention that it was wet?) one and the flat bit on the top goes on for ages. Then there was the descent (for part of which we took an 'interesting' route, and not one that I would necessarily recommend). My knees were grumbling and it seemed to me to be far more awkward than any other part of the day.

"Are you okay?" asked Mick, as usually I bound down hills. Perhaps my age is catching up with my knees? Or maybe it was the heavy bag ... must eat more food to lighten it!

Even if the knees were complaining and the nose feeling a little sunburnt, the day was still magnificent and it got even better when we got our first view down to Sourlies. What a special place it is.

The bothy was already full when we reached it, but with so many options for good pitches in the surrounding area that wasn't a problem.

A good chat has been had with some of the occupants, and a couple of other tents are now pitched (and nowhere near to us).

If someone could just shoot that damned cuckoo which was been following us all day, then all would be perfect!
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  1. Lovely area that, done a fair bit around there, summer and winter, enjoy.

  2. You are in some of the best walking in the UK now. Enjoy.