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]

Saturday, 5 February 2011

TGOC Route

The route has been vetted. Very helpful pointers have been received. I had caused some confusion, but clarification has been provided and it didn’t involve any changes to the route. So, the route is now set.

We’ll be setting out from Strathcarron on the Friday afternoon (working on the basis that we reach Ardnamurchan on the 11th May, wend our way to Fort William on the 12th to spend the night, then head up to Strathcarron on the 13th).

It’d be nice if Loch Carron is looking like this:

Day 49 12

We’re not going far on the first day (given that we’re not planning to set out until after lunch), but Day 2 will see us cover the length of Loch Monar and beyond, positioning ourselves to pop over some lumps above Glen Strathfarrar on Day 3.

Day 4 sees us (perhaps inadvisably) cross Eskdale Moor to end the day in Drumnadrochit, where I’ll spend a night fretting about the impending ferry ride and wondering why I ever thought that a route involving a ferry was a good idea.

The Monadhliath will be the subject of our explorations the for Days 5 and 6. I have no clear picture in my mind as to what this area’s like, but am very much looking forward to finding out, before we land in Aviemore (well, Coylumbridge really).

Fingers crossed for reasonable weather on the seventh day, as the Lairig Ghru has been on my ‘want to do’ list for years so there will be disappointment indeed if I don’t get to see it.

Day 8 is ‘the middle Saturday’ and Mick made a special request to be sociable on this year’s crossing, so on Middle Saturday we’ll arrive in Braemar. We may even stay there for a second night.

Fingers crossed for good weather again on Day 10, as Lochnagar looks absolutely spectacular from the map and I’d like to see how the reality compares.


Hopefully there won’t be so much standing water at Tarfside!

Even though Tarfside lies at the end of our eleventh day, our route in differs from the one we took previously, as does our route out the following day, for on Days 12 and 13 we’re going to head over to investigate a bit of the Fettoresso Forest.

A final hop, skip and a jump, before heading down to the bash in Montrose, will see us hit the east coast at Stonehaven.

So, that’s the plan. Given some bad weather it could look quite different – and potentially a couple of days shorter. Did I mention that my fingers are crossed for good weather?



  1. Lochnagar wont disappoint. It is rather good. Reading the route description it sounds a fine plan. Enjoy doing it.

  2. Ooh we might be bumping into one another on and off. We'll be leaving Stratchcarron on Friday morning and arriving in Drum for Monday night. You'll have leapfrogged us by Aviemore. I had Fettoresso in the original plan but the Pieman's description put me off, so it's Johnshaven now. All this assuming the vetters pass it. I've already upset Roger by making the route sheet come out to more than to pages!

  3. Ooh, that's my Akto in the foreground!

    The Fetteresso is a challenge in terms of finding a pitch, but if you use your imagination you'll be fine. Take plenty of water in with you as well.


  4. Oo! Our paths should cross, maybe even twice before we all get to Montrose!
    I would cross everything for good weather, but that might defeat the object slightly...
    Sooo excited now!

  5. Strathcarron start for me too on Friday morning and Drum for the Monday afternoon boat. Braemar on Friday night and possibly Saturday night too, then Lochcallater Lodge for Sunday night (there's a few tough days!)
    St Cyrus.