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]

Thursday, 6 November 2014

GT Day 11: Not Ord Ban, Nor Cruban Beag

When I arrived at the Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre car park this morning, conditions seemed far more benign than they had been up at Glenmore. The rain had stopped, the cloud was high and the howling wind was no longer howling. Maybe my little lump of Ord Ban was going to be feasible after all!

Off I set and, sure enough, it was a perfectly pleasant (if overcast) day where I was, although it looked heavy and wet over to the west. My little hill was in my sights from quite early on and there was no doubt in my mind that I would be able to pop up it. Then I got to the end of Loch an Eilein, and I came to realise that the wind had not dropped - I had simply been sheltered. It was the monster waves and great walls of spray coming off the loch that gave it away. That and the way that the trees were trying to bend double.

My little hill being well guarded by old woodland, I reluctantly concluded that even though I was so close, it wasn’t a sensible place to go. Death by a falling tree branch is not how I would choose to go. So, I just pottered up the loch a short way, took a few video snippets of the conditions (oooh, it was wild!) and then ran scared when my over-active imagination started thinking about falling trees again.

I took a different route back, equally as sheltered as my outward route, had an early lunch, drank tea, and headed into Aviemore, where I failed to buy the map that I need.

With the day still young, off to the Falls of Truim I trundled and another little wander was had. I even started going up the ill-advised (i.e. craggy) side of Cruban Beag, before I reminded myself that: a) I had nothing with me, bar my mobile phone; and b) it was still ridiculously windy, so for the second time today I did an about turn.

Despite the wind and the failure to go up any hills, a good time was had. Alas, the day has now taken a turn for the worse as, in running out of power just as Anquet was loading, Anquet has now lost all of my maps. My laptop and my electronic maps are my main plan-as-you-go resource on this trip, so that is rather a bugger and something I don’t think I’m going to be able to put right until I get home.


  1. It's the discretion versus valour thing, sort of?
    We strolled in the wind and wet.

  2. At least it stayed dry for me, for both little outings.

    The hills I didn't go up will, I'm sure, still be there on future trips, and being so close to the A9, we're likely to pass close by again before too long.