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 14 May 2009

Day 7 - Tummel Bridge to Blair Atholl

Thursday 14 May
Distance: Haven't measured it yet

The cold nose as I awoke this morning told me that it had been a chilly night and that was confirmed when I popped my head out to the tent to see everything covered in frost. As enticing as it was to stay in my nice warm sleeping bag, I was also on a mission to get to Blair Atholl early so that we could get chores done and still have a nice relaxing afternoon.

Our route today was not as planned. I've a feeling that the planning may have been undertaken after a couple of glasses of good wine, as when we looked at the map last night a much nicer looking route jumped off the page at us, which also proved to be more direct. So, instead of forestry tracks this morning, we were mainly on open hillside, with just a bit of forestry (on a grassy (often boggy (sometimes very boggy)) path) thrown in.

Not only was it a very pleasant walk, with stunning views under yet more fine skies, but the directness of it also meant that our mileage was reduced, and so we found ourselves arriving in Blair Atholl at just noon - with plenty of time not just for chores but also for a sit-down cooked lunch. Pity that the checking in at the campsite proved to be such a ridiculously complex process. I don't think they're used to backpackers (and we're fully anticipating a telling off later for having ignored the rule about which direction your tent must face; we've faced it according to the rather brisk wind in contravention of their strict rules).

The exciting news about the morning was that I walked the first 40 minutes without any pain in my poorly toe, and although it protested a bit as we walked along the road, it settled down as we started on grass.

Even better, Vic excelled at the challenge I set her on Tuesday lunchtime, when I sent her a cryptic and somewhat curt text message from a hilltop asking her to get a pair of very thin X-Socks to reach me in Blair Atholl today. Despite the campsite initially telling me otherwise, the socks were here awaiting me - which means that Mick can now have back his sock that I've been wearing for the last three days. Having experimented with all of the socks we have between us, it was the only one that was comfortable on the sore toe.

(typed on a blissfully-large keyboard on the campsite computer, which is a pleasant change after the tiny keyboard of my blogging device - but I'm out of time now...)

1 comment:

  1. Strange to think we were only a few days appart on Ben Lui. I cycled from Dalrigh and ascended by the ridge in full snow. There is a section of about 150ft that is very exposed including a Grade 1scramble, and with the snow this was quite frightening. Steps had to be kicked up a 20ft snow bank to get onto the summit plateau. I went on to do Ben a Cleibh, came back to the col and skirted right round the lower slopes of Ben Lui. There was no way I was going back down that ridge!

    Your pics and writing are making me somewhat envious and I'm determined to get back up there asap. You are going very well - I am impressed. By the way I've spent today setting up my own blog.