Ault na Goire to Coignafern Lodge (Findhorn)
This was a bit of road but fine.
Al went up with the coffin in Alex’s car, before coming back to collect his kit, and walk up to past Errogie to the shore of the loch.
I will not go into all the details here regarding the Wake for the Wild, because that is done much much better, and with greater detail in Alan’s blog, so I will just concentrate on my take.
To be honest, the weather was similar to this year, and coincidentally, we had camped almost where the boat was to arrive on the shore.
Loch Mhor from the bank near Farraline – Taken May 2007 (too good not to include)
I waited on the far shore along with the German film crew and a few others who were gradually arriving,
Disembarking with the Coffin was also an interesting manoeuvre, but all made it ashore in one piece, and the procession began (with a few pauses for photo’s) up to Farraline, where local folk were assembled.
An activity that 30 min ago looked like there were hardly any takers, suddenly had a huge support group.
It was here that the nice chap from The Times, who had also rowed across the loch (well a lot of it anyway) decided it would be nice to take some photo’s of us going under the bridge.
This he did, again, and again, and again, and again …. I lost count. It was a lot.
In fact some people had finished their lunch by the time we finished.
So it is thus doubly annoying that none of these pictures made themselves into any papers at all, and definitely not The Times.
I was only there for the FAME, not the cause! I told Al.
and David Albon said some words and read a fantastic little poem.
If you want to read it then you can find it on Al’s Blog HERE.
Very moving, and I have to say it brought a lump to my throat, and a tear to my eye.
Nor could it be burnt on the Estate.
Bulldoze bloody great tracks over the hills.
Destroy enormous tracts of wild land.
Pour in thousands of Tons of concrete,
and make a lot of money from erecting 30+ 300′ plus Wind Turbines,
that will of course be in complete harmony and balance with nature.
If you also go up to the top hut at the end of the LRT, and look at the amount of bags of half used and discarded builders crap, it makes it even more ironic.
I don’t think that they will actually see the irony.
Too blinkered by the ££££££ signs.
I did stay nearby, but assuming it was a short few words, and then off, had a chat with Norma, and adjusted shoes (as you do).
John did go to have a look, but after about 10 minutes, with no sign of folk re-appearing, and a long way still to go, we decided to walk on slowly up to the hut at the end of the track, and stop for a rest.
So John and Norma walked on, whilst I did something that probably entailed removing stones from my shoes, because I hadn’t done this when I tightened them. I then set off, and caught them up, and we walked to the hut.
It was actually surprisingly windy on the way over the top.
They’re putting a bloody turbine up here to stand another 300′ high. Perfect for killing Eagles!
It is a nice hut, and has had wood burning stove put in it since I was last up that way.
It provided good shelter for a while.
A pity that they have left so much rubbish lying around outside.
I expect it is special ecological rubbish though.
Just as we were thinking about heading off again, Al arrived, along with other windswept folk.
Rod Ross, Bernard Forrester, and Steve Miller.
They should have been walking with Alan Hardy, but Alan was unfortunately injured and had to withdraw, and when a man with 23 crossings to his name has to withdraw, you know he was in trouble.
Rod and Steve in the Hut. I’m the good looking one on the right!
I knew Al would soon catch us up, once he got up to heather bashing speed.
There is no distinct path from the hut, other than vaguely East, but the terrain is fine.
There is a track of sorts that meanders all over the place, but roughly in the right direction, made by a bulldozer.
Not sure what this is for, but probably early preparation for pending wanton destruction and Wind Turbines.
John and Norma bashing Heather
Rod, Bernard and Steve after leaving the hut. (Go East young man Go east. It will become a theme)
It is just full of these wonderful little valleys
He had not taken the scenic route, he had taken the direct route, and he had taken it at pace!
He’s a man who loves his heather!
Even with Sloman in the distance, it is still a beautiful place
There are a lot of new Land Rover tracks as you try and drop down to Coignafern New Lodge, from the top. It is also very easy to follow them and get dragged off to God knows where.
Much better to stick with the stream, that definitely goes where you want to go, and also is much much prettier.
Grouse Nest by the edge of the track, discovered by John K.
He has an uncanny nose for stuff like this. I would probably have walked straight past and not noticed.
You can camp here and I have done in the past, but this time our final destination was going to be the small patch of ground by the ruins the other side of the river.
There was also a small camper van just by the bridge.
We wandered down to the bridge, and as the people were looking out of the window, a walked over to say hello. I assumed they were having a cup of tea. Indeed, that they might even be Challengers or related and offer us a cup, so being a hospitable chap that is what I did.
I have NO idea what they expected us to do.
Maybe sit down and wait for 2 hours whilst the deer crossed, so that they could watch.
“They’re Deer, they cross it every night about this time, they do it every day”
They were still there the next morning.
And do you know, the Deer crossed the river! Amazing.
As the sun went down, the rain closed in, and the wind increased in its severity.
Sadly no pictures of this, but if anyone has one or two, and would like to email them to me, then that would be great.
Rod and Co had decided to camp a bit earlier up near the Lodge (in the windy corridor), and I would meet up with them tomorrow.