TGOC Day 4 – Invermallie Bothie to Spean Bridge

Mon 14th May 2012

So it was morning, and all was well with the world (we hoped).
The forecast was for showers, but not RAIN, RAIN, RAIN.

It had however rained in the night, quite a bit, so it was with trepidation that we poked heads out to see what the level was like.
Downstairs was no longer under water although the floors were wet.
It was good enough to cook in though.

It was also safe to go outside for a Pee.
It needed to be done, it had been waiting a while.

View on the way back from a Pee.
More info than you needed really.
Hardly any water at all now.
Kit outside the bothy ready for the off

All gone.
You can see the river in the distance.
Now look at the picture below taken yesterday before the bothy was completely surrounded

Alan and Gordon just before we left.
Note that the floor is almost dry, even though last night it
had been under water.
Amazing really.

It was time for the off.
A short day to Spean Bridge, and the luxury of a B&B and maybe, just maybe a pint.

Dave was having a bit of a kit faff, which meant that Al was of course having an impatient moment.
Eventually Dave arrived, and we headed off in the suggested direction from the bothy, which in the event of high water, was right.

We looked back, and Dave had vanished again.
Ok, not appeared yet.
Not sure what he was doing.
Looking for any missing tattered remnants of his passport?
Possibly, applying leg ointment (see later)

We followed the stream, but stayed on the left rather than try and cross, and just walked up to the main LRT via the tussock filled fields.
The path in was still very very wet, and where the streams crossed it, still quite deep.

Eventually we got to the track, and with completely dry feet too.
I did not even need to use the Seal Skins Trekking socks.
As it happens, I never used them, so really I guess that was another bit of extra weight I carried all the way across for no reason yet again.

Never learn me!

Al and Gordon at the LRT, the tussock filled field we cam up, and the loch in the background.
The bothy would be just off to the left in the distance.
See, I told you I was there.

Dave finally caught up, and we headed back East along the track

The Falls from the metal bridge.
Yesterday it was just a foaming mass.
Now you could see the rocks and the trees.
Still wouldn’t want to fall in though.

We said goodbye to Gordon at the bridge at the end of the loch, and we headed off towards the museum.

The weather was better today.
Still a bit showery, but did not require full waterproofs or a wet suit as yesterday.

By the Cameron Museum

Should have taken more pictures today.
A lot of commando training took place round here in the war.
There was a camp at Achnacarry by the museum.
Also landing craft practise in Loch Lochy.

Achnacarry Castle

Commando Training
View of tomorrow from the road to Gairlochy.
Hopefully with better weather

We followed the road much of the way, although we could have used the Great Glen Way.
Just outside of Gairlochy as it started to rain, we bumped into Fred (I think it was Fred), who had been at A Chuil.
He had put his wet gear on, and we were thinking about it.
We said hello, and then he started to ask Al about Le Jog and routes.

Opening comment   “I don’t want to hold you up or get you wet but ……”

It is always the BUT word isn’t it.

The rain was getting heavier, and Al was getting wetter, and he went on.

I think after a short time, Al wanted to hit him. Not sure but probably.
We still have NO idea, why he left A Chuil 2 days earlier and was still here when he was doing Le Jog.

Eventually we got round the corner and put on wet stuff by the Telephone Box.
I say BY, Al was inside, Dave and I outside.

The Rain got heavier.

We looked for the reputed Tea and Cake room that Al had promised us

Couldn’t find it though, NOPE !

It was with MUCH disappointment that we headed on to Spean Bridge

Luckily within about ½ a mile, the sun began to break through again, and the rain stopped.
Back out of the wet gear as Al strode off up the hill.

Al can smell beer and cake at 5 to 6 miles.

We thought about taking the winding track to the right of the road.
It goes much of the way.
But after yesterday, it was very wet and boggy, and we had a lot of wet and boggy on our route plan anyway.

A bit before the Commando memorial, we stopped at a little hotel, that had a


Packs off, and inside in a flash for Coffee and maybe for some CAKE.

Al looking through photo’s

Dave was Mother

 All too soon, it was time to head on, after a short toilet trip (as you do)

We walked on to the Commando Memorial at the top of the hill

And then it was time to do the final trudge into Spean Bridge.
Find the B&B, and get stuff sorted out.

A nice shower maybe, and a sit down toilet stop. OOOHHH YES!

Which we did.


Lucky Eh!

After getting settled, putting stuff in the drying room, doing washing,
showering and much general ablution, it was time to pop out to the shop to pick up bread and stuff.

Did I mention the Supply Parcel?


Well it was there, and it had 5 days food (way too much as it would transpire),
and other things like chocolate and whiskey and Sloe Gin.

So, back to the shop where we bought bread and stuff for lunches.
Hopefully for about 4 days.
It was going to be a long haul to Braemar.
We also had to buy Cheese & Wine for the ‘Cheese and Wine’ party the next night.
Luckily, this would only need to be carried for 1 day.

Al got Red, I got White, and Dave got something.

Now, at this point we could have gone back to the B&B and sorted stuff out.

BUT.. The Commando Bar at the hotel was a lot closer, so guess which way we went.


Pints were bought, and Bar Billiards (aka Pool) was played.
I much prefer real bar billiards, but it is quite rare nowadays.

I played Dave to start with and after a slow start hit a luck potting frenzy and WON!

Then I played Al, and amazingly Won Again!

Finally Al played Dave for the LOSERS trophy .

That is pronounced ‘Looooossseeeers’

And Al Won

Now, Dave is a very competitive guy. Just a LOT.
And he had LOST 3 in a row.
Add this to yesterday and what will be revealed shorty (no photo), and we should have seen the writing on the wall.

We stayed for a while longer.
Extra beer I think.

Very important to rehydrate properly

Planned meals, checked times, and then headed back to the B&B to sort out shopping and stuff.

At the B&B we Al and I decanted our wine into platypus’s, platypi? (whatever, I gave up Latin an at 13).
Dave did not have a plastic container, just a wine bottle, but I had 1 Litre for carrying in the day, and also a 2L for camp.

I said to Dave “You can use my 2L to carry the wine for tomorrow”.

And it was at this point, that Dave came out with the prophetic words ….

“I don’t think I will be joining you chaps tomorrow!”

Err…  “But Dave, the Wine and Cheese mate”
          “You’ll feel better tomorrow after the meal, think about it”

But Dave said he had a bad swollen knee and also rather chapped inner thighs.

“I have some cream and stuff” says I, “that will probably sort it out if you rest it.”

And, it was at that point that Dave dropped his trousers and showed us.

There is NO image of this, and there never should be.

But Al and I WINCED. Oh yes

Dave’s knee was a bit swollen,
BUT his thighs were NOT A HAPPY PLACE,

As it also transpires, Dave’s trousers where a bit too canvas like and held the water too much,
and when you have big muscled legs like Dave, it cannot help, when they get wet and rub.
But, Dave also had cotton brief shreddies (it is in the name), and they had worked a treat.

Dave was shredded.

Big Time

Nuff said about that! No wonder he was walking a bit gingerly.

Apart from rest and ointment, there was not much else we could do, and we went back to the Commando Bar, at the same table, to have a meal, and continuing the all important
re hydration.

I may try and steal some pictures of this from Al if he has any.
I completely forgot to take any at all.

We spent the rest of the evening there, and as far as I can remember, at some point returned to the B&B.
I collected stuff from the drying room, and got as much of my stuff as possible together.
We made some tea (I think Dave did the tea), we turned the TV on briefly.
I think there was a TV.
No idea why we wanted to see the TV, even if there was one.

Dave was still non committal about the next day, and I felt that he probably would not go.
He had been texting home, so the writing looked like it was on the wall.

We would see in the morning

And then it was sleep

Because tomorrow was going to be PARTY DAY , regardless of Dave’s decision.

Mindy Smith (Come to Jesus)
Just so you know, I have not suddenly seen the light (Oh No, certainly not )I just like the song

5 thoughts on “TGOC Day 4 – Invermallie Bothie to Spean Bridge

  1. I am just sooo glad that you boys did not blog en route. The stress of wondering what would happen next – indeed who might survive – would have been too much.

    Off to relax and recuperate now by watching a nice fluffy film … “Deliverance” has just caught my eye …

    So, what might day 5 have in store for the three amigos? Oh no – surely not!!! 😉

  2. “Blog en route”
    Are you kidding???
    It was as much as I could do to climb into my sleeping bag before crashing out. The idea of penning prose for the world outside would have been enough to flip me over the edge.

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