TGOC 2016 – Ardrishaig to Tyndrum (Days 1 to 3)
Day 1 – Ardrishaig to Near Inveraray
Well, this was number 11.
It was going to be a different sort of trip.
Sort of slightly hardcore
After the social events of last year, this time I was going to go with martin, and we were going to do a few tops.
If weather and plans permitted, that would mean 27 Munro or Corbett hills between coasts.
OK, in Scotland in may, that was unlikely with the potential weather, and as it works out it didn’t happen. But heh….21 ain’t half bad.
After a sedate trip up, that did not involve excess alcohol, what with Sloman and Lambert going on the earlier train, we had eventually arrived at Adrishaig, a pleasant town as far south as one can currently start, and on a clear day, with views of Aran.
Settled in Hotel, we went for a wander round and then whilst Martin snoozed, I went for a lie on the grass outside. It was a warmish day. I dozed off, and was awoken by the tide splashing me with spray.
Time to move
A pleasant night in the pub, and a good meal, it was soon time to wake, sign out and head up the road.
The walk starts along the canal behind the town. I pleasant tow-path walk missing out a a chunk of road.
Back onto the road for a bit and then eventually off onto tracks
Dipping toes in the sea, and then off along the TOW Path out of town
Through Lochgilphead, the path then picks up the track NE out towards the rifle range. This was not in use obviously.
The track all the way is easy going, until you get to the small section just before the bothy.
At which point, the bloody tracks go everywhere, we went too low and had to cut back up by the clearing.
You then have to figure out where the track???? should go into the forest. Pretty much over a sodding great tree when we were there this year. Then, work out whether to walk through twigs, branches, gorse, spiky itchy shite and all manner of nasty things that look like they have escaped from a sleeping beauty cartoon, and I don’t mean the nice things, I mean the nasty wiggly things that fall down into your shirt, and make their way by some dubious and prolonged journey, into your underpants about a day later.
Or plunge your feet into nasty stinky forestry bog puddles.
So, we did both…
About 800 – 1000 m of nasty climbing shite
And then there was the bothy, and we stopped and had a break for lunch sort of.
|Not much wind about then.|
During the time at the bothy, I must have put my little Cuben bag (only a small one for bits and Bobs) onto something nasty.
How do I know.
Because later on that evening when I took it out of the rucksack, it had dissolved at the bottom.
Luckily, just this one bag.
Because the inner of my rucksack is sodding Cuben.
And the outside is Cuben Hybrid
Dissolving your bloody Rucksack on day 1 would be a major bloody disaster
We carried on after the short break, past the fallen trees, not forestry, but blown down by wind.
After this the track carries on, and on, and on, via the views of the magnificent SNP supported pile of shite that is the Wind farm.
I took no pictures of them.
We carried on and on and on and on.
It goes on a bit, a lot, too much, until eventually you can drop down to the road and do the last few kms into Furnace.
Furnace has a small shop at which we got some drink because the one problem with this bit of the route is nowhere to get water, despite the crossing of small streams, the huge windfarm tracks means that the flow is next to poor, and anyway, they are all nasty and full of grot.
At least they were when we went.
And then there is the PUB, marked on the map with PH, which stands for Probably History since there is no pub 😦
We walked on, and on, and on, looking for a place to hide two tents.
Too steep, too wet, too overgrown
I have this mental capability to just suck it up and crack on, regardless of fatigue.
It can be helpful…
Today was day to crack on….
NOT the sort of thing you really ought to do on day 1 of the TGOC.
Definitely NOT if you haven’t done this madness before.
It was getting dusk.
The wind had died down
Bloody MIDGES were starting to come out.
We had a rest.
At one point Martin went to ask if we could use a small field behind a house.
It would have been OK, but the ground was crap and uneven, and anyway it wasn’t that late yet in my head.
Just the ****ing midges
We went on a bit further, almost at the end of the loch.
A few kms shy of Inverary
As luck would have it, we found a small flat bit.
People had been there before.
A bit to close to civilisation than is ideal.
The previous two places had been too grotty with rubbish.
This one was bit twiggy, but moving the twigs, we got too pitches in hidden in the trees by the lock.
We had enough water
If it hadn’t been for the ****ING MIDGES, it would have been perfect.
Annoying bastards, I could feel them in y hair.
Just a small bit of breeze off the loch and they would hopefully bugger off.
But tents up and brew on it was time to get some rest.
It had been a long day.
Midges aside, the views were lovely.
Tomorrow we would start to get into some proper hills.
We were already half a day ahead of schedule
|MLD Shelters Rule|
Could have maybe had a snifter or three, but martin was now inside his tent.
No socialising tonight.
Music and Book on the phone.
This years phone was a smaller Huawei P8 Lite.
Pretty good bit of kit for £79 + a 64GB Memory card
OK camera, but I was carrying the Fuji X20
Music, Kindle Books, Films, BBC I Player radio 4 Downloads, GPS, Viewranger & Maps (just in case), hey, it even made phone calls and texts.
I know imagine using it as a phone eh. Bonkers…
All that said, I missed my Note 2. Would have kept it if the bloody thing did 4G and had Android 6.
Cracked this year, and bought a refurbished Note 4 with 128GB card and spare battery.
That will be it for 2017 + a Gopro Hero 4 (not taking a big camera, I’ll leave that to Ian C)
Anyway… That’s enough of day 1 I have a film to watch and a snugly Enlightened Quilt to get into..
Oh.. I might have a small dram, be a shame not to.
Night Night…. See you in the morning 🙂
Day 2 Somewhere we didn’t mean to be to somewhere else we didn’t mean to be
Near Inveraray to near Ben Lui
We were booked into a Hobbit hut.
There was discussion of heading straight into town.
But after a slipped on the kerb nearly turning my ankle after all that walking (yes, it happens when you don’t expect it), and because we really didn’t want to lug gear into town, we popped in to see if we could book in early. Actually, to see if we could book in at all, what with being a day early.
Well, as luck would have it, Ali had done us proud, and in no time flat we had a key and had dumped our stuff in the Hobbit house, met John, had a chat, and we were ready to head into town.
We need a drink, and some sun cream to name but two things
We headed to the Green Welly Shop, where we had caffeine and lunch, bought so bits and bobs, and then went next door to the Tyndrum Inn for a beer. It was still seriously warm, nay hot. I think it was only the one. Might have been two.
Eventually we made our way back to the hut for a good kit sort out.
Later that evening, heading back into town with Jeremy for a meal back at the pub.
And a mighty good fish supper it was too. Or something.
Long and good chinwag with Mr Burrows and all too soon it was time for bed.
Today had been a short day. The first.
Tomorrow we were back to another LONG day.
Maybe longer than we first thought, and some gnarly Corbett’s.