Tuesday, 8 May 2007

DAY 69: Toman Biorach to Bridge of Awe

Today: 20.4 miles
Total so far: 1018.4 miles
Percentage completed: 61.0%


(Click map to enlarge)

I packed everything inside the tent and dropped Wanda between stormlets. It was 6:30am and pretty nasty out there, so two coats were donned with the hood done up tight, with over-trousers and waterproof mitts as I headed off into the clouds to climb the very sodden bealach that would take me north west over to Dalmally on the Main Road.

(Toman Biorach, early morning)

It was very hard going over bog and tussock and my boots were soon full. It took an age to get to the top, but it all cleared as I got there and I had only to follow the pylons down to a forest track that would get me to to tarmacadam.

Following the pylons down was actually harder than the climb up to the bealach as the ground was an oozing morass of bright green bog, tussock and little rocky drops.

To cap it all, after struggling down and at last hitting the track, I met an awfully refined English Gent in Barbour and wellies with a big hunting dog a good hundred yards in front of him. After it had raced up to me had half barked and growled me to death and I had growled and barked back for a seeming age, when the gent finally strolled up to the melee I was told it was all down to my beard; “the dog always did that to chaps with beards.”

Well that's all right then! I won't take it personally... Not a hint of an apology. I should have thumped the upper class oaf.

However, this is the new Laid Back Al, here, and so I told him all about my walk and how this was Day 69 and all the upper class twit had to offer was " I am sorry you have had to walk so far"...

Inbreeding will do for them eventually.

So I made it down to the road, knackered and wanting more than anything to make sure I got to Oban to have a Rest Day, so I had a change of plan and legged it down the road to Cruachan Visitors centre, where the wonderful Joy promptly donated a fiver.

Refreshed with a coffee, coke and pear and a touch of human kindness I made it to the first hotel down the road. It is wonderful here - it seems to be run entirely by Aussies, but they have it spot on.

The Rev Albon rang me just before I arrived to enquire after my well being - and so I assured him I was okay, if a bit knackered and back on track.

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