Today: 20.0 miles
Total so far: 1054.1 miles
Percentage Completed: 63.1%
(Click map to enlarge)
A sensible start from Oban Youth Hostel (a magnificent affair) as St Columba's Cathedral struck nine o'clock and we tumbled into town to stock up on fresh pies, bread & cheese for the day's lunch.
I was walking with the Rev, and Sam Hackett, a Challenge stalwart whose legs could easily hold up professional snooker tables. We fairly scampered along with all the enthusiasm of first-timers and within no time were at the parting of the ways with The Rev, who was heading for the fleshpots of Taynuilt. Sammy and I followed the railway up and over on an easy going track to Connel, where we hunted out a good hotel for a silver pot of coffee and platefuls of quality biscuits.
A grandfather clock in the corner of the room rang the quarter hours with a deep melodic chime. The place was a time capsule. The hotel could have been the Officers' Mess for aircrew - you almost expected Tubby Grimshaw to burst through the door, flying scarf at a jaunty angle, exclaiming that Spiffer Wilson had bought it over the Channel, but he had bagged three Jerries on the way down.
All good things come to an end though, so we hoisted our rucksacks and headed back along the road to the Connel Bridge - an engineering tour-de-force and waited to view the Falls of Lorne, which did not materialize as the tide was coming into the loch.
The afternoon was spent sampling an '83 Port Ellen and a fine Glenmorangie at various halts on the north shore of Loch Etive. The weather held out and we made the bothy at 5:30 to pitch the tents amongst the midges and dive into the bothy to make supper.
We joined Colin, Andrew and Jeff, who were already there (cf 'Police Squad')
Not a bad start to the year's RAB TGO Challenge.