Tuesday, 15 May 2007

DAY 73: Cadderlie Bothy to Forest Lodge

Saturday 12th May 2007
Today: 21.0 miles
Total so far: 1075.1 miles
Percentage Completed: 64.4%


(Click map to enlarge)

The midges were out in force this morning, so we packed everything up in the bothy and Sammy & I were away by 8am to follow the loch-side track up to the head of Loch Etive, where we were going to go our separate ways. The track is a bit of a switchback but we were both in fine form.

Sammy Hackett beside Loch Etive

At the end of the loch there had obviously been a bit of a party, as tents were pitched all over the shop, a garden marquee had been erected with sound gear inside, and bonfires were everywhere with groups of young professionals (judging from the cars they drove) standing about waiting for their sausages to cook. We moved on to an abandoned fire still burning - with live wood from trees in the fire, beer boxes, plastic bottles, bags; all just left for someone else to sort out.

Presumably they came here for the magnificent beauty of the place, and they were doing their very best to destroy what they had come to see.

View from climbing the bealach

I headed over the river and then headed up the hill to the bealach, with clouds and showers gathering as I slowly made my way up between two Munros to about 740m. The going wasn't too bad and with a bit of an effort I made the top at about 4:00pm as the clouds were building ominously behind me.

I squelched carefully down the steep headwall of the corrie the other side and then over its lip and down again to the shielings. It was all tussock & bog all the way down to the bridge at the bottom of the valley; very hard going.

According to my schedule, I could have camped here, but I decided to carry on to Loch Dochard to see if David had made it to his proposed overnight spot, but when I got there, there was no-one about, so I trudged on a bit to the bridge at Clashgour and met up with Chris & Anne from the Backpackers Club already camped up. It was an incredibly midgey spot so I walked on until about 8:00pm and stopped half a mile short of Victoria Bridge on a lovely bit of sheep nibbled grass for a quiet night.

So, about 10km longer than planned, but a great day.

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