Saturday, 2 June 2007

DAY 94: Garve Bridge to Ft Augustus

Saturday 2nd June 2007
Today: 17.0 miles
Total so far: 1351.0 miles
Percentage Completed: 80.9%


(Click map to enlarge)

I woke to the sound of a Mercedes sports car negotiating the gates at Garve Bridge. As the wealthy were up & about I thought it was time for the Gentlemen of the Road to join them, so was away within forty minutes, after slurping gallons of water to slake the Guinness induced thirst.

That full length Exped Mattress is really sensational as I did not wake once during the night - I know it's heavier than all the purists would have it - but 'it looks good, it tastes good (?) and by golly it does you good!' (Answers on a postcard for the Crackerjack pencils for the old advert - Cabbages for those too young to remember)

So it was to Wade's Corrieyairack Military Road. The first little bit is tarmac (hence the Merc Sports Car) but then it degenerates to a bouldery, stony nightmare, torn apart by too may 'off-roaders' over the years.

Indeed up at the Corrie itself, it becomes the course of the river, completely torn apart by the ravages of climate and four-wheeled drive Muppets that feel the need to increase the size of their manhood by driving Japanese Panzer Tanks to places where only the light footed should tread.

At the top of the pass, on the electricity 'cupboard' beneath the pylons there are indeed spray painted messages from these inadequates celebrating the fact that they have been there and had destroyed one of Scotland's pieces of military history. I hope their engines boil over and seize in the very worst of weather and the bastards freeze to death slowly and horribly - as they surely will not be able to extricate themselves from their leviathans when the snow-drifts finally subsume their ridiculous tin cans.

The furniture at the top of the Corrieyairack Pass

But apart from all that… I stopped for breakfast at Melgarve, which was strangely neat & tidy and had a largely enjoyable stroll up the pass, meeting a couple who I had met the previous evening in the bar at the Monadhliath Hotel who had already made it to the top and were now enjoying themselves photographing waterfalls and plant life. (They should have concentrated on photographing her, as she was stunningly pretty!)

I called Lord Elpus from the top of the pass as the clouds were lowering and becoming more threatening as I had a perfect 'ten' from O2 and cantered down to Blackburn of Corrieyairack for lunch, as the winds were getting more and more blustery and the sky blacker than ever.

Ft Aggie was made after a little effort (I was strangely overcome with tiredness halfway down and needed a weird rest - I must watch out for this - it came upon me suddenly) and decided I needed to get indoors for a proper rest rather than camp.

However - passing the burial ground, I met a fascinating elderly Scots couple who had emigrated to Australia many years ago and who were now researching their ancestors. They had given up trying to find a grave and were about to return to their car when they noticed they were standing next to a hardly legible stone, that turned out to be his grandfathers!

They were absolutely delighted and we spent a few moments exchanging experiences and happy times with each other.

It made my day.


  1. Big Al...
    I am no expert at beer but I seem to remember the TV adverts from the 70's...It was ,I think, Mackeson..

    As I say no expert..but I seem to remember that it was ( snd still is) a milk stout high in lactose with a bitter chocolate taste and a soft creamy head. weighing in at only 3% ABV it is a well respected little number still highly sought after around the world! pasteurised but not filtered ..Brewed originally at Hyde in Kent in 1907 and now produced at the whitbread owned brewwery in Salmesbury, Lancs.
    It is alleged to have medicinal properties and is often recommended for the elderly and infirm..(you should start drinking it right now)

    As I say no expert but please consider me for the cracker jack pencil. ( If I do get it from you it'll be the one you nicked from me when I was 7!)


  2. Hey Alan,
    Well done on your amazing adventure. It is definitely some challenge!
    Just thought I'd let you know that I ran the Race For Life today, for Grandad, and raised £120 for Cancer Research UK. I know it is a mere drop in the ocean compared to you scaling the country, but thought that I'd let you know. Good luck with the rest of the walking,
    All my love,
    Emily xx

  3. Wow Emily!!

    Congratulations, that's excellent!
    Well done.

    Lots of love
    Rachael, Auntie Lyn, Oli and Felix

  4. Hi Emily

    You are a shiny star! Well done.

    (I am on a real computer so can at last reply to comments!)


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