TGO Challenge 2010 – Day 2 / Camban bothy to Cougie lodge
An excellent nights sleep, overnight it had really belted down around 5 in the morning and when I looked out of the window the five sisters had a lovely dusting of snow across their peaks. I thought about Gerry from the previous day who was heading across them on a high route. I couldn’t help feel I was missing out by going low level.
Breakfast was served and the bothy was swept clean for the next lucky inhabitants. Today was my turn as navigator or map bitch as it came to be known. The previous day Paddy had navigated us up the wrong valley only for his blushes to be saved by a friendly farmer. Today was going to be an example of prime technical navigation using the sun, prevailing winds and ancient star charts handed down to me through generations of bush craft knowledge.
We set off through Glen Affric and slowly descended towards Loch Affric passing the youth hostel and having to cross our first river (see here), it was plain to see that our group was now split into two, the first being fearless and talented river crossers and the other being indecisive, unbalanced potamophobiacs.
With the river crossing behind us we headed into a forested area and away from Loch Affric which gave us some stunning views along the loch. As we closed in on Cougie lodge we passed a very picturesque tarn which I duly snapped. Navigating to the lodge through the deforested areas was easy for a man of my skill and before long we were trudging into the lodge to enjoy cider and beers in the warm evening sun. Peter declined the beers which worried me more than a rogue state obtaining nuclear capabilities. Several other challengers were staying at the lodge whose hospitality is second to none.
Gill had decided to get a snack but I chuckled as one of the Cougie dogs made off with her sandwich. I pitched the tent and set my Bushbuddy going, a local lad joined me and found some amusement in feeding the fire. While I was cooking Gill found the trampoline and this kept her busy while I prepared my dinner. Cooking by fire gave me great satisfaction, it chilled me out each night and made cooking fun.
Pete dined in the lodge and regained his strength that was sagging from his heavy pack. A few ciders in the warm lodge before bed capped off a great day. As I settled down for the night I couldn’t help wonder what I was going to do about a more pressing matter, the front of my hiking boot was flapping about like a Sunday league goalkeeper. Zzzzz