TGO Challenge 2010 – Day 3 Cougie Lodge to Fort Augustus
I awoke as I did every morning to the thunderous roar of Paddy’s snoring, one of my ear plugs had fallen out in the night causing my premature awakening. Peter had recovered his wits with a solid 10 hours kip on a full stomach, later on in the trip he recalled this moment as his crux, either quit or continue. I had managed to secure the service of a triage nurse for my boots which were falling to bits at an alarming rate, some gaffa tape seemed to have fixed the problem for now.After breakfast I bumped into two fellow challengers whom I had sourced advice from for the challenge, Phil Turner and Andy Howell. Both had been passing through and had decided to stop for breakfast at the lodge. The main topic of conversation was funnily enough footwear, we shall talk more about this later.
Once back on the trail we followed Alan and Phil to Plodda falls, which turned out to be a rather cool place to visit. A wooden platform overhanging the falls gave an amazing view of the falls below, it also gave Gill a touch of vertigo which I duly took advantage of and started rocking the platform.
Today was a long day and we followed pylons all day, it was getting late in the day when I had my first outburst of the trip when I got sick of drovers roads and military roads. Paddy found this rather amusing. The last 12k of the walk I decided to storm off in front to get a bit of solitude and set my own pace, it of course meant I had to stop every 30 minutes to let the others catch up but it broke the end of the day into manageable chunks for me. Sitting on a bridge in the forests around Fort Augustus I got talking fellow challenger Shap whom we would see a few more times on the trip. He wont mind me telling you that he got lost in the forest but I saved his blushes and swore to never mention it again….until now.
When we entered Fort Augustus it was late, so I picked up breakfast on route to the campsite, Paddy described it as the biggest plate of meat he had ever seen. Anyway when we reached Stravaigers lodge it was closed, luckily Paddy knocked up the warden and we were soon relaxing inside the hostel. We headed out for fish&wips but stupidly picked the wrong chippy and got the cheap italian version that was pitiful at best. A few cold ones were sunk glad in the knowledge that we had a day’s rest tomorrow to play on the loch.