TGOC2011 – Day 4 – Drumnadrochit and Ault na Goire

Refreshed after a good night’s sleep and a cooked breakfast at the campsite, I set off for Drumnadrochit and the ferry across the Loch.  This was the only day on my crossing on which I had a deadline to meet, ie the 5pm ferry, and it remained a nagging worry at the back of my mind all day.

Somewhere around NH360295, I saw these interesting stones.  It was not obvious if they were simply memorial stones or if they were grave markers, although I suppose there are rules about where burial plots can be placed.






I stopped to have a look at the Corrimony chambered cairn and walked past the tidy little church a short way past.

The forest, along the south side of Glen Urquhart, had wide tracks which mainly matched my OS map.  However, it also had many other paths and tracks which were not on my map and I wasn’t really sure of the best way to get down to Drumnadrochit.  With hindsight, I should have looked at the Forestry Commission Scotland website before I left home.

5pm was getting nearer but I did not seem to be getting any closer to Drum.  Eventually, I saw a message scratched into the track “<– TGO DRUM” so, based on the belief that no Challenger would play a cruel joke, and without even stopping to take a photograph of the message, I headed down that track and three-quarters of an hour later I was in Drumnadrochit with an hour to spare before the ferry.

Of course, Drum was full of Challengers and the food shop was getting low on fresh supplies.  I stocked up on bread and cheese for dinner and bought some crisps and pop to replenish the energy I’d used that day.   As I’d been rushing all day, I’d not really been looking after myself and felt quite exhausted.  I also had the start of blisters on both heels, but tape soon sorted them out.  I really don’t like deadlines…but I would have missed a cooked breakfast if I’d set off any earlier in the morning!

Waiting for the ferry at Temple Pier, I chatted with the other Challengers and started to think about changing to my Foul Weather Alternative and going up the hill to Sutherland Croft with everyone else.  It had been quite a tiring day and the thought of a cup of tea and a guaranteed camping pitch was very attractive.  By the time we reached the other side of the Loch I’d made up my mind and, despite the uphill trudge, was so glad I had.  Janet was waiting for us with a huge pot of tea and a tin of biscuits.   I had at least three mugs of tea while we sat around chatting and heard how The Wake for the Wild had set off from there the day before.

I hadn’t intended to stay at Ault na Goire, so I hadn’t asked Janet if she would prepare me my evening meal.  However, she very kindly rustled up a three course dinner which was delicious.  Alex and Janet’s hospitality was so warm and generous and helped me recover from a tough 20+ mile day.

Yes, of course it was raining again by the time I went to bed, but I didn’t mind anymore.

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