I could have taken a minor road all the way to Killiecrankie but I did not want to go through Blair Atholl as I’d been there in 2014 and it was too soon to repeat it. Instead, I went S out of Struan and then cross country to Tomaraid where I should be able to pick up a path to Killiecrankie.
After apologising to an old chap for tramping through his front garden, I found this pleasant track through the woods..
… then, once again, set off on an easterly bearing across the moorland.
I think the pimple to the left of this picture is Tulloch Hill. At first the going was rough….
I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to get to Killiecrankie. I’d heard that some bridges were closed, so it was with a certain trepidation that I headed downhill and hoped I wouldn’t need a long diversion.
I passed a walled private graveyard for the Stewart family (at NN 892637, I think, but it took a lot of studying of aerial photos when I got home to be certain).
Passing through a farm onto the minor road I was adopted by a lame lamb bleating woefully. It forced its way through a gate and hobbled towards me. There were several other sheep in the farmyard but there was no sign of any people and I’m not sure where its mother was. I knew that the lamb could get through the gate that I had to go through onto the road but I did not want it to stray too far from the flock, so I went through as quickly as I could then ran along the lane until I couldn’t hear the bleating anymore. I’m not sure if this is rational behaviour but it seemed reasonable at the time.
The River Garry was looking a bit full …
The Killiecrankie Visitor Centre was a blessing. As well as interesting displays about the history and wildlife of the area there were benches, toilets, and hot & cold drinks for sale. I ate my packed lunch accompanied with a coffee and a bottle of pop.
I’d seen the sign to Ben-y-Vrackie on my way to the Visitor Centre so the navigation was now easy…. I just followed signs all the way. I knew that several Challengers would be going over Ben Vrackie but that was not my intention. I knew that Alistair had been up there the day before and I wondered if any other Challengers would be looking down on my campsite.
The ground around Loch a’ Choire was rough, boggy and – worse of all – very midgey. I wouldn’t be able to camp here. I pressed on to the E end of the loch where there was a bench to rest on. Looking at the map and the lie of the land I hoped I’d find somewhere suitable if I followed the burn SE towards the next lochan. By 7:30pm I had my tent up between the main burn and a fast-flowing rivulet draining the recent rain. I placed a few rocks to try to discourage the water from flowing through my tent if there was heavy rain in the night….. but, thankfully, there wasn’t.