As Covid 19 has put paid to the 2020 TGO Challenge, I am revisiting my previous crossings and celebrating what this marvellous event has brought to my life over the years.
This post looks back at Day 9 of my 10th crossing on Sunday 22nd May 2016. The original post is here.
This was, for me, a typical TGO Challenge day. The thought of food never far from my mind. A little bit of rain, with the threat of more to come. Finding amusement in the little things. Oh, and more food, of course.
TGOC2016 Revisited – Day 9 – A thin lunch at Kirkmichael followed by thick soup in Coire a Bhaile
There were no flooding disasters overnight so, of course, my dodgy bit of not-as-wet-as-the-rest-of-it patch of ground became a lovely little pitch with a nice view of the full-moon; triggering thoughts of the Werewolves of the Upper Dulnain who would hopefully have had the genial company of Challengers a few days previously.
Navigating by forest edges, once again…
As I dropped down to the road at Dalnavaid I saw a group of motorbikes heading SW. Then another group appeared …. then more and more. I started half-heartedly counting them and I reckon there must’ve been at least a hundred; it was like the Horseshoe Pass on a Summer Sunday afternoon. I’ve no idea where they were going or if, indeed, they were now coming back.
My route took me along part of the Cateran Trail. The trail logo on this stile seemed a little bit creepy as I headed into the dark woods….. here be heart-ripping monsters!
I was disappointed with the shop in Kirkmichael. It looked quite big and, superficially, there was a lot of choice but there wasn’t much for a hungry Vegetarian. The only instant pasta / noodle option was Chicken Supernoodles…. and they did appear to have chicken in them. The chill counter was full of meaty pies and pasties. There was a macaroni cheese pie but the label clearly said it contained lard; oh for a label-free macaroni cheese pie!
I bought some coffee, cake and some pop to have for my lunch and some bread rolls to take out. I realised that I’d fallen into the habit on this crossing of always buying a hot drink and a cold drink; I’d drink the cold drink first for refreshment and rehydration then have the hot drink with my meal. Sitting outside at the picnic table I wore my raincape to protect myself from the light rain. This seems to be the best use for this cape. It doesn’t work well with a big rucksack whilst walking but I’ve used it a couple of times when I’ve stopped for a break. It’s like a mini bothy bag.
It was getting a bit crowded outside the shop. A mini-bus had just disgorged a gaggle of walkers who were now chatting noisily and waiting for lifts home. I walked round to the Kirkyard from where I phoned Challenge Control. I spoke to Ali who told me that they’d just been looking at my recent blog posts and were going to put a couple of my photos up on the notice board in the Kinnaird Room. I felt like Teacher had just given me a gold star for my drawing of “What I did on my holiday by Judith aged 7”. 🙂
Heading NE up towards Ashintully Castle I was disappointed not to find an actual castle, and also by the number of Keep Out; Stay on the Path; Oi! Clear Off! Signs along the route. Although this sign …. had me giggling as I remembered this Gary Larson The Far Side cartoon:
By the time I reached Coire a Bhaile, the weather was starting to get a bit thundery and I expected to be caught in torrential rain at any moment. I quickly threw up my tent and prepared for the storm… which never came.