[Trail blog is here]
We headed out from Kingussie after a late start at 10am. Taking advantage of the local shops to stock up on camping gas and blister supplies. Lynn’s blisters have been responding well to "Compeed".
We hit the road at 10am and headed back out of Kingussie passing by Ruthven barracks. Wonderful ruins that are still mostly intact. They were built in 1715 by the English to quell the Jacobite uprisings. After the battle of Culloden the Scots captured and burned them down. The site is still very well preserved. We saw some very hairy cattle here and were told they were "highland cows" by the farmer – we’d seen patches of long fur on the trails yesterday and had wondered what kind of animal it came from. Lots of sheep here – it’s very obviously lambing season in Scotland.
After hiking through several forests, we finally headed out into open country on our way to Glenfeshie. The hills here are beautiful with lots of streams and rivers. We had a great lunch of "German flat rye/linseed bread". It’s very compact and tasty but has a tendency to fall apart if squished.
Lynn’s hands have been badly blistered from the sunshine the past few days. She’s in a much better mood tought with the blisters feeling much better compared to our yomps of the past three days. Today’s walk is much shorter so we’re feeling better physically and mentally. Apparently her new Bridgedale liner socks are working pretty well.
Note: hiking roads in walking boots is a bad idea. Lynn had brought Crocs along as a second pair of footware. While these are great for camp at night, they aren’t much use for road walking. Next time she’ll bring a set of trainers and boots since the trainers can serve dual purpose. I was doing fine with my Innov8 318GTX shoes.
On the trail today we bumped into Russ Manning, a jovial fellow wearing a black kilt. He says he likes the feel of the fresh air . Also bumped into Des and a new face – Adrian. Walked with them up to the Ruighaiteachain Bothy (NN847928) which was fantastic. The bothy has a nice water source and a flush toilet! There were a bunch of mountain bikers here with baby burly trailers. Hardcore group! Lynn walked to them for quite a while. Someone said they’d seen Gordon here but I wasn’t so sure…
We stopped at the bothy for some Miso soup and oatcakes. Russ had this amazing wonder cream called Biofreeze which is a cold pain relieving gel. Worked wonders on my knotted left shoulder. Need to get some. The weather for tomorrow didn’t look very good. Since we’d made the Bothy by 2pm, we decided to push on with a smaller group (Des, Russ, etc) and head up Glenfreshie to a better camping spot. The walk up the glen was nice with a bit of a "goat scramble" through one section where there’d been a landslide. From here the walking was superb following the river as it meandered up the valley floor.
Camping here with shelter is pretty sketchy but Russ has mentioned a great little camping spot in a depression further up the valley about another 8km on. We headed up and found three Akto’s already in place and a tarp. Wonderful little spot, felt like a little valley with a good stream and lots of places to "do the business" in privacy. We nick-named this spot "The Amphitheatre" – it’s located at NN887891.
Distance today was 21km making 150km to date
On to day 8