TGOC2009: Day 3 – Athnamulloch to Cougie Lodge
[Trail blog is here]
We woke up to find two blokes has pitched their tents in the barn! After a nice breakfast of oatmeal and dressing Lynn’s developing blisters, we pushed on for Cougie Lodge. This was an easy day for us with only 12km planned.
The walk out from Athnamulloch to Cougie follows the banks of Loch Affric which is in a stunningly beautiful location. Unlike our prior days, the weather had finally cleared and were were experiencing full on sunshine with clear blue skies. That’s more like it!
The path up from the Loch to Cougie was very muddy with soaking wet trails. Looking at the map, it appears we missed a turn which is very odd since we were following a very well worn footpath with lots of boot prints in front of us.
After climbing for a while, we hit a ridge and then traversed along travelling through commercial forest which had been felled a while back. We later learned they were replanting the forest for the native species and removing (I think) non-native spruce trees.
We arrived at Cougie before we knew it and were greeted with steaming cups of tea, scones, stew and chocolate biscuits. I was on my second brew and in pops Hamish and crew. Made for a fun hour before they headed out again. We spent the afternoon just chilling out and doing laundry. I have to say that it felt very decadent just waiting around but it was a great deal of fun interacting with the Cougie Kids and talking with Val’s nieces and nephews.
Cougie was the location of our first food drop but alas the UK “guaranteed 48 hr” parcel force service wasn’t having a good day. I did wonder about the small print “rural areas of Scotland are not guaranteed” when we’d posted it three days prior. It wasn’t too much of an issue since we’d be in Fort Augustus tomorrow and would be able to hit the shops for supplies.
By dinner time, a bunch of other challengers had appeared including Des Horan and Gordon Green. A delightful pair of characters with whom we’d spend a great deal of time with in the coming days. Gordon had a nice bottle of Scotch with him which he generously shared after dinner!!
After a nice dinner and shower we were tucked up in bed by 8am ready for an early 7:30am breakfast and the long 30km slot on to Fort Augustus.
Distance today: 12km making 43km total
Go on to day 4