TGO Challenge 2017: Day 3

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Distance: 10km, ascent: 131m

It rained overnight, but started to clear early morning. Nevertheless, it was still mainly cloudy when I packed up to go. I had decided to have an easy day and either camp at the western end of Loch Affric or maybe carry on to the Allt Garbh. Just as I was taking the tent down, I spied Dickie and Rosie walking along the path.

After a little while, I caught them up to hear Dickie’s tale of woe. Apparantly he had an episode of gout brought on by his seafood gluttony at Plockton. Oh dear! Much sympathy. Despite this and Rosie’s sore feet, we battled on. To encourage us a shower that we had endured disappeared and the sky brightened. This was better! The plan was to head to Altbeithe Youth Hostel for a cup of tea. What better incentive can you have?

We were welcomed int the hostel by the warden and invited to use a fetching assortment of slippers after removing our boots. This was a problem for Dickie as removing the boot from his gout affected foot might have meant not being able to put it on again. The situation was resolved by covering the offending boot with a black bin liner. Inside we were treated to delicious cheese scones and tea. Our arrival coincided with a group of girls who were doing the Affric-Kintail Way. One of them had a lovely dog who, unfortunately, wasn’t allowed in the hostel. While we were inside a heavy rain shower passed by. Perfect timing!

Suitably refreshed, we resumed our march. The sun was now shining, making us hot. However, the showers were still circling, so we were still in waterproofs, making it a rather sweaty walk.

As we approached Athnamulloch, we spotted a heavy shower behind us. We raced to the buildings. I tried the door of what used to be the bothy, but it was locked. We were foreced to shelter behind the outbuildings, although it was so windy that we managed to stay largely dry.

Back in the sunshine we continued to Loch Affric. Dickie and Rosie were going to Cougie, but I had to decide whether to camp at the Loch or go on a bit further. Although it was only 2:30pm, I decided to camp at the end of the loch. I bade goodbye to Dickie and Rosie, and descended to my camping spot.

Since I was last here, a hut has been built. Not surprisingly, it was locked, but it does sport a useful covered veranda. Before I pitched my tent, a canoeing party showed up for lunch. They weren’t there very long and I pitched my tent.

Later I was joined by Callum and then by a Dutch couple, Gerrard and Natascha. While we socialised a bit in the evening, it turned a bit chilly, so I turned in quite early. The weather forecast for the next day was for heavy rain, so mentally I prepared myself to do my Foul Weather Alternative route. 

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