Distance: 24km, ascent: 956m
OK the write-up for today is going to be difficult. This really was the most depressing day of my backpacking life. However, it started well enough. After a good night’s sleep, I had a fine breakfast at the Bank House B&B. After having a chat about camper vans to Sue and Ian, I packed my rucksack and I was off.
I wasn’t sure where the path led to so I returned to the road (a mistake as it led all the way to Glen Doe, but it’s not on the OS maps yet). Eventually I reached the reservoir road and the gatehouse. I dutifully reported to the guard and trekked up the track.
A little further on I met a lady walking her Jack Russell (Daisy) and we had a little chat about dogs. It took about an hour to reach the green hut, where I took a break and had something to eat. It was getting quite sunny, so I applied some sun tan lotion as well.
The first inkling of how bad the next few hours were going to be was when I saw the works compound. At the entrance there was a security guard. I had a pleasant chat with him and he kindly gave me some water (a bit of a life saver as it was getting hot and there were limited opportunities for water once on the construction site). It is worth mentioning that all the workmen and women I met were all very courteous as were the drivers of the various vehicles.
I could have a bit of a rant here about the destruction of this wonderful piece of wild land but what’s the point? The pictures convey some of the story, but actually it’s even worse than the pictures. When I planned the route, I had hoped that the construction work would have barely started but as you can see it was in full swing. I knew it would be bad but it was shocking to see the devastation. Once I was past the substation building works, the landscape opened up and I followed the track to the Chalybeate Spring.
In front of me I could see another backpacker, but I didn’t catch up until I was at the spring itself. It was Sandy, who I’d met on the Challenge a couple of years ago. It was nice to see a familiar face and have a chat.
We selected our respective camping spots and pitched our tents. After my evening meal, Sandy came over for a quick chat and then I turned in for the night. The weather forecast was good for the next day, so I had high hopes that I’d finally be able to do a couple of Munros.