I picked up a copy of Trail today in Tiso whilst waiting for PTC to arrive for a catch up and some lunch.
Big Chris had text me the other day to tell me that my ugly mug was yet again in the magazine.
I joined PTC for another Trail mission of a very different kind a few weeks ago in Southerland, as usual there was a deadline, which turned out to be changed till summer next year !
The plan was to head up on Sunday 3rd of October meet up with a few special guests and hit the hills for a few days.
As we met at PTC HQ the rain was pelting it down !
I switched my kit into the PTC Chariot and we were off.
It was a bit of a change in 2 ways
1 We were not heading up the A82
2 I was not having to drive the A80 as I do on a weekly basis
We bantered away as the miles spun away we were not in a hurry as the rain continued to fall but we did have an RV to make.
It’s so easy to get caught up and lose hours in that shop so we said our farewells and hit the road.
We stopped just up the road at the Ralia Cafe which looks like it was a RSPB viewing platform but now turned into a great dispenser of yummy bacon sarnies.
Onwards again passing Inverness and then Ullapool, we were late but the skies were clearing and the hills were showing themselves off so we just had to stop for some pictures.
We were late but we were there and the sun was out as we greeted our VIP’s.
Mike Parsons and Marian had kindly waited for us and as we sorted food and kit out the feeling was up beat.
We headed North East out of Inchnadamph and followed the stalkers path up the side of the river.
The track is great underfoot and as the skies stayed clear we made good progress.
Just before the track heads North we came across a stalkers shelter and a post for tethering the pony’s too, the post also made a great stand for the camera so we could get a team shot.
It was getting late as we hit the last steep climb to Loch Nan Cuaran, looking back West the sun was getting low in the sky so it was time to get a move on to the camp spot.
We pitched the tents in the cold wind after having a wee stomp around looking for the best spot.
I decided that flat sheltered ground was my aim and compromised on the closeness to the water source.
I am getting used to pitching the Terra Nova Photon Elite it’s definitely an acquired skill but once you master it you can do it pretty quickly and more importantly get it nice and tight to reduce the flapping in the wind.
With the Neo Air in and blown up and the sleeping bag lofting I got a brew on and once the mug was full I strolled up onto the top of the hill to take in the views.
The solitude is amazing as you gaze around at the awesome Geological landscape and of course the glowing setting sun.
Back down at the tent the drizzle had started so I climbed into the tent and started boiling water for dinner.
PTC dropped a boil in the bag chocolate crepe into me as my dinner was rehydrating.
I ate my dinner and read my book for a while as the rain bounced off the tent and the shook the tent.
I drifted off in a cosy slumber and woke up the next morning to the noise of PTC lighting his stove.
I had been lazy the night before and not filled my Sigg Bottle up so I had to walk to the Lochan to get water for my breakfast and a brew.
I pulled on my PHD booties and down trowsers as well as my Barrier smock, all kit that has become very familiar camp wear over the past year.
The sun broke the ridge as I filled my bottle giving that welcome warm glow that helps start the day.
With a full bottle I got the stove on for a brew, the sound of gas roaring away always makes me smile in the anticipation of a nice cup of coffee, which seems to taste better on the hillside as the sun comes up.
I started packing everything up into the LIM 45 which surprised me a lot on this trip, I am not a big fan of roll tops but this one has a great harness and some well thought out features.
We were all packed up and it was time to move on, after a quick discussion on the route we were off into the cold wind again but hey it was dry !