Weather: Beyond brilliant - sunny with fluffy clouds and a light cooling breeze
|Day 6 Route|
I have been reading other people’s accounts of their TGO Challenges and most have one thing in common. They describe long, hard and satisfying days, with lots of hills climbed, knees injured, deep rivers in spate forded and so on. Lots of derring do. Well, here am I just pootling along and enjoying myself tremendously. Today’s walk was even less difficult than usual. But it was absolutely lovely. I must now digress. A strange modern trend is to stick the word “beyond” in front of adjectives and other words to emphasise them. I think this was invented by young people. It seems to my pedantic brain a strange thing to do, but then I am a beyond grumpy. So I shall now show that I can get down with the hip young things and say that today was beyond perfect. So suck on that one Lou Reed. Your day might have been just perfect. Mine was better.
|Leaving Phones on the Old Military Road|
After a bit of a faff to cross the A9, I walked up to Phones on a tarmacked track. Microsoft spellchecker insists that it is tarmacked and not tarmaced which is beyond irritating. And then the loveliness began and continued unabated for beyond 10 kilometres. This was directly thanks to General Wade, and indirectly thanks to Bonnie Prince Charlie. So my special thanks go to the General for building his military road; and also to that Bonnie Prince for rebelling and causing the need for the Hanoverians to move their troops about.
|General Wade's Road|
|A good spot for elevenses|
At the end of this beyond 10 kilometres I had to find a way in to Kingussie which involved crossing the A9 again, then crossing back under it through an underpass, and then crossing back over it by a bridge. You can cross the A9 too many times in my opinion. In between these crossings I had a wander around the Ruthven Barracks and saw Allen and Fran again, heading off into the Feshie. Yes, I did feel beyond guilty because it was only lunchtime, and I was now heading for a B and B, but this is supposed to be a holiday and at least I carried my pack ALL THE Way and didn’t walk down to the sea on the west coast without it. It is rumoured that others did, and think that masses of bog hopping and heather trotting and Munro jumping and stuff, and walking faster than a very fast fast person makes up for this basic lapse - you know who you are, Johnboy ;-)
|A tree by a river|
Then a strange thing happened. Who should be walking out of Kingussie as I headed in, but Ronald and Sybren, the cool Dutch guys. Now these two had always seemed rather friendly, but as I started to greet them they both raised a hand high above me and I have to admit that for one moment I thought I was going to get a couple of good smacks. How had I offended them? Then I realised what was happening. They were doing that thing that the Americans invented, where you put your hand in the air and slap somebody else’s hand whilst giving off a high pitched “whoop”. I think it is called a ‘High Dive’. Anyway, I didn’t want them to think that we British can’t be good fun, so I smiled and raised my hand to first Ronald and then Syvert and gave a couple of whoops, and I might have shouted something like “God digit, man” in an over excited voice. In short, I generally let my stiff upper lip loosen for a whole embarrassing three seconds. Sometimes I can be beyond cool.
It being too early to get in to my B and B, but beyond lunchtime, I sat on a picnic table and had a late lunch. Primula on wraps, if you really want to know. By now it was beyond 1.20pm so I went to the outdoor shop to buy gas. Well I would have done, but it was half day closing at the outdoor shop. It had closed beyond 20 minutes earlier. Then I remembered that last year it had also been closed on the Wednesday afternoon, and that had made my Thursday start later as it doesn’t open until 9.00am. This is TGO Challenge week, when Kingussie has lots of Challengers arriving on the Wednesday afternoon. The following morning the shop opened promptly at 9.10am (the use of the word “promptly” is me being ironic). I mentioned the half day thing. “Oh is it the Challenge this week? I thought it was next week”, said the shop assistant. Strangely, that is exactly what she had said last year.
Nothing else to report, except James Boulter failed to show at the Tipsy Laird, him being in the Outer Hebrides. Or it may have been the Inner Hebrides. This was disappointing as it is a Challenge tradition that James and I dine at the Tipsy Laird on the Wednesday of the first week. It started in 2013. Not to matter, because just as I was doing my Billy No Mates impression , John and Norma Keohane arrived which was a real bonus because they make me beyond smiling.