This was my first full day off road so it promised to be the best day yet through some more challenging terrain and a decent hill to get over.
There had been a light frost overnight and it was still a bit chilly when I set off with clear blue skies overhead. Nevertheless I went for shorts and had decided to carry a bigger bag with my tent, sleeping bag and enough to get me through a night alone in the event that something unexpected happened. Cath had her most difficult day driving also to get through so it was wise to take some precaution. The added weight would also be good for my legs. As it turned out, something unexpected did happen – after I had set off, Cath almost stepped on an adder whilst walking the dog. Fortunately that was the only mishap.
The morning walk was long, and it seemed to take forever to get to Loch Choire, along a sand and gravel track with little change in scenery. After a lunch stop the path became more difficult as I headed rounded the north side of the Loch towards a col looming at the far end of the valley past Loch a Bheallaich. Heading for the col another walker appeared almost from nowhere – a Scottish lady called Fiona who had just come down from Ben Klibreck. We walked together and chatted for a short while before I left her behind climbing up to the pass at the top of the col. the view back down the valley was the best so far. The final 3 miles to Crask Inn were straight across a boggy moor, one of those occasions where it took again forever to get to the Inn that could be seen in the distance. The path was not always easy to follow – a good job the weather was fine. I finally arrived to find Cath there safe and sound with PJ and Betty.
The new managers at the Crask Inn were great – good beer and a friendly dog. We had another fantastic sunset setting the trees on fire and got another £15 donations to the charity. We camped on the car park opposite – a bit of a slope but I was tired enough to sleep with no problem.