Saturday 14 May 2016

TGO Challenge 2016 - Day 1: Oban to High Camp S of Fraochaidh

I left the SYHA on a sunny morning, after signing out at around 8:30am and nipped down the steps opposite to dip my feet in the sea. A quick walk around the harbour brought me to the Lismore ferry, with 7 other challengers already on board.

After a breezy crossing of the Lynn of Lorn, we arrived on Lismore shortly before 10am. I walked up the track to Balure with Janet, with four other challengers a few hundred metres ahead of us. The first photo below is on the coastal section of the track.

I'd heard that the second half of this track could be tricky to follow, but we had no trouble today (although it wasn't always where it was shown on the map!). A road walk then led us to the very windy, and overcast, NE tip of Lismore, we the eight of us gathered in the ferry waiting room out of the wind.

A short ferry journey then took us back to the mainland at Port Appin, where two of us opted for pub lunch. The fish and chips were very tasty :-).

Soon I was on my own following the road to the Jubilee Bridge and then ESE along the cycle path for a few kilometres. It was nice to be off the road, but the path was still tarmac so I was glad when I left it to head up Gleann na h-Iola! It was good to finally get up into the hills, with excellent views back over the seascape to the SW. The track made for easy walking, except where I had to divert to avoid a large heard of very inquisitive cows!

A long climb out of the head of the glen then followed, with the sun starting to break back through the clouds. My ascent was steeper than planned due to an unexpected deer fence around newly planted woodland, but eventually I was able to contour up to the ~500m bealach as planned. The views were stunning with a now near cloudless sky! Continuing on to Beinn Mhic na Ceisich the views just got even better, with a great view of the Glen Coe hills from the summit (see photo below).

Due to the dry weather there had been little water in the burns so I opted to continue for a couple of kilometres towards Fraochaidh, where I eventually found some running water at around 8pm. Pitching in the sunshine, I enjoyed dinner of soup and pork stew before watching the sun set behind the hills of Ardgour :-)

It had been an excellent start to the challenge, although quite long at 29.5km! However tomorrow would be shorter, but with more hills.

posted from Bloggeroid

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