“I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean
But I shall be good health to you nonetheless
And filter and fibre your blood.”
— Walt Whitman
May 13, 2014
Fort Augustus (Loch Ness) to Glen Markie
The climb up into the high Monadiath Mountains was steady and long on an improved dirt road. For most of the day we followed this road through miles of sub-alpine tundra covered with thick peat and water. These were the dreaded peat bogs that I have heard stories of hikers losing shoes, getting stuck, or just being frustrated walking a zig-zag line just to navigate through them. We were thankful for the road!
This area also has been developed into a maze of water dams and reservoirs to generate electricity. Interestingly there are many sheep living amongst this vast expanse of miles and miles of peat and water. Crazy.
The air today was crisp and cold with intermittent rain and the sky was spectacular with wonderful cloud formations.
We broke early for dinner on the estate of an abandoned mansion that is now a ruin. After dinner we headed up Glen Markie Burn to one of the old stone ruins and pitched for the night with 3 other challengers. We are beat and sore after miles of walking on a dirt road .
One of the unique things about the TGO Challenge is the opportunity to meet hikers from all over the world. Everyone is so kind and friendly, with an energy for life. We are now meeting challengers off and on all day all with different paths.
I should mention a bit about our gear and how things are working. So far everything is working perfectly and we have used everything in our packs. We are loving having the umbrellas for instant downpours and rain, especially at lunchtime. It just happens that just as soon as we sit down in nice sunlight, a dark cloud appears overhead and minutes later we are donning our rain gear. Oh Scotland!