TGO Challenge 2018: Day 2 – Loch Etive to Glen Etive

A lovely fine and warm day greets me, accompanied by the sound of water gently lapping close by. Six feet away there’s a bit of loch that wasn’t there last night. I soon see, though, that it’s retreating, although this does beg the question how close it actually got to me during the night!

I pack up and as I’m doing so, I spot a package by a rock. Investigation shows it to be a brand new set of tent pitching accessories – guyline, runners, two sorts of stakes and a mallet. It’s clearly either been (a) discarded, (b) accidentally left, or (c) deliberately left as a personal gift to me. Either way it’s coming with me. Just back on the track I see a sign chastising anglers for leaving the place looking like a tip.

The walk along the track is uneventful and I soon encounter a guy I saw just before pitching last night, returning from the bothy. I’m glad I didn’t push on last night, as it seems to take ages to get there, although that is partly because on seeing the view to the head of the glen, I sit a while and get out the painting things.

Looking towards upper Glen Etive and Buachaille Etive Mor

Eventually, I arrive at the bothy and step off the track to investigate. If only for a read of the visitors book to see who’s passed through.

Cadderlie Bothy

Much of the rest of the day consists of woodland walking, first on tracks and then on an irritating undulating path, that saps the energy.

It’s a relief to emerge from the wood, and I briefly toy with an early stop lochside, but deep down I know I don’t want to start getting into the habit of stopping early each day. I make myself plow on and soon hit the road. It’s not until I do so that I realise quite how exhausting the wood had been, as I find myself steaming along the road. All thoughts of early stops now gone, aided by the sight of so many families camping by the road with pop up tents and barbecues.

So good is my progress at this late stage of the day, that I even consider pushing on into tomorrow’s walk, but this would commit me to a sizeable climb at the end of the day. Suddenly I’m less gung ho, and take a break roadside. Just as I do so, Challenger Paul Myerscough swings by, heading in the wrong direction. He tells me there’s a chap just up the road from me. Having had no company at all so far on the walk, I try to catch this chap up, which proves a simple matter as he’s crawling along. I walk with Ian, enjoying some company. He’s looking to stop soon, and it transpires that he’s looking in the same sort of spot to where I had planned. We walk down the track towards Lochan Urr together, he ultimately choosing a spot on a grassy path towards the river, me heading over to the lochan proper.

Approaching Lochan Urr

It’s a bit overgrown and boggy by the lochan, but I manage to get close to some running water to fill up and to manoeuvre myself around to a little hummock right by the lochan.

Day 2 camp by Lochan Urr
Day 2: Saturday 12 May – 24.10 km, 401m ascent


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