Tuesday 17th May, 2011
Melgarve Bothy to Newtonmore
18.4 miles 1136ft ascent
What an odd day!
I knew I’d have a big day as I hadn’t made it to Garva Bridge, but it should have been quite easy as it was a mostly level and even surface, but as I walked on, my shoulder, neck and back became more and more painful, shooting pains into my spine at times, others times just achy and horrid. It was seriously getting me down as the day went on.
The walk itself was actually quite nice. I don’t mind road walking as I do quite a bit of it on a daily basis and I find my feet quite comfortable. Except the blister, but I’ll come to that. It was quite a nice day too, not too cold and I don’t remember many showers.
Soon, David hove into view and I cried. TTS had come to my rescue. We said goodbye to Barbara and Hugh as they were staying at the Monadhliath Hotel and made our way to Laggan and the infamous Laggan Stores. I plopped down onto a bench further up the hill and continued to blub, like the pathetic heap that I am. David’s response? He force fed me. Mushroom soup, more oatcakces, Babybel, Jaffa Cakes, fruit salad and painkillers. What a star. He nagged me into emptying my Wildcat and filling his Panther and once I had it on my back, I discovered I was in much less pain. My plan of escape was disintegrating. Another Challenger stopped and offered painkillers before giving some really useful advice. I was to happen across him several times and I’m not sure, but he may have been Andrew Wright. Sorry if you weren’t!
At the Stores, we bumped into Ann and Alvar again, and Hugh and The Cowboy. After picking up a few supplies, I agreed to walk to Newtonmore to give the rucksack a far trial, David would drive ahead then walk back to meet me so that I could decide. It was really nice, even though I was strolling along a busy road, and it was even better when I met up with David and we chatted. Soon, Newtonmore came into view. I made my way to the campsite and upon arrival, decided it wasn’t for me. I collected my parcel and the lovely lady was very understanding when I decided to seek a comfy bed to rest my shoulder again.
We found the Glen Hotel and enquired after a room. The chap was a little puzzled as to why a single was required for a two people, but we explained and acquired a room. David waited whilst a kit explosion and change of clothes ensued, so that he could join me at the bar for a pint as I ate before he left me to my fate once me. My hero.
I wasn’t alone for long as Emma appeared out of nowhere and joined me. When we’d both eaten, I had to take my leave. I was suddenly overwhelmed by tiredness and had a desire for a warm, relaxing bath before bed. Bliss. My blister needed attention and I was quite concerned by the condition of my heal, so photographs were taken on the mobile and sent to TTS, Compeed were applied and I did my best to put them out of my mind as I tried to watch the news to get the weather, but had to give up to sleep. The best night’s sleep I’d had for quite a while, although still somewhat fitful.