Wednesday 18th May, 2011
Newtonmore to Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy
14 miles 1174 ft
This started as a very positive, bright day. I tried, yet again to eat breakfast, but as had happened at the Kintail Lodge and Cougie, it appeared I was finding this tricky. Nerves, I think, although not the sort that was going to cause trouble, just a little natural anxiety. Doesn’t help much with the eating bit though.
When I’d stuffed all that kit back where it belonged, I settled my bill and set off for Glen Feshie. I was going to enjoy today, my first day alone again, I had hoped.
Not far out of Newtonmore, my heal was giving my grief. I had to have a Compeed faff, which was a bit of a pain and during the delay, Emma caught me up. We sped along the cycle path to Kingussie and to my dismay, took the right turn to Ruthven Barracks without first visiting the High Street to find tea and cake. Oh dear.
Onwards, over Tromie Bridge and to Drumguish before entering the woodland which had been snowbound when TTS and I were last here. The forest track was much improved and Emma and I eventually stopped for lunch in exactly the same place as the TTS and I had before, before turning the corner into the wind.
Another Challenger passed us by, cutting the corner and continuing without stopping to say hello. We were soon battling with the wind as we followed the clear, narrow, exposed path along the Feshie. We crossed the burn with ease that had bothered me before and soon, Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy hove into view. A man stood at the door, disappeared and reappeared as we got closer. It was Pat! “Water’s just boiled, help yourselves to tea!” was his cheery welcome as he manly battled to chop wood with a handleless axe.
The tea was most welcome before we explored our new surroundings. I’d heard tell of the ‘toilet’ and it was duly explored. The bothy itself had two rooms. Pat was in the second room, with a sleeping bench and the wood burning stove. We took the first room, after Emma had eventually decided not to camp outside. This had a wall of sleeping platforms and plenty of space.
We had a jolly pleasant evening, during which others arrived, all of which decided to camp. Mary and Fiona popped in to say hello, as did Bill, but, yet again, I’ve forgotten a name as there was another chap too. Oops.
The shoulder was much better today, still some pain and discomfort, but a definite improvement.