Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Day 5 - Fort Augustus to Melgarve Bothy

We didn't find Nessie, but what an unbelievable day today!

We had a great sleep last night at the Kettle House B&B. Breakfast this morning was eggy toast, plus all the fixings. It was a delicious way for us to fuel up for our largest total ascent day of the trip.
We had to go over the Corrieairyack Pass which in itself is about a 650 m climb. This would have been tough regardless, but the sideways rain and the relentless wind gusts made it very challenging. There was really nothing to do but put your head down and keep walking. Getting warm would have been impossible, and stopping for food would have been pointless. We had to dig down for this part of the walk - it was a very challenging couple of hours. Once we got down the other side the wind let up, and the rain eventually stopped. It was a relief about 6 km later when we saw Melgarve Bothy, with smoke coming out of the chimney.

Our first Bothy experience has been really cool. There are about a dozen people sleeping here tonight. We have had many funny and interesting conversations. One group of three friends made arrangements with another friend to meet here. The fourth friend is not on the Challenge so he brought steaks, potatoes, black pudding, cigars and whiskey for all of them. It was so fun watching them prepare their feast using the fire place and camp stoves. We played a game of "What celebrity have you met in your life." Mine was Gene Simmons, Mandy's was Huey Lewis. Prince Charles was the overall winner. We were educated on Brexit, cricket, Scotland, the Challenge, and a few other topics that probably are better left unmentioned. It's clear that there is a lasting friendship formed between repeating Challengers, and it was neat to see that. All in all it was a great night to take our mind off sore feet!

Tomorrow we have a long walk with relatively small ascent, which will see us end up at Invernahavon campground. We should get showers and maybe a cold pop. That's it for tonight. We're off for a warm and dry sleep. Thanks for reading!

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