#3: TGO Challenge 2008 Part 3: Kingussie to Braemar

Part 3 of my journey across Scotland. After a lively night in Kingussie where I would eat way too much and not drink enough I would drag myself back to hiking around 10:00AM. I should have splurged and bought some eggs and made an omelet for myself in the hostel's kitchen. Live and learn. Over the next 3 days I would hike about 52 kilometers to reach the town of Braemar. The Bulk of that hiking would be on the second day and if it hadn't been for that day the hike itself would have been rather dull. Should I hike between these two town again I hope I can find a nicer route to the western edge of River Feshie.

But the hike had many high points including my time spent at Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy with numerous other Challengers. My brief visit to Ruthven Barracks was also enjoyable though I should have spent more time there. Mar Lodge was also a very pleasant surprise and I am glad I learned of it from Russ.

From a hiking standpoint the high point has to be the walk across the Feshie watershed through the southern marches of Cairngorn National Park. Being able to do that with other made the trek much easier but I'm sure I would have made my goals had I gone across alone.

Places I stayed at:

I was able to snag a room at Mar Lodge. The room cost about £15 and was quite posh with the notable exception of the gross teapot. The building has extensive kitchen facilities as does the bunkhouse where many other Challengers were staying. If you know you are going to stay here you could, as some like Laura and Mary Ann, mail food to the lodge and prepare yourself a fine meal or two. It's a fascinating place, not to be missed.

I managed to locate a room at the Callater Lodge. It was what was available and I think the rate was around £35 for the night. While I've no doubt I could have saved plenty of money staying at the hostel I was happy where I was. But if I pass through again and make reservations ahead of time perhaps I'll try the hostel and save £20.

Sites of interest:

You can find some of my trip journals for this trip at A Wandering Knight Blog. Other journals and much more at my main personal site.

The official site of the TGO Challenge.

Direct download: 3_part_3_Kingussie_to_Braemar.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:16pm EDT

#2: TGO Challenge Part 2: Fort Augustus to Kingussie

Part 2 of my journey across Scotland. From Fort Augustus my original plan was to do an overnight hike across Corryairack Pass and then along the paved roads to Kingussie. That's a trek of about 58 kilometers with the major ascent and descent coming the first day with the climb and descent of the pass. Instead I decided to take a more relaxed approach and do the segment over two nights. This would make for hiking days about approximately 21, 12, and 18 kilometers respectively. This would yield wonderful benefits in the amount of time I was able to spend immersing myself in some of the more social aspects of the Challenge.

Places I stayed at:

I did not get a room at Monadhliath Hotel (near Laggan) but slept next door inside the ruins of the old church. I probably could have stayed at the bunkhouse down the road but by the time I learned about that and went down there I decided it wasn't worth shifting camp. Relaxing in the dining room of the Monadhliath Hotel chatting with the other Challengers over dinner and drinks was a real treat. This is a place I would definitely visit again.

In Kingussie I stayed at the Tipsy Laird Hostel. The access to the pub was fantastic and the food there was plentiful and tasty. And while my shared room was certainly adequate and I can't complain about the price I was less than thrilled with the lack of a towel (maybe I could have gotten one somewhere) and the so-so shower stall. Kingussie has many places you can stay so I expect that if I return Ill stay someplace else but still eat at Tipsy Laird.

Sites of interest:

You can find some of my trip journals for this trip at A Wandering Knight Blog. Other journals and much more at my main personal site.

The official site of the TGO Challenge.

Direct download: 2_part_2_Fort_Augustus_to_Kingussie.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:50pm EDT

#1: TGO Challenge Part 1: Dornie to Fort Augustus

Part 1 of my journey across Scotland. From Dornie I will travel 3 days across about 76 kilometers to reach Fort Augustus. My introduction to the Scottish Highlands would not start out as smoothly as one would hope for but as time went on things would fall into place and the adventure would really begin.

Places I stayed at:

Loch Duich Hotel, Dornie, Scotland is where I would start my TGO Challenge from. This is one of several lodgings in and around Dornie. I picked it mostly because I knew it was the sign-out point for the Challenge and that seemed as good a reason as any. While a handful of Challengers stayed here many stayed at other locations around town and were just as happy.

Cougie: This was a remarkable place to stay. I had only thought I'd be stopping for tea and a scone but managed to snag a bed in the 4-bed cabin. Great food, conversation, and good times were had by all. I'd definitely go again.

Caldonian Hotel, Fort Augustus: This was the first place I learned of that had room for me when I arrived in Fort Augustus on that rainy late afternoon. Very posh for my about £40. Had a luscious dinner there too. The hotel staff are exceptional.

Sites of interest:

You can find some of my trip journals for this trip at A Wandering Knight Blog. Other journals and much more at my main personal site.

The official site of the TGO Challenge.

Direct download: part_1_Dornie_to_Fort_Augustus.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:04pm EDT


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