Needless to say that when Timmey's alarm went off in the morning various curses were to be heard but the bright sunshine help coax us out of our bags. I reapplied many plasters and micropore tape to feet which looked like the result of some enthusiastic meat tenderising but I deemed them fit enough for one more day, best not think about the driving the next day. We were quite slow in eating breakfast and packing up, mainly due to the great view, nice weather and general knackered feeling. Aidi and Lorraine came along before we set off to make sure everything was fine and as they came up the valley we treated them to a special Team Egg mexican wave which I think they enjoyed. They stayed for a chat and found some amusement in our story of the now headless trig point. The midges were out in force in the morning so much to Angela's delight the hats went on while we packed up. We left an hour late having enjoyed the morning. Looking at the route, Timmey and I remember planning it in a bit of rush and we thought at the time that it would be quite a 'challenge', it seems we were determined not to make it an easy trip. At first we simply followed a path up the valley to Loch Airdeglais, where we turned a sharp right and headed straight up the hill for yet another 300 hundred metre climb. The weather was warming up quickly which made life a bit sweaty and the clumps of heather made the going, as ever, slow.
In Team Egg style we sang most of the way and were pleased when we finally made it to the top. The song we settled on for most of the day is on the song sheet at the bottom. Sat at the top it seemed a shame to leave, and to prolong the break I took a picture of my mangled feet, just to remind myself how bad they looked. We still had a long way to go and so we set off down the valley, following Gleann Sleibhte-coire.
Coming down the hill proved to be remarkably hard work, with a hot sun and arduous terrain. Basically out of energy and feeling more than a little tired we plodded on with less songs than usual. To brighten our spirits Cerys seemed keen to show us here England underwear, which prompted a conversation about how long it was acceptable to wear underwear on expedition. It would seem that the female perspective wasn't quite the same as Timmey's and mine as we confessed to not having changed our underwear for the entire expedition, well why carry more weight than you need??
Approaching the bottom of the valley we had a nice break in the sun as we looked ahead to the next section. We were to traverse round the edge of a forest, An t-Sleaghach, until we reached the road about 1.5 km away. Didn't sound too hard. This was probably the hardest part of the four days. Heads down and survival shuffle mode engaged we started to creep round the end of the hill. If going straight down the slope had been hard work then contouring round was twice as tricky, with many obstacles to go round or over, including the inevitable deer fences. After the longest 1.5 km of my life we approached the road, only to be met by more fences, some of which we wriggled under. I'm not sure what the forest is called in English but I like to think it's something along the lines of 'bloody murderous terrain'. But at last we made it to solid tarmac.
To raise spirits a bit we had a bit of a feast on the road side as we gathered ourselves for the final 8 km. Along the road we did get a good laugh out of the sign showing the way to Hooker's leap and soon after this we met Jon and Helen who had been watching our progress down the hillside. They seemed pleased that we had got this far and were still smiling and the songs came out once again. From now on the navigation became quite simple, it was just a case of getting the mile in and making it to the finish line. With this in mind we plodded up to Loch Bearnach and cut across open ground to forest by Lochdon. At the forest edge we stopped for a break, Timmey thought that we were almost home so he summed up the mood when he realised we had 2km to with a simple comment of 'Billy b*ll*cks!'. Still the end was in sight now and we plodded on. We found a deer fence, over which someone had built a metal crossing point, which had rusted to the point where we were unsure whether it was safer just to climb the fence but we risked the metal ladders and managed it unscratched. Just after the crossing Timmey picked up a spare deer antler to take home with him, which we told Joel we had to wrestle off the deer first. Over the final couple of km we were debating how to finish the expedition, merely walking in seemed like a waste of imagination so we planned a couple of top class mexican waves. We met Helen by the road and had a good practice wave, before heading down the road a few hundred metres to the minibus. It seems we weren't the first with the wave idea, as soon as we were spotted the helpers lined up and waved us first. Not to be out done we returned the gesture and if aliens were looking down from space at that moment I can only imagine they left more than a little puzzled at the mating rituals of these things called humans. Should have finished at 3.30pm, made it there for about 7.30pm, still the point is that we made it. As we approached the minibus it seemed a little sad that Team Egg had done it's final walk, but that was soon replaced by absolute joy at finishing and I must thank who ever brought the beer that was thrust into our hands as we finished. One last job to do, the final team photo, knackered but still smiling.