In the morning we could finally appreciate where we were camped, high on a hill overlooking Loch Frisa but sadly all too quickly it was time to depart once more. The first part of the route was essentially easy, keep a Loch on the left and a forest on the right and all is well, so this didn't tax us too much. We strolled and sang our way to the hill at the end of the Loch, by Ledmore. From the top we could see a fence poking up through the bracken and we had a choice of which side to go down it. Inevitably we chose poorly, but the detour wasn't too long and we did find some flowing water to fill up our water bottles. We Walked along the road east until we came to the end of the forest, where we met some very English fly fishermen who didn't seem all that optimistic that we wouldn't get completely lost if we head out on to the hills. Still what do they know.....
By now things had settled into a fairly steady plod and it seemed likely that we could keep it up long enough to finish, however the next bit of terrain held a few surprises. Heading up the hill to Creag Mhor crag we found many patches of bog, most of which we just walked straight through, several small streams to jump and a liberal dosage of ankle breaking tufts of grass. Progress was slow. On the up side we could see where we were heading and so there was no danger of getting lost, just danger of loosing the will to walk anymore! However we had our songs and the promise of a jelly baby at the top to keep us going and sure enough we eventually arrived.
We had a fine view at the top, but only a bog from which to appreciate it from and so we moved off fairly quickly. The next leg was easy on paper; sadly we don't walk on paper. With Timmey clutching the map we strode off in a long arc which left us facing the wrong way, easy to spot by the 10 square km's of forest which shouldn't be in front of us. A short committee meeting, and a long hard look at the contours, pinpointed our position and we moved off towards Braigh a Choire Mhor across the usual tough terrain. Getting to the top of the hill was a bit of a struggle so once there we settled down for some well earned lunch.
Looking at the map we were encouraged to note that the rest of the day was either on a path or a road and so we hoped to make up some of the time we had lost in the morning. We scrambled down to the path and marched along it through the forest we had erroneously met earlier. Plodding down the hill we soon got to the road feeling pretty shattered but with quite a few km to go yet. After a short break we moved off only to find Jon and Helen waiting for us in a lay-by. They seemed in high spirits and curiously Jon said that he wished he could be walking with us, which seemed odd as he made no move to leave the comfort of his car and pick up a dirty great rucksack but we are assured that he has done his fair share of forced plods in his time.
The road section turned out to be a killer on the feet, but we had some friends to chat to along the way, Aidi and Lorraine were also waiting for us on the road and so we took the time to have a break and natter to them as well. However the road remained and the chance of getting a lift seemed slim so we moved off with many expressions of pained feet. Along the road we found a sign to a Mausoleum, perhaps Scottish for museum (!), but the curious thing was that it was run by an Australian heritage fund, which seemed a bit out of place.
By the time we reached the track I was seriously struggling, my boots having chaffed much of the skin off my toes and generally the world seemed less full of fun and more full of agony than previously in the day. However I suspect I wasn't alone in my struggle, Timmey's knees seemed sore and I'm sure Angela and Cerys had something to moan about so we just plodded on with the odd song to keep us going.
Eventually down the track we came to our camping area and were pleased to see that the other group weren't there yet so we had the choice of camping spot. Finding a nice patch of level ground on a hill which was almost dry we pitched camp and got some food on pronto. The only downside of our campsite was the dead sheep 20 metres away but ignoring that it was a great camp. The other group soon joined us and we all cooked and shared stories from the day. For most of us our minds soon turned to finding a nice out of the way spot to go and dig with our toilet trowel. We all watched Angela search the hillside for the perfect place and when she came back with a huge grin we all felt the need to take our turns. Ian came to see us this evening and seemed happy that things were looking bleak enough for it to have been a reasonable challenge. Once in the tent for the evening I sadly had to inspect my feet and my confidence wasn't inspired by Timmey's expression of admiration for just how bad my toes looked. After much patching up we settled down to our aptitude tests for the evening before crashing out in preparation for the next day.