The Long And Windy Road, Part 2.

Saturday, May 20, Dunkeld

Well, I hit send a bit before I was ready in the last update. Perhaps it was in the spirit of the soap box. Perhaps it was my need to share. Perhaps it was my clumsy fingers hitting the wrong key. 

But before I move on with the day, a couple things I neglected to enter earlier. 

While staying in Blair Atholl, I was at dinner at the pub, assuming I would be dinning solo. But I spotted a couple not wearing cotton, with the lean look of TGOC’rs. And they were. Gerry and Nicole (not a couple) are on their 6th crossing. Nicole is an Austrian living in Inverness saving lives and Gerry is a Brit saving souls. 

I opted for both. 

We had a great time talking, sharing travels and the love of TGOC. Nicole was bemoaning not running into more TGOC’rs and I agree. She said we are a day ahead of the hike and that might be part of it. 

One of the great things about this adventure is meeting others doing the same thing. But alas, things unfold as they do.

Earlier that day, Gordan (proprietor of the Blair Atholl B&B) mentioned there might be another TGOC’r staying there who was having equipment issues. I didn’t see him that night but at breakfast the next day, fumbling through my maps for that days’ hike, the guy sitting at the next table leaned over and introduced himself. Geoff, a Welsh man, is on his 8th crossing, having successfully finished six.  His last unfinished hike had him tumbling down a severe foot hill.

“You roll on three sides then hit the rucksack and fly for five or six feet. Roll, roll, roll, fly. Bloody inconvenient.” 

After breakfast he stopped by my room for a chat and we compared feet. What is stopping Geoff this time is his shoes, simply have disintegrated. Literally they are in pieces. I thought of taking a picture of his ankles to share, but don’t want to put you off venison. 

Alright, back to today.

The walk was really pleasant with the exception of the constant rain. The good news is I have totally gotten use to eating in the rain. These blue/violet flowers were in bloom along my walk, and I cannot remember a more beautiful bloom to see.The last two miles, into Dunkeld, were covered in these flowers. It was raining and the path along the River Tay, was like something out of a Disney movie. Dark, moody, musky, quiet, primordial. 

I arrived in Dunkeld six hours after leaving Pitlochry to the Atholl Arms Hotel, several. Hundred years old. I fit right in. 

21 km 322 m

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