TGOC-13. Day 2. Sourlies to Kinbreak

In spite of the rain, I slept like a log for 8 hours and was making breakfast tea as other Challengers were leaving. The rain had stopped but my anticipated breakfast rolls had sadly been turned to mush by last night’s flood so I had a couple of boring cereal bars with my tea. I was the last to leave for the walk over to Glen Dessary and then to Glen Kingie.

Campsite by Loch Nevis
Campsite by Loch Nevis


Sourlies bothy
Sourlies bothy

The walk was wet. Water everywhere, but especially on the path which was more of a burn than a path. Low cloud and intermittent heavy showers as I followed the River Finiskaig to the Lochan a Mhaim.

Day 2 - Lochan
Lochan a Mhaim

In spite of this, it was great to be out in this wild landscape and I was thoroughly enjoying the walk. Eventually, I had to cross the River Finiskaig – at the same time as a couple coming the other way who had been wandering in the Highlands for a couple of weeks. They were faffing around taking off boots to cross the river when I marched across without stopping and we had a discussion of the merits of trail shoes and boots. I have the zeal of a convert for trail shoes – I’d never go back to wearing boots in the summer months.

As the path started to drop down to Glen Dessary, the weather started to improve. The sun appeared so I stopped for lunch by a burn. Then a slightly challenging crossing of another fast-flowing burn (there was a bridge but it did not look at all safe) and eventually I arrived in Glen Dessary, four and a bit hours after leaving Sourlies.

The next stage was the walk over the bealach to Glen Kingie – the start was marked by a picture of a wild boar with a target on it – I wasn’t sure how to interpret this. Did I have to beware of boars or was this intended as a device for frustrated deer stalkers to take out their aggression?  This wasn’t the only strange artefact in the area – there were a series of posts with 6 inch nails driven through them. It was postulated that these were scratching posts for deer but 6 inch nails for scratching seemed a bit of an overkill to me.

Day 2 - the target boar
Target boar

Anyway, by now the weather was looking up with great views to the hills to the south.


Glenfinnan Hills
Improving weather over the Glenfinnan Hills

Eventually, after a bit of a bog-flog down Glen Kingie I arrived at the bothy to meet other Challengers who arrived before me – Colin, who vetted my route and provided some really helpful comments, his friend John, Vicky and Matt. The fire was going and as I approached I was met with a cry of ‘try some of this’ as a jam jar was thrust in front of me.

‘This’ was a welcome dram and I was astonished to see woodcarver Ian, the only man I know who has made his own spork. Ian and I go way back but he isn’t the world’s best communicator and I had no idea he was going to be there. It was great to see him and catch up – he’s just about to take over as MO of the bothy at Maol Bhuide and regaled us with tales of MBA processes.

A good evening – fire, food, conversation and Glenmorangie.

4 thoughts on “TGOC-13. Day 2. Sourlies to Kinbreak

  • May 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    MO of Maol Bhuidhe would require a certain type. It is a special place.
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your account.
    Chris, (AmBioranMor).

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  • June 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Ian – enjoying your description of the walk. Great pictures too. The boar target reminds me of an event from when the kids were little. We were at the cottage and saw an advertisement for an archery competition. Thinking Robin Hood and target butts, we set off to find a trail through a rather creepy forest full of the types of targets you found in Glen Dessart. The ones we found were also on some sort of automated mechanism that moved the target, presumably as you walked along and tripped some signal. They were intended as ‘realistic’ practice for crossbow hunters. After changing the brown trousers, we got the hell out of there as quickly as we could.

  • February 17, 2014 at 10:24 am

    There is a simple reason for the wild boar shaped target. A few years ago the estate at Glen Dessary kept a substantial number of ‘iron age pigs’ which somehow ‘accidentally’ escaped and weren’t rounded up, they proceeded to breed in the wild. Recently the estate decided they could quit calling the animals ‘iron age pigs’ and just call them wild boar. They now offer wild boar stalking, meanwhile the animals continue to spread.


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