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Days 5-7: Fort Augustus to Kingussie

Fort Augustus to Kingussie

Days 5-7: TGO Challenge Route Plan 2010

During the first 4 days of my route plan, I kept  my daily mileage low to acclimate to the local environment and build in a hedge against bad weather which is common in Western Scotland. On days 5-7, I hope to dial up my daily mileage as I walk from Fort Augustus to Kingussie. My route during this stretch will take me along the southern and then eastern boundaries of the Monadhliath Mountains to Kingussie, a major town on the western edge of the great Cairngorm Mountain Range where I plan to spend another night in a B&B, clean up and resupply.

I should mention that this is a change of plan from a few days ago as a consequence of writing these very detailed route narratives, which is why I'm writing them. Previously, I had planned to walk cross country from Laggan across Glen Trowie and bypass Kingussie altogether before heading into Glen Feshie and the Cairngorms. However as I planned things out (in excruciating detail,) I realized that it would be advantageous to stop in Kingussie to resupply my canister gas before heading into the mountains. In addition, stopping there helps reduce the amount of food I need to carry to Braemar, the next big town on the far side of the Cairngorms. Mileage-wise there is little difference between my old plan and this revised route, but I feel like it's better because it gives me a rest before embarking into another very wild section of the trip and gives me a little more flexibility in the Cairngorms if I want to take a detour or the weather is bad.

Fort Augustus to Garva Bridge Fort Augustus to Garva Bridge
Fort Augustus to Garva Bridge Fort Augustus to Garva Bridge

Day 5: Fort Augustus to Garva Bridge

On leaving Fort Augustus, I'll be walking along General Wades Military Road, a modern road by Scottish standards, built in the 1730's. Today it's a dirt jeep track.

The road runs alongside the River Tarf and Scottish Hydro high tension wires, so there's no getting lost along the route. Along the way, I pass Culach Falls (NH377058) at mile 2.7 and Meallan Odhar (NH400002) at mile 7. After that the road travels through Corrieyairack Pass (NN427984) at mile 10, a high elevation pass over 750m in altitude that has spectacular views. The pass had historical significance in 1745 when Prince Charlie Stuart camped there during the Jacobite Uprising, nearly causing a battle to be fought on the spot.

General Wade's road descends from the pass to Melgarve (NN469959) at mile 13 and past a standing stone of debated historical significance at  NN472958. From here, the track continues within sight of the River Spey until it comes to Garva Bridge (NN521947) near mile 16. From here, I'll find a wild camp and stop for the night on higher ground somewhere before Glen Shirra.

Garva Bridge to Phones Lodge GGarva Bridge to Phones Lodge Garva Bridge to Phones Lodge

Day 6: Garva Bridge to Phones Lodge

From Garva Bridge, General Wade's Military Road runs past Garvamore (NN529942), a bridge crossing at Glenshero Lodge (NN553932), Sherabeg (NN568929) and another river crossing over the Spey at NN584936 before reaching the hamlet of Laggan (NN615944) at mile 6. 

From Laggan, I cross the Spey again going south before following local roads, including the A889 due east for 5 miles, parallel to the Spey and more high tension wires. Just before the Mains of Glentruim (NN678943), I turn south and walk along a wall to Crubenbeg Farm and cross the River Truim, Highland Rail and the A9 Highway at NN681922 into Etterbridge (NN687926) and pick up General Wade's Road again, past Phones Lodge (NN704940) at mile 14.4. There is stand of birch forest just past Phones Lodge (NN714947) where I'll wild camp for the evening.

Phones Lodge to Kingussie

Day 7: Phones Lodge to Kingussie

The hike from Phones Lodge to Kingussie is only about 5 miles, so I should arrive in town fairly early in the morning. I plan to spend the night in a B&B and run around town during the day washing up, getting supplies, and being a tourist. I should probably find a good B&B for the evening, again no cats. Any suggestions?

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