Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Highland Trail 550 Race Day 3

You'd  think I would have had a great night's sleep, but the heating in the B+B was turrned up to 10, so I was either sweating or cold as the sweat cooled once I'd chucked the sheet off. Breakfast was good though.

Resupplied, I was away for 8:30.

Markus had said he was going to leave by 7:30, so I expected to see his tracks. The going for the first few miles would be relatively slow on his low geared single speed so I knew if he was ahead I'd catch him. I didn't.

The previous night would be the last I'd see of a HTR competitor for a long time.

The weather played nice and the views were expansive.

As I neared Oykel Bridge, I could see in the far far distance some hills I'd be riding close to in a day or so.

I was excited, I pushed on.

At Oykel Bridge, I sat on a bench and made a cheese sandwich out of a squashed bread roll, and half a block of cheese. As I sat there, Steve Heading appeared. He had already returned from those hills above. He said he was tired. He also warned me of a section of about 10 miles which had taken him 4 hours. I thought he must be delirious. The section he mentioned was relatively flat.

I rode on to Rose Hill, and bought myself a pie for supper.

From there I followed the River Cassley for a good few miles on a narrow tarmac road. Easy miles.

At the tarmac end there were some indifferent deer.

I continued on good tracks to Glen Golly where the shadows were beginning to lengthen.

From here the going became much harder. The tracks were first narrow, then vague, then both vague and very wet and boggy. Nearly at the northern most part of the loop, I was looking for somewhere to put my tent. All I could see was water, marshland and rock.

Shortly after 10pm I found a nice spot though.

Whilst putting on my evening wear I find behind my knee my first ever tick. How exciting. I have a problem though. I didn't bring a tick remover.

Plan B. Fire up the cigarette lighter and burn it, and my leg too of course. It comes out and leaves a welt. More fire to the back of my leg as an antidote. That smarted.

Macaroni cheese pie for supper.

95 miles done. A good day.

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