This day should have been our last day of the walk leaving from Glen Clova, but stopping short of our target on the first then the second day’s walk had a knock on effect. Anyhow being to bed early we rose early and thankfully the day was bright and didn’t look as if rain was inevitable. Having a light breakfast we packed up our gear, checked out the map estimating where we were and thought it to be in the vicinity of The Muckle Cairn 2710 feet the area where a Wellington bomber crashed on 9th August 1942 killing all but one of the crew, remnants of which can still to be seen today, then deciding on our direction we made tracks. A good enough night’s sleep a dry pair of socks and it brought a bit of revival to us both although our feet were blistered and tender. Still we continued following the line of the fence and no longer had we started walking but we began to see small cairns on the hill which seemed to indicated a possible route, we followed as best as we could then we saw a path in the distance, I say a path it was more of a sheep trail. We followed the path until like the others it disappeared, so we headed for the highest point we could see, which we thought to have been the Muckle Cairn 2710 feet but not exactly sure, if we were to get site of any landmarks like Loch Brandy it would be from that point. Taking a fresh compass reading south by south west we knew we were heading in the right direction at least and now we were heading downwards at last. As we descended we came across a loch but weren’t exactly sure at the time which one of the 3 on our map it was, we now believe it to be Loch Wharrl. Taking the route to the right round the Craigs of Loch Wharral we knew we were heading in the right direction and as we kept heading down what we now know to be the Shank of Catstae then crossed to the Corrie of Inchdowrie we soon began to see signs of civilisation miles in the distance, but just no path to follow then out of nowhere we came across a vague track made by a mountain vehicle, considering this the best option thinking it was bound to lead us into the estate or something we followed it, but after a few miles it vanished as quick as it appeared and left us once again tramping over heather. By this time though we had descended what appeared to be half way down the hill and could now just make out a road heading into the glen miles down below. Without any path we knew the direction we needed to go so continued over the heather some bog and eventually a sheep trail. We never thought we would ever be praising sheep for anything, but their trails are so handy as they obviously don’t like getting their feet wet either as their trails were mostly over dry areas which created as good as a path as we had been on, this eventually led us to within a mile of the Glen Clova Hotel taking us out at the main road through a fishery, not the path we should have been on, but we got there all the same. We reached the Clova Hotel about 3pm just as the rain decided to come on, it was also too late to contemplate doing the final leg over Jocks Road so we took the decision have an early days finish and try and book into one of the bunk houses for the night. The bunkhouses are very popular with walkers and cyclists etc and we were lucky that we managed to get the only one remaining. Only after getting rid of our gear in the room did we headed to the bar for a well-deserved cold shandy to quench our thirst, needless to say it did not last long. The bunk houses are probably not the most luxurious accommodation in the world, but by god it felt like heaven, a hot shower, a chance to dry our wet clothes and all the facilities for cooking and washing at hand. At Clova their bunk house has a communal room with all the catering facilities for cooking etc it was here we had our supper and relaxed with others, exchanging stories and experiences. Here we met a great bunch of guys from Edinburgh who were mountain biking around the area, all of us fatigued by our experiences we sat and enjoyed the time relaxing and sharing a dram before heading off to bed.
Click here for Day 4