I use the Minigaig path every April as it's good for doing a high mileage and seeing how the legs are before heading off to do a long distance walk.
It felt strange this year to be doing the walk in mid-September ahead of attempting to do the Dales Way in 4 days next month but that is the Covid world we live in.
As usual the track was deserted apart from the odd 4x4 heading for the lodge which is 8 miles off the A9.
Heading away from Calvine and the A9 there is a steep climb for the first few hundred yards before reaching a wooden hut before the gradient continues to climb but eases up. Half a mile in to the walk a chap in a 4x4 stopped and offered me a lift to the lodge (tempted but no thanks). The first 3.1 miles is just a steady climb then the track drops down in to Glen Bruar and is relatively flat for the next 5 miles before reaching the big lodge.
I had no intention of climbing Beinn Dearg today but in any case the clag was down so there would be no view from the top. I always had it in mind to continue beyond the lodge for around 3 miles and this meant I walked to the point where the Minigaig path changes to more of a stalkers path and climbs out of the glen.
A quick sandwich at the bridge and I turned and headed for home just as the clouds lifter and there was the odd spell of sunshine. When the sun was out it was surprisingly warm.
When I do this walk I always know that I have the climb out of Glen Bruar to look forward to and today this came at the 18.5 mile mark and it can be a real test of the legs.
The last 3 miles are downhill but can seem to go on forever and today it certainly felt that way.
Good to cover 22 miles but I need to be able to do that distance for 4 consecutive days in 3 weeks time so I need to get the finger out and get some walking done before the big day.
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