At the end of June I had a bike accident and managed to break a couple of ribs, crack my elbow and tear my pectoral muscle. It was a bit of a sore one, and it took a while to heal. With the end of July and the deadline for our Bivvy a Month challenge approaching I realised that we needed to go on a trip for a night away whether I was ready to or not otherwise we would lose our seven month unbroken run of trips. I dosed up on painkillers and we drove over to Megget reservoir and began the short cycle in to Gameshope bothy. I was a bit sad to have to do this, as under normal circumstances we could have cycled there from our front door very easily. I haven’t really fancied visiting this bothy before as it doesn’t have a stove or fireplace, but the weather was warm enough for it not to be an issue.
We parked at Megget and Joe had some fun on the beach there for a while.
As we headed off on our bikes the golden light of evening put on a fine show for us.
I love being out on my bike on evenings like these.
Descending the ‘Great Wall of Talla’ down towards the reservoir.
As the light faded we turned off the road and headed up the glen on the ATV track.
You can’t see him in this photo because he is just a tiny dot somewhere up near the top, but Joe suddenly took a notion to climb this hill. He just put down his bike and hared off up it. He came back with his face smeared with blaeberries.
We reached the bothy in the last light of a beautiful summer’s evening.
It’s a very small bothy on the outside, but tardis-like inside.
A single room contains sleeping bunks for eight and plenty of cooking benches and the like.
Here’s one with a teenager having a lie-in. The stone floor is beautiful to look at but not much fun in socks, so be sure to bring crocs or flip-flops to wear in the evening.
Much use is made of some ceramic insulators which seem to do a good job of keeping mice at bay.
The bothy was renovated with the help of the Andrew Jensen memorial fund.
It’s a stunning glen, with dramatically sloping sides and a beautiful stream complete with frequent small waterfalls.
It is necessary to cross the stream to reach the bothy – another reason to bring crocs with you…
We headed back down the track to the road.
I bet Joe a fiver he couldn’t cycle all the way back up the Great Wall of Talla without stopping. That was the last I saw of him before the summit. I don’t think there is now any doubt that he is a stronger cyclist than me.
This would be an ideal trip for anyone who is new to bothying or doesn’t want to have to cycle too far as the trip can be less than two miles from the road to the bothy. It is a place best visited in warm weather and perhaps during the week if you can, as there is a better chance of having it to yourself then.
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