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A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Stories of great adventures in and around bothies as well as burning wid anecdotes

Moderator: gus

A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:57 pm

The night was calm and cold as I set off from Dunfermline after work on the Sunday at 10:30pm, my destination was a bothy up the A82 so I could catch the 8:18 train from Bridge of Orchy to Corrour in the morning.
There are many reasons why it was such a late start, one of which was, I couldn't find the spare battery for my camera. I had searched everywhere but it wasn't to be found and as the one battery I had wasn't fully charged. I would have to ration the amount of photos taken so I could still take some on the way out.
It was an uneventful trip north, except for nearly hitting a young Deer at St Fillans. Arriving at Bridge of Orchy at 1:00 am, I thought it was too late to go to the bothy, you know, get wet feet, light fire, get up early, get wet feet, drive back to Bridge of Orchy, catch train. So I decided to spend the night in the car park at the train station and sleep in the car.
The car park was nearly full when I got there, the track workers were using it to access the railway track for night works. After speaking to one of the workers I settled down for the night and sure enough, a short while later, the rest of them came back and left the car park, and me, in peace. I woke up at about 4:00am and noticed it was -4.
A visit to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel in the morning provided coffee and use of the Toilet, and with my rucksack packed, I boarded the train and made for Corrour station.
The views over Loch Tulla, Gorton Bothy and Rannoch Moor as the sun came up were stunning, there were a few clouds in the blue and pink skies but they complimented the snow covered mountains. All the still water had a covering of ice, even the waterfalls had some icicles hanging round them.
I arrived at Corrour station to find there was a dusting of snow on the platform, and after finishing another coffee, I took the new path on the west side of the track and headed north over the frozen bog towards Loch Treig.
It was perfect walking conditions, little or no wind, stunning vistas, and the ground, even the boggy bits were frozen solid and I arrived at Loch Treig to see it as low as I have ever seen it.
Creaguaineach lodge looked stunning next to it's stand of trees and I stopped for a tin of beer on the rock to the north of this now locked building, that I have bothied in several times.
Taking the rough track to the north of the Abhainn Rath, I headed towards Staoinaig bothy, the ground was solid beneath my feet and I made good progress. All the stepping stones at Staoinaig bothy were well out the water, as I approached them I saw a new boot, a pair of Bothy Creepers and some other bits of personal equipment. A quick visit to Staoinaig for a cuppa was an option, however, the fourth stone had a covering of ice and my feet slipped, so I abandoned my quest for a cuppa and turned towards my ultimate destination, Meanach Bothy.
I knew from my last trip in November that rubbish was building up, I had taken care of some of it then, but a report about it getting really bad last week prompted this trip up the Abhainn Rath to Meanach.
The walk from Creaguaineach lodge to Meanach bothy up the northern side of the Abhainn Rath is one of my favourite walks, its a fairly gentle climb through woodland, past some waterfalls and at the top you get a view that includes the Mamore and Nevis range's sitting round Meanach.
Of course there are bogs, drains and meandering water courses to navigate through and round, but the 8 mile walk from Corrour Station is worth it. On this occasion, with the ground solid and river levels low I made good time and I stopped and had another tin next to the last tree by the river, and enjoyed the sunshine and solitude for 15 minutes.
Arriving at the bothy, I went into the left hand room and took my rucksack off, I brought through the table from the other room, covered it in newspapers and emptied my rucksack. My first thought was for a cuppa, so I filled my bottles in the burn at the back of the bothy, had a quick look round for rubbish and knew I would need more than the 5k of coal and a fire log to get rid of this lot, so, after tea, I went for a walk up and down the river to see what I could find.
I was very surprised by the first thing I found, it was the Bothy wheelbarrow, about 100 yards in front of the bothy, upside-down and in a ditch, used, I'm guessing, to cross the ditch, which could have been easily crossed by going 20 yards either side of it, after freeing the wheelbarrow from the ice I went on to the river and found half a fence post, a bit of bog wood and a few other bits of wood, enough for a good blaze that night.
When I returned to the bothy, I put the kettle on again, gathered the rubbish round the bothy, put as much of it into the barrow as I could, then, having had a better look at it, I decided to eat everything I was going to eat that day before touching it again, this was a good choice.
Having eaten my fill, Macaroni Cheese followed by rice pudding, I lit a fire log and started to sort out the rubbish, with drinks cans being thrown into the corner, along with glass bottles, plastics being put into a pile in front of the fire for burning and food tins put on the fire to clean them out for tomorrow.
Food was a different matter, there was allsorts of food in the bags, it was all contaminated by what ever else was in the bag with it, which meant it all got burned. I found two new pillar candles, which were broken down and fed into the fire to perk it up a bit. Amongst all of this crap, I'm sorry to say, was real crap, two burst bags containing human shite were stashed away in other bags. That wasn't the worst of it though, there was a bag that had, 8 or 10 tin foil wraps in it, what was in the tin foil?, I have no idea, it might have been fish at one time. All I know is the smell was terrible, and having gotten that far with it, I carried it to the front door and threw it into the long grass, I would deal with that bag in the morning, in the daylight.
Hygiene was an issue that night, I ran out of wet wipes and had used at least half a roll of toilet paper and I do remember pouring neat whisky over my hands a few times to try and keep them sterile.
After a braw fire, probably the best in the left hand room since the last workparty in 2012, it was time for bed, whilst checking my pockets for objects that might wake me up in the night, I found my spare camera battery, in a zipped pocket in my trousers, put there the previous week at Glen Dubh Lighe. While I had been searching my flat, my rucksack and my car for the bloody thing, it had been in the side pocket of my breeks all the time, and the washing machine, and the tumble dryer, at least now I could take some more photos.
The next morning I lit another fire log and continued burning rubbish, I didn't get it all burned or taken away but I did make a big hole in it. I also dug a hole in the moor and buried the wasted food and ash.
I was just making my last cuppa before leaving to catch the train at Corrour Station when I heard a Motorcycle approaching, a member of the Lochaber and District Motor Cycle Club (LDMCC) was coming in with a delivery of tools for the bothy, spades, brushes, that sort of thing. The reason I had been at Glen Dubh Lighe the week before was to drop this of with them for transportation in to the bothy, that we were both there at the same time was a fluke, but I was glad to see him arrive with it. After a blether, the biker took the penny road over to the Lairig Leacach and I made my way East towards Loch Treig.
There had been a thaw during the night and a good bit of rain, the snow had all melted off the mountain tops and the ground was a bit softer. This meant that the Abhainn Rath was about 2 feet deeper and in full spate as I passed the waterfalls, this time with spare battery power.
The stepping stones at Staoinaig were well under water when I passed again, but the ground was still firm enough to make it up to Corrour Station with enough time to make a cuppa before the train arrived.
Gus Fair.It tak's a lang spin tae sup wi' a fifer.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:58 pm

That took a while, I will post some pictures later on.
Gus Fair.It tak's a lang spin tae sup wi' a fifer.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:29 pm

Here are some pictures for comparison.
Attachments
DSC_9182_606DSC_9182.JPG
After
DSC_9182_606DSC_9182.JPG (1.27 MiB) Viewed 1280 times
DSC_9010_605DSC_9010.JPG
Before
DSC_9010_605DSC_9010.JPG (1.31 MiB) Viewed 1280 times
Gus Fair.It tak's a lang spin tae sup wi' a fifer.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:58 pm

Here are two more.
Attachments
Waterfall 2 Before..JPG
Waterfall 2 Before..JPG (1.54 MiB) Viewed 1280 times
Waterfall 2 After..JPG
Waterfall 2 After..JPG (1.16 MiB) Viewed 1280 times
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:12 am

Two more, taken about 27 hours apart.
Attachments
Waterfall 1 before..JPG
Waterfall 1 before..JPG (1.22 MiB) Viewed 1278 times
Waterfall 1 After..JPG
Waterfall 1 After..JPG (1020.96 KiB) Viewed 1278 times
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:16 am

And the last two, taken from opposite ends of the same stretch of water.
Attachments
Looking down the Glen (Before)..JPG
Looking down the Glen (Before)..JPG (1 MiB) Viewed 1278 times
Looking up the Glen (After)..JPG
Looking up the Glen (After)..JPG (998.6 KiB) Viewed 1278 times
Gus Fair.It tak's a lang spin tae sup wi' a fifer.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby auljock » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:11 pm

We could be doing with some more stories like this, a full layout of a bothy trip. If I get a chance I'll mibby do a story about a bothy pyro, the signs that tell you that you may be in ones company and the best course of action if you do find yourself in a bothy with one. :shock: :shock: :D
The more I learn the more I realise how little I know.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby piper » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:37 am

A good wee read Gus....could see ye in partnership wee Cairgngorm wanderer . :o
happiness was, a pint of beer and a venison burger in the mar lodge bar!
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gratemaker » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:07 pm

Aye a good wee story ah can see you teeming up with stormin normin :lol: .
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:34 pm

Auljock, the more stories the better. Now you identifying a pyro, that would be the pot calling the kettle black, if you'll pardon the analogy.
Piper, I feel that NFF has a lot of potential as a writer and I'm sure he will want to do it all on his own and wouldn't want any help from me ;)

Harry, any mair o that an ye'll be banned :evil:
Gus Fair.It tak's a lang spin tae sup wi' a fifer.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby gus » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:39 pm

I've posted more photos from my trip on Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29134155@ ... 8040314443
Gus Fair.It tak's a lang spin tae sup wi' a fifer.
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Re: A day in the life of a Bothy Bin Man.

Postby piper » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:20 pm

Good stuff Guss . :wink:
happiness was, a pint of beer and a venison burger in the mar lodge bar!
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