A good day for it as it rained most of the morning. Met others for a second breakfast, more like 11sis for me, at 10.30 and watched a steady stream of bedraggled hikers make their way into the village.
Long chat with the couple from Toronto. They live close to Siri so we had a fair amount in common.
I then moved on, explored the village a bit and ended up having a salad lunch at another establishment, also full of challengers, but many tourists as well.
After this I went back to the hostel and napped and worked on Suduko that Colin had sent me.
6.30 out to dinner. Minor alarm at dinner when I found that I would need cash at Tarfside. So dinner was followed by a quick visit to Spar to use their cash machine. I also took the opportunity to buy some sandwiches for lunch.
19th Braemar to Glas-Allt-Sheil
Managed to leave just before 8. Legs feel much better for a day off. Grey sky and coolish, but not raining. I decided to be lazy and take the road out of town rather than the up and over and down scenic route, but at least I got to see Braemar Castle,
deer grazing by the river,
and another grand lodge.
Then it was into the woods, ignoring forestry workers signs, i reckoned, correctly, it was Sunday and nobody would be working. Again nice open scotch pine forests, obviously managed as there was next to no deadfall.
Signs of regeneration work in some areas, including special deer fences designed to be visible to low flying birds.
After a while I was above the tree line. All this while the forestry tracks were well maintained and made for easy walking.
Around 11.30 I reached a bothy and stopped for an early lunch.
My route now was a path beside a watercourse. I soon abandoned it. Very wet and washed out in places. Instead I struck out cross country to the main track up the valley. This worked out fine. Then it was a long grind up to the top of the valley. here are the views lining back and forward.
A rising traverse followed by a steep descent beside a waterfall brought me here about 2.30.
The bothy is well appointed but I elected to pitch my tent outside, along, by the end of the evening a veritable village of us. No we are not in the main house but in a converted stable round the back.
Two Canadians on their honeymoon here, their last day of day hiking from here. An early arrived was a guy from Linton , which gave us a lot in common, including sailing clubs. He also lit the pot belly stove which soon warmed the bothy nicely, and allowed the drying of socks.
Dinner, early night just before we it started to rain.
Fitbit: 30,700 steps, 24.5k, 720 vertical feet, 4500 calories.
May 20th. Glas allt Shiel to Tarfside
Left at 7.30 having had a cooked breakfast and a cup of tea. I was the first away, apart from the honeymoon couple who slipped away quietly earlier.
An hours walk brought me to the other end of the lake
and the start of the days climb over the Grampians.
Some people had camped here in contradiction to advise, plus there a was a group of about 18 seniors gathering for a day hike, fortunately not going my way.
So up the hill initially following a path beside a creek.
At the top the navigation issue started.
I was going to go right, but I had met up with a Steve who had done it before who recommend left. I decided to stick with him. Anyway it worked out find and together we walked the heather a deer tracks to the top.
Here I stopped for a break while he set off down. The first part of the down was very steep and unpleasant. Then followed a long, long trudge down into Loch Lee.
This was eventually reached and another break taken.
Then on passed the other end of the lake and it’s ruined church
and on to Tarfside.
Still no cell reception.
Hospitality at Tarfside was spectacular. I had tea and two cakes, and then made a big mistake. I turned down a room! I booked in for supper and went a put up my tent in the designated field.
The I returned for a shower and the second setting of dinner. All very convivial.
The days on and off rain had started again as when I made my way back to the tent, and it continued all night. Very noisy.
Fitbit: 42740 steps, 34.24k, 1560 vertical feet, 5951 calories