The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 20 May 2011

Day 7 - Corrour Bothy to Mar Lodge

Thursday 19 May (1000-1410)
Distance: 9 miles
Weather: sunshine and showers (but we only caught the edges of them)

It was a dark and stormy night and the rain came down in torrents... (Hold on, weren't we here a few days ago too?)

I didn't notice the rain so much, as the bothy roof seems to be particularly well insulated (and the building doesn't creak or groan either), but you couldn't help but notice the wind whistling by. My thoughts were with Steve and Linke, who had arrived at gone 7pm (in the midst of a particularly violent squall) and, finding us in residence, had opted to camp outside. When they retreated to their tent after a sociable evening, my thought was that I wouldn't have wanted to be out there in that wind.

The weather had calmed a little bit by this morning (although still blustery), but we weren't moved to make an early start. There didn't seem much point with just a straightforward 9 mile walk ahead of us. I appreciated the lie-in too, as, in a fit of wakefulness, I'd spent an hour and a half watching the bothy mouse go about its business between 4.30 and 6am! Finally getting up at nearly 9am, we had another chat with Steve and Linke as they breakfasted and we packed up, then off we set under blue skies.

Continuing the theme of the last seven days, the sunshine didn't last, but today blue skies appeared often enough to set off the surrounding dramatic scenery nicely. There was even a fresh dusting of snow on the tops.

Derry Lodge is a magnificent house, now all boarded up, and it was there, exactly half way through our day that we stopped for lunch. It was an early lunch by our standards, but with the current constant hunger it was much appreciated. It was during lunch that we realised that the chocolate supplies had run lower than the acceptable minimum level. Rationing chocolate is not good! Sack the catering manager, I say.

The second four and a half miles of the day involved about 84 faffs, but even so we arrived at Mar Lodge by just gone 2pm. In our quest to lose a couple of days we had phoned yesterday morning to see if they had a room available tonight. As tomorrow is their busy night with Challengers passing through, a room was available and hence our 13 mile walk into Braemar was split into two days.

Mar Lodge is a magnificent place, owned by the National Trust for Scotland. So, not only do we have beds in nice surroundings tonight (and at a bargain price), but we've spent the afternoon drinking tea in the kitchen, where this evening appeared Robert (who we first met at Strathcarron) and Louise ( Much chatting has gone on this evening, comparing experiences to date, and a good time has been had.

But now it's late (too busy chatting earlier to be typing this). I won't post this until tomorrow, because to do so now would involve getting out of bed to walk down two flights of stairs to pick up the wifi signal - and I'm just too lazy to do that!

(I'm not sure how clear the photo is on a sensible size of screen, but the white thing in the middle, left of centre is Corrour Bothy)

Click here to go to TGOC Day 8

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  1. The Devil's Point (Scottish Gaelic: Bod an Deamhain) is a mountain in the Cairngorms of Scotland, lying to the west of the Lairig Ghru pass. The name is derived from Gaelic, meaning "Penis of the Demon". The English name is a result of a visit to the area by Queen Victoria. She asked her local ghillie, John Brown, to translate the name; to avoid embarrassment he gave a euphemistic answer.

    Have a great day, Hannah

  2. Reading several comments on blogs and twitter from folk in the Highlands saying there is some significant snow falls in some parts above 500m! :-)

  3. Hannah - Excellent information! I did wonder why such a nice place had the name it did.

    Jamie - On Friday morning there was indeed snow down to quite a low level. In fact, at one point it was snowing at Mar Lodge, and Morrone of Morven had a good dusting (albeit most had melted by the time we go ourselves up there).