Distance: 5 miles
Weather: overcast but dry, high cloudbase
Another very short day led to a late start - that and the fact that I didn't wake up until 7.30. It must have been a comfortable pitch!
We'd walked all of a quarter of a mile this morning before the first faff of the day was required. We'd just hit the road at Victoria Bridge when I realised that the map in the mapcase ended at Mar Lodge and the one we needed was tucked away inside of my pack. If our plan was to walk the road to Braemar that wouldn't have been a problem, but I didn't even know where we were to turn into the forest for our off-road route.
Colin joined us as we faffed and as a trio we ambled to Braemar. A pleasant walk it was too. I'd had in mind that it was going to be a made track through a bit of commercial forestry, so it was pleasant to find an old track, which became a muddy path in places, and wandered through a clearing and on through native woodland.
The walk flew by and before we knew it we were dropping down into Braemar, where Mick voted for a bacon (and sausage and egg) bap stop before we went to the campsite.
With the tent pitched there were chores to be done (my trousers didn't get a wash in Aviemore and were getting desperate!) before we hit the Fife Arms for a bit of chatting (not that there wasn't plenty of chatting done in the laundry room - it's a good place to meet lots of people!). The afternoon has involved food, drink and chat, so another good day in TGOC-land.
Tomorrow the hard work recommences as we get back to proper mileages.
(Today's photo: I popped into the Ballroom at Mar Lodge this morning after everyone was up to take a snap of the deer skulls, although the position of the roof-lights means it's an even worse effort than my usual snaps. For those who didn't see the comment, Theo advises that there are 2435 red deer skulls on display (did you double check Theo?!) Apparently some who slept in there last night (warm and comfy, as the heating was on) did wonder about the likelihood of any of the skulls dropping off their mountings during the night)
(Martin R - certainly an interesting year weatherwise (again). It's added an extra element to a good walk - but it would be nice if we could have a few sunny days for the final walk in!)
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