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]

Thursday 14 February 2013

Scotland - Day 5 (Braemar)

What a surprisingly good day of walking that was!

The temperature rose last night. By 9pm the snow which had been falling all day turned to rain and by morning the thaw was obvious. The sun was out too and it was looking to be a lovely day, albeit a bit on the breezy side.

Without any real plan, we left the campsite on foot and headed in the direction of Invercauld Bridge with the thought of a walk through the woods there. There’s a perfectly good and easy track, running under the Lion’s Face, which we could have taken to get ourselves over to the A93, and indeed we did take it to just before the Lion’s Face. At that point, with a rush of blood to the head, we opted not to follow that perfectly good and easy track as it went gently around the hill, but rather to go up and over the shoulder. All good training for our unfit limbs, but with the snow being knee-deep, wet and heavy we opted not to go any higher up the pathless hillside in our explorations today.

Mick, Tree, Blue Sky

Having entered Ballochbuie Forest at Invercauld Bridge, I was afraid that a walk there wasn’t going to be particularly interesting, but I’m pleased to say that I was entirely wrong. It’s a lovely woodland and the higher of the tracks that we took was not at all hemmed in, but gave fantastic views of the surrounding white hills, only the tops of the highest of which were in cloud today.

By the time we had dropped back down, to pass an log cabin in a lovely location, my legs were starting to protest at the effort of all of the snow walking. The legs protested even more as we climbed back up to the Lion’s Face on our return to Braemar, but focussing on the hot chocolate that awaited me stopped me from whinging too much!

I forgot to take the Garmin Gadget today, but having plotted a rough approximation of our route on the map it looks like we walked at least 9.25 miles with 1800’ of ascent.


  1. Enjoying your explorations around Braemar - shame I'm not there to meet up with you....maybe meet up in May.....

    1. When we passed through Crathie on our way from Braemar to Elgin, we did note that it was shame that you weren't home. Hope to see you in May, though.

  2. If hot chocolate were waiting for me at the end of a trail, that would definitely keep me motivated to finish the trek :)

  3. Hi you two, it was great to see you in Braemar, and we hope you are continuing to enjoy your trip. As I spend Monday morning in front of a washing machine in Timperley with a blue sky outside, I'm thinking of you enjoying a brilliant day on your rather longer trip. We just had one outstanding day - Friday - but a most enjoyable and sociable week.
    I see you have encountered 'Gorgeous Louise' (couldn't resist, sorry) and that you've perfected a very impressive system for mobile blogging. Or did you borrow Louise's computer?!
    Have fun for the rest of your trip.

    1. The 'very impressive system for mobile blogging' is a laptop and a dongle. It's a set up which is working much better in Grantown (3G signal) than it did in Braemar (where it was painfully slow).

      It makes typing the blog posts much easier, and allows better use of photos, but it's not a set-up I'll be adopting for backpacking trips!