Distance walked: 21.5 km
Metres ascent: 930
Time taken: 8.5 hours including 1.5 hours stops
No of Challengers' tents at Tarfside: 50
Tea in bed, provided by Brian. What a star!
Then a full Scottish and a wander up to Loch Brandy as one of a long line of ants heading for Tarfside.
Today's light was lovely. Bright from the start, with long views through the clear atmosphere. The Montrose Basin beckoned enticingly, with the sea looking very close now. In the other direction, Lochnagar stood out almost as much as Meikle Pap, which looked extremely papy from Green Hill.
Whilst the majority headed by the Alpine Pass technique (up and down by the fastest possible route), I managed a further 90 metre climb up to The Goet. Marian and Mike kept me company, then after I'd enjoyed a final high level brew on the 16th and final Corbett of my trip, Jeff and Joke turned up. All four of them were heading on along the ridge, on a walk marred by new 'deer management' electric fences.
Meanwhile I returned to the Muckle Cairn path, where I found Jeremy, Peter, Jayme and Natasha enjoying a nap. I'd thought I would have a lone journey at 'the back of the field' but this little group provided excellent company for the whole afternoon.
"We are going high" they announced. A yomp over Burnt Hill commenced, leaving a much shorter road section than on my plan. All very convenient and sociable.
Not so good for the red grouse I accidentally trod on; didn't damage her but a couple of eggs were broken. I've never done this before, and hope it never happens again.
We arrived at St Drostans in time to get tea, but too late to order a meal - the potatoes had run out. So the tents went up in the village field and food was ordered from The Retreat's excellent delivery service.
A night in the Masons followed, no doubt giving rise to as much dehydration for some as their walking activities had done earlier.
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