Route: as planned plus via Turriff town centre
See http:/www.topwalks.com/tgoc2013.html Day 12 for map
Distance: 33 km (Cum 315)
Ascent: 460 metres (Cum 9500)
Time taken: 7.1 hrs including 0.75 hrs stops
Weather: varied from horrid rain to cold sunshine - 'all day gloves' and a bitter northern wind. Sheltered at camp though
Challengers encountered: none - just acknowledgements in passing from a variety of folk
You may be pleased to hear that there's not a lot to report today.
I paid my farewells to Ian, Alan and Fran and set off in unpleasant rain past scurrying tree creepers at 8am. I certainly felt better after failing to walk past the bakery, and even better when I found a viable if very muddy 'off road' section - and you had to be prepared to be friends with frisky bullocks.
After that the tarmac prevailed and the rest of the day was spent strolling along pleasant lanes in rolling Aberdeenshire farming and forestry country (pictured). If this had been in many other parts of the UK where the countryside is similar, there would have been a good choice of footpaths and ancient byways to follow. But here, any such thoroughfares have long since been tarmaced. The unsurfaced roads and paths that do exist generally lead to dead ends.
A yellowhammer watched me for a while from a high wire, and a farmer informed me that I was 'a day behind'. He had seen three others pass this way yesterday.
A glade of trees provided brief respite from the biting wind, to both myself and an even more weary David Brown 990.
I didn't stop much. The weather saw to that. So I found a tea shop in Turriff soon after 3pm. The cake was top notch.
The campsite is in a very sheltered position on the old railway line. I was even able to enjoy sitting outside for a while, but by 6pm I was forced to retreat to my tent to try to eat as much of my remaining food as possible as tomorrow a hotel has been booked.
I've tried to find out how other bloggers are getting on, but apart from Gayle I can't seem to spot anyone who is making postings. I'm sure there must be lots out there, or is everyone else twittering? That's what those youngsters I met, Iain and Simon, were doing.
Wow - I may have time to turn on my Kindle for the first time tonight!
Sent from Turriff campsite