Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Monday 19 May 2014 - TGO Challenge - Day 11 - Ballater to Tarfside

Route: as planned

Distance: 28 km (Cum: 276)

Ascent: 1200 metres (Cum: 10300)

Time taken: 8.3 hrs including 1.9 hrs breaks

Weather: mist on Mount Keen followed by a sunny but hazy afternoon

Click on the link below (Day 11) for details of my planned route:

Bacon and sausage butties again set me up for the ascent of Mount Keen on a fine but misty morning. Sue O, on a so called rest day in Ballater, joined me for the four hour walk to the summit, where we caught up with Rob Jones and joined Mole and Andy, who had arrived in their usual energetic fashion from across the watershed. 

We enjoyed half an hour on the top before the cool mist got the better of us and Sue returned to Ballater, leaving the rest of us to amble down to Tarfside via the Queen's Well and the huge monument on the Hill of Rowan. 

En route on the 'yellow brick trail' we encountered flapping lapwings, a curlew, a flock of guinea fowl, large clumps of cuckoo flower, rabbits (dead and alive), oyster catchers, and much more. But the highlight was the sociable nature of the occasion. This is certainly an exceptionally sociable crossing for me. 

The welcome at St Drostans was as thirst quenching as ever, as was JJ's coffee at the campsite (see picture) on a day which again required little more than t-shirts except on the summit. 

Chilli and baked potatoes sorted out any pangs of hunger, and the Masons continued in its bid to quench our thirsts before we staggered back to our tents. 

Sadly, too many people to mention at St Drostans and the Masons, but I'll try to add a few names tomorrow.

Sent from closer to the coast than Tarfside

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