Dinner with Sue last night at the local hostelry was most pleasant, and the early night that followed was very welcome. Our morning walk with Harvey and Sue and Neil's cat eating lurcher took us past an impressive looking house with a turret. A house fit for a TGOC vetter.
Today's first 'drop' was a large package for JJ - a spare tent no less - but the bunkhouse in Aviemore was deserted. So coffee and a bacon butty in the town centre were in order. A Nevisports shop was next door, so I assuaged my worries about cold hands on the Challenge (the weather forecast is dire) by acquiring a new pair of Corbett Extremities waterproof gloves. Whether or not they will either work or be needed is academic - I now feel better equipped.
On return to the bunkhouse I managed to locate a nanogenerian cleaner with whom to abandon JJ's valuables, enabling me to continue on the scenic route to Ballater. Today's picture, with its snow clad Cairngorm backdrop, was taken from one of many fine viewpoints, at one of which I enjoyed a long overdue chat with Bill.
Luckily, the campsite at Ballater, with its shiny new reception building, was both open and welcoming.
Fine views towards Lochnagar accompanied me to Braemar, where the campsite, Mar Lodge and the Fife Arms all willingly added my deliveries to their piles of parcels. My own small packet was left at Thornbank, where a curious neighbour banged on the door. We exchanged pleasantries, soon establishing that whilst I was not the owner's father she was the recipient of my last parcel of the day. She took one look at it, swore loudly, and threw it pack. Eventually I was able to persuade her that this 'JJ' was in impoverished Ukrainian immigrant and not the man she had mistakenly assumed to be the chatterboxa from Timperley.
Fifteen items delivered. One to go.
Then a lovely drive over to Pitlochry for a refreshing break in Biba cafe was followed by a meander to my destination and Eddie, Heather and Thomas's generous welcome.
Sadly JD departed this world a couple of weeks ago. It's not quite the same without him.
Two Davids, a Pat and an Ann arrived for dinner, during which it transpired that we all knew people and places in common, and they bought a copy of 'A Pyrenean Adventure'. I hope they enjoy it.
Thanks go to Eddie and Heather as always for their excellent hospitality.
Sent from the Bridge of Gaur Guest House