Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

TGO Challenge 2016 - Day 11 - Cairn Sawvie by Brown Cow Hillr to Ballater (campsite - NO 370 952 - 200 metres)

Date: Monday 23 May

Route: as planned

Distance: 25 km (Cum: 248)

Ascent: 400 metres (Cum: 8250)

Time taken: 8.5 hrs including breaks

Weather: sunny periods followed by long showers

Just a short entry today as it's bedtime already.

A lovely walk in nice countryside with no Challengers encountered until we reached Ballater and bumped into Heather T-S in the high street. Followed that with hasty showers before dashing to the Alexandra for an evening with Sue and Neil (celebrating making it to 60) as well as Heather.

Our only other encounter of the day was with a gamekeeper. A nice chap. He told us Inchrory, the mansion we passed yesterday, is owned by the 'Tetrapak' family, and that the nest we had seen destroyed earlier in the day was probably the victim of ravens, which he told us were a pest of increasing concern to farmers. He shared some of our views about the fancy electric fences..

Last night's wild camping spot near the top of Brown Cow Hill was great. The soft mattress of lichen afforded a perfect night's sleep. The wind dropped and there was complete silence apart from the occasional sound of an alarmed grouse.

After a slow start over rough ground we dropped to the banks of the River Garn and enjoyed a largely tarmac free stroll into Ballater. Lunch was taken on a bench near a house where the owner kindly gave us some water as our supply from near Inchrory was running low. After that we enjoyed quiet tracks and paths (no other walkers) and an encounter with a tractor of the RED variety.

Parts of Ballater are effectively no go areas after the floods of a few months ago. Many properties are having to be completely refurbished.

The campsite is operational though, and we'll get a good night's sleep, I'm sure. ..
    
Slideshow for the Day
Click on the first image, then click 'slideshow'.

Next Day - Day 12

6 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

Super colour photos - all nostalgic for Scotland - seems ages since I've been there apart from the east coast last year. You've inspired me to put some dates in my diary for the end of September before anybody sandbags me. Sorry I didn't reply earlier about Eastfield Lodge but I was off in Chamonix (working), but thanks for the invitation which I accept and look forward to.

Gayle said...

I was impressed at how good the operational half of Ballater campsite was looking. And they found me a pitch even though they were fully booked. Sad to see all those sorry houses waiting for refurb though.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Conrad - all noted. 'Working' in Chamonix!

The people at Ballater campsite are always great, and facilities are excellent. Also the cheapest campsite we stayed at.

AlanR said...

Lovely example of the Nuffield tractor. Wish the front lighting plate had been fitted but what great condition. Once part of the BMC group or British Leyland. This model dates from around 1950.

Phreerunner said...

It was a fine specimen Alan, but with no obvious clue as to the maker, and it's not in 'Great British Tractors'! The engine sounded sweet.

AlanR said...

Probably a Perkins Diesel.