Route: as planned
Distance: 28 km (Cum: 276)
Ascent: 1250 metres (Cum: 9500)
Time taken: 8.5 hrs including breaks
Weather: cloudy morning, sunny afternoon, cool breeze
Over the hill (Mount Keen) to Tarfside, as related on at least two earlier Challenges. A long but easy walk on good tracks and in good company with fine scenery. We have entered the more sociable phase of this event, which means more chatting and less blogging.
Breakfast at the usual café (Bean for Coffee?) in Ballater was followed by a 9 am rendezvous with Sue and Heather (achieved at 9.30), and a pleasant day's walk with them and a variety of other familiar faces, notably Maggie and Vicky.
An encounter with a well camouflaged wildlife photographer afforded us 'the other side of the coin' from the keeper we met yesterday. He was photographing ring ouzel and didn't have much good to say about anyone.
St Droston's provided its customary welcome with a pot of tea and, later, chilli and baked potatoes. Numerous tents filled the nearby recreation ground, and the Masons opened to cater for the rehydratory needs of the occupants of those tents.