TGOC 2022 - Torridon to Kinnaber Links (Days 9 & 10)
Bob Scotts Bothy to Lochallater Lodge via Braemar
(Not as much swearing today...)
Day 09 Fri 20th May - Bob Scott's to Braemar
Although some movement from the girls, who yesterday had said they would be away early, I was the first awake and up.
I needed to pop out for a comfort break.
I was still alive, so either I didn't snore, or the threats from yesterday were untrue.
Most were now sorting out gear when I got back (TBF, it's not too far to the toilet), and I proceeded to pack away my gear. I bade them safe journey, as the forecast for later that day was less than good, and they were heading high, and started towards Braemar.
No 2 nature had not called yet, and so I was hopeful for a sit down ablution at Mar Lodge.
Easy walking as not too much up and down, and no nasty rivers to cross.
Plus the promise of a cup of tea and a biscuit at Mar Lodge.
I had skipped on breakfast, but only 7km to the Lodge, so not an issue.
It was going well until I was about 1km from Luibeg bridge, but then the little voice in my head started saying. "Told you to go back at the bothy!"
It was ok, it, it was only about 4.5km to Mar Lodge now, and anyway, there were for some reason, what seemed like hundreds of people walking towards me up the slope in small groups, and looking at the sides, there was nowhere to hide away.
I decided to ignore that annoying voice and carry on......
The annoying voice was NOT to be ignored.
And it had already sent messages south to stir up trouble.
As I neared Luibeg bridge , the little voice came back.
Nowhere near the track seemed viable, too much visibility, and going further on was a stream, so I had to go away from that.
Nothing for it then, as that little voice was beginning to rant instructions to other bits of my anatomy.
I turned a sharp left and headed upwards through the undergrowth, through a bog (pretty annoyed, as my shoes had finally dried out), and upwards until I finally found a big fallen tree in the middle of a marsh, about 150m off the track, and thankfully hidden. Finding a dry-ish place for the pack, I removed required toiletries, trowel, and dug a suitable size latrine. Thank God for walking poles to balance on, as this was both precarious/dangerous and prime tick undergrowth.
I was heading back towards the track.
Hopefully without any form of insect/archnid like invasion, and the little voice had ****ed off somewhere else.
Now of course, you didn't need to know any of that, but TBF, it's more interesting than describing a light brown track and weeds.
|In places the track down is better than others, |
but an LRT it definitely ISN'T
There were several people in there.
I spoke to all of them.
Several I knew from this years trip or over the years.
Sadly, my Biden brain cannot remember who anyone I spoke to was now, other than Lindsay and her son. 🤦♂🤷♂️
Well, it was time to head into Braemar via the woods route, as I just hate tarmac.
So it was off over the new bridge (where I had a call to do some work for someone, but had to decline due to being half way across Scotland. I did give advice to the problem though, and as they never got back to me, I assume that fixed it).
So much nicer.
Take the road from the bridge until you cross the stream.
Then carry on past the houses until just after the house on the right, where a track goes off to the left up to a large gate. Through here and then take the central track up the hill where a steeper track goes off to the right.
Carry on until you get to the pond, then go right round the far end of the pond, up to the track where you go left, and then right again up (don't be tempted down the big track).
Carry on through the woods, and 2 gates until you get to the
(I am told that in my ignorance this is NOT a trig point but a toposcope by Louise and Alan. I am humbled & now better educated. Who knew eh... 🙆) that is hidden just off to the left. If you start to head down to a golf course, you missed it by a country mile (I have that T shirt from many years ago).
Had a discussion about disintegrated underwear, where a fine tip was given (see later trip to the Braemar Mountain Shop), and then we went to the Fife for a beer, where we were allowed in as long as we vacated the table within 25 minutes as it was reserved for some posh clean people. 🙄
Beer was had, and then it was time to go to the coop to buy whisky and supplies, and then more importantly to the gear shop to find new underwear.
The advice given by Julie, as Dave had some, was that the Saxx Boxer shorts where the dogs. Not cheap, but excellent.
Well, they were worth a look IMHO, as the grey Rab ones I had as a free replacement to the Red Rab ones that had disintegrated a couple of years ago, where.... Hanging in there (literally).
Now, for the squeamish, I have NOT taken a picture of the old ones.
Too much hanging in there!
But below are the red ones from a couple of years ago.
Plus... I picture if the new ones.
Yes... The Saxx Boxers with the Ball Park Pouch really do work. 😀😲
|The original Rab destroyed shreddies |
(don't ask or even think)
And here they are.
They were so good, that the next morning I went and bought a second pair.
I was willing to carry a 3rd pair of shreddies to the coast!
The 2nd pair were a different colour.
It was a twin I had booked when Keith was going to be on the Challenge.
Then, I was going to share with Craig, but his route had changed and so as luck would have it, it worked out well, as Carl shared it, while Gabriella shared with Sally & Laura.
|I wasn't being anti-social.|
I was listening to the live stream of a funeral
in which my daughter was making a speech.
|Sally, Gabriella, Carl & Laura|
TGOC Family 😊
The next 3 pictures I pinched off their website and FB pages.
|As it was before the refurbishment|
|Obviously Taken in Winter|
|Inside view taken off their FB page|
At least they were on the Friday Night.
Not much pending for the Sat, other than breakfast, a slow bimble to Lochcallater Lodge via a Corbett, and a night of socialising.
Look, it's nights 9 and 10, it's mainly about beer and whisky and singing.
|Not much left of the Braemar Lodge Hotel 😲|
Went down to the Bothy Cafe for breakfast, which took ages and ages, as they also allowed ****ing tourists in. The delay worked out OK though, as it was now that I bought the extra Ball Park Shreddies.
Then we generally bimbled around, and I went off but failed to bump into anyone again.
It had rained while in the Bothy, and as we had a glimpse of shadow and sun I decided to head off to Lochcallater Lodge, me destination for the day.
There were rumours that Gerry was about, but our paths had not crossed.
Thinks .................. 🤔🤔
Yeah, why not, it's there and not raining, even if it was a tad windy.
So off I went heading UP again.
The last bit of navigation from the summit down to pick up the path is very off-piste, but as long as you watch where you are heading, it's a matter of hitting the big track, and then making sure you find the rather indistinct path off it to the right that wanders down to the bridge near the Lodge and Bothy.
|Looking up the Loch.|
I scattered some of my Mum's ashes here in 2019
|Bill's dog Zuri (sp?).|
Lovely old boy.
Struggling with eyesight now 😥
I cannot express how much I love being here.
It was funny this year to be here on the Sat, rather than the Sun, but, as it happens, it was to be a brilliant evening.
In the last few years (and this is my opinion), there have been some great folk there, that I really like, but a degree of getting utterly pissed by some to the point of being almost a burden.
I could even say that a slight disrespect to Bill and those that are there.
That is NOT I add, the intention, but just probably the lovliness of the place that some maybe relax too much to a point of oblivion.
And this is not really a criticism, as everyone that goes there is a top person.
Just that some lack that extra bit of self control on matters alcohol.
Mick and Tracey were there, even though Mick (he's done 20 OK!) had withdrawn.
If anyone has any video's or images of that night I can add, then please message me and I'll give you an email address.
That said, below is the TGOC song I did (using Andy Howell's lyrics)
Sadly like far too many in the last 2 years, Andy is no longer with us (IT WAS A SHOCK to me).
I recorded this after the even, as it's difficult to play it, and record it at the same time.
Not that anyone would want to, but you can download the
MP3 from here.
Many many thanks to Bill, and all those that provided this wonderful place.
Shame Michael couldn't make it this year, but we'll catch up sir.
At some point it was time for bed.
Those in tents went outside, those who had blagged a room wandered up the stairs to sleep.
Tomorrow was another day.
It would be in great company, and fuck all visibility.
Gravedigger (my interpretation)
Originally I think by Willie Nelson
And an awesome version you should seriously listen to
By Dave Matthews
Press ****ing PLAY
on this one!
It's a Challenge Family THING!