Friday, 28 May 2010

Day 9

The day started off slowly. I was in no rush as I was only doing 18km today over Jock's Road. As I was packing Andy asked me to do a pod cast for I was not in the best of form from the night before and just went on about how brilliant everything was, which it has been. Whether it gets in the final cut or not is another matter.

Packed up and headed out of Braemar through the golf course and to the start of Jock's Road. It's a steady pull from the start but eventually you get the infamous Lochallerter Lodge, run by Stan and Bill. I'm not sure what the arrangement is but they plied me with tea, biscuits and a lovely cool can of beer. It's been very hot today, mid 20's I'd guess. They wouldn't take a penny off me and I was given the guided tour of the lodge and listened to many of their tales for a couple of hours. They're TGO legends and quite rightly so. There was room at the lodge and I was invited to stay but I've got chance for a couple more wild camps on the trip, tonight being one of them.

I left them sitting in the sun waiting for tonights batch of challengers to turn up. Then a beautiful walk past the loch and up the remaining part of Jocks Road. I decided to be a clever arse on the top and miss the dog leg path out an take a short cut. I had been warned it was easy to get lost up there, which I promptly did. Ten minutes of studying the map and realising I'd gone a couple of hundred metres to far before going over the crest of the hill. Having to back track and avoiding some large patches of snow and after listening of tales of people falling through the snow on the Lairig Gru a couple of days before I went the long way round and then I was back on track.

I was going to camp at the mountain shelter just over the top into Glen Doll but there wasn't really any good places to pitch the tent. The shelter is erm basic. It's built into the side of the hill and covered in turf, a door about 3 1/2 foot high leads into a little cell, with a corruated roofing sheet for a sleeping platform, a foam mat and an old biscuit tin with emergency supplies. In a winter storm it'll be a god send but it's not for holidaying in. The valley is also very narrow and steep, it didn't feel very friendly. I pushed on for a couple more km and pitched up just before the forest in Glen Doll. It's a bit close to the stream if there's a major downpour but there's not many flat areas to choose from and the forcast is good. Another short easy day tomorrow, with a pub lunch thrown in.

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