|KIRSTEN, COLIN PACKING, WITH A WALL OF THE DUBRACH SETTLEMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DEE|
I've combined two days for the map, as both days are half walking days, just over eight miles to Braemar and six miles from Braemar to Loch Callater. This meant that I had plenty of time today - a Saturday, to get the food shopping before the shops shut and still be able to luxuriate in my hotel room, have cups of tea, get the washing done and go out for dinner. Tomorrow would be a nice lie-in, a decent hotel breakfast and a morning either in the pub or a cafe before heading off to Loch Callater to continue the walk and an evening with friends.
|DAYS NINE & TEN. CLICK TO ENLARGE. BRAEMAR IS THE RED DOT ON THE PROFILE DIAGRAM|
Our happy band of walker's first pause was taken at the bridge at the Linn of Dee. It had a been a pretty dry first week of the Challenge and so there wasn't a lot of water in the Linn, but it's not a stretch to imagine the water belting along in spate.
|LINN OF DEE, TAKEN FROM THE BRIDGE: CLICK TO ENLARGE|
Being a caring soul, rather than over-stretching your mind, I've borrowed a picture of the Linn from the Facebook page for the River Dee (see link below the picture) of a fairly normal high flow. Earlier in the year the Dee was all but filling the arch of the stone bridge.
|TAKEN FROM THE RIVER DEE'S FACEBOOK PAGE|
I've walked past this lovely little post box at Inverey quite a few times over the years and I've always been interested in it because it's a wall box and not a fee standing pillar box - the wall being three slabs of granite clad around the box. However, Google comes to the rescue - of a sort - with this article, which a little unhappily doesn't quite nail the beast down. However, it does explain why it's a wall box and not a pillar box.
|MONUMENT TO JOHN LAMONT, PICTURE TAKEN FROM THIS EXCELLENT PAGE: HERE|
|IMAGE SWIPED FROM GOOGLE - Charles Gunning's picture|
For older, experienced Challengers who may be confused by change (that's me) this used to be a wonderful emporium known as 'Taste'. I'm not sure what happened but the new business is jolly good too, with outside tables and chairs not shown in the picture - but of course this may be down to Covid and no one being allowed to sit inside.
Whatever, before too long there was a host of Challengers taking over the place. We noticed a sudden disappearance of the clientele who were here on our arrival. Perhaps it was the whiff of three days out in the hills? A high carbo-loading of sweet gorgeousness from the cake display satisfied my immediate cravings for decent food and I set off again to find my lodgings - the Braemar Lodge Hotel, to be looked after by its long standing proprietors, Ronnie & Fiona - to trash my room on arrival and lie on the bed drinking tea and scoffing the biscuits.
The evening was spent in the bar of the Invercauld Arms, which was being refurbished, with Martin & Sue Banfield and of course Lindsay. They weren't doing food so Lindsay and I managed to nab a table at the Braemar Lodge Hotel's restaurant and did it very well indeed.