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Sunday, 17 January 2010

The 2004 Challenge, Day 12: Forbestown to Aboyne

My route card said that today, the Tuesday of the second week of the Challenge, I would walk back to Bellabeg and take the track through the woods south of the River Don. But my legs told me they'd just about had it with hills, and there are more than a few contour lines in that part fo the world. So instead, I turned left out of the hotel onto the main road, and then turned off through Heugh-Head and Semeil to reconnect with my planned route at White Hill.

I fillowed the road through Rippachie and took the track over Gallows Hill to Lazy Well. There is a lunch hut here, but it was kept locked; so it would not be available for an overnight stop on another occasion.

Back roads took me through Tarland - an absolutely charming little town - and onward to Culblean Cotts where, once again, my route card said I would take a track across a wooded hillside but my legs told me otherwise. So I headed south to Coull and followed the track at the edge of the woods, and then came down through the grounds of Aboyne Castle and into Aboyne.

The hotel in Aboyne was one of the most run-down places I have ever stayed. The room was large and comfortable; but the decor was shabby, and evening meals were not served. It is a crying shame to see a once-fine hotel reduced to a mere shadow of its former self, but there it is.

I had an evening meal at a rather fine restaurant down by the bridge, and was pleased to be away from Aboyne the following morning.

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