Woohoo! I've discovered how to add a few little tick boxes at the bottom of each post, to enable readers to record their reactions. Do please use them. I think I've identified the four most likely responses ...

Monday, 3 May 2010

The 2006 Challenge, Day 6: A Long Tramp to Grantown on Spey

Leaving the lunch hut, I followed the track down the Rhilean Burn and on to Dunearn Lodge. The waters of both the Rhinean and the Leonach Burns were swollen and angry from the overnight rain, and a rich peaty brown in colour. I chose to keep shoes and gaiters firmly in place when crossing, and to walk with wet feet and socks, and I didn't care to fill my water bottles from such murky streams. Even the Tomlachlan Burn, which I had to ford to reach Dunearn Lodge, was fast-flowing and challenging that day.

Dunearn Lodge is a fishing lodge, large and handsome, and I arrived just as a couple of expensive cars headed off for a day's fishing. It is, however, sufficiently up-market to have resident staff, who were more than happy to refill my water bottles for me and invited me in to the kitchen where I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a chance to change into some dry socks. This, I always feel, is the TRUE meaning of hospitality. Not the grand, sweeping gestures; but the small things that make a difference. I wasn't even allowed to wash up my own coffee cup, and I was sent on my way with a smile on my face.

I walked down the drive - all half a mile of it - and turned left onto the B9007 to Burnside, then right onto the little road across the North flank of Hill of Aitnoch. Then I followed the old military road to Aitnoch (the final descent at the end by spot height 288 proving to be more than a little challenging!) then followed the A939 to Dava.

The route I had planned to walk followed the track East past Aittendow and south past Badahad; but by the time I reached Dava I was longing for the joys of a warm bath, a good meal and a soft bed. So I just turned onto the A939 - the quickest way into Grantown!

I'd been walking a while on the road when I came to soem road works, where the workmen drew my attention to the fact that the old dismantled railway had now been made available as a walking / cycle route. There was a gate providing easy access, so I left the road behind and went to play trains.

The old track bed was not all that good going, I have to say; the cuttings were particularly boggy and the deep cutting North of Carn Luig was practically impassable.

At Lynemore you have to rejoin the road - presumably because the old tunnel is impassable; but after a short stretch of road I turned left again and headed into Grantown through the pleasant grounds of Castle Grant.

I cannot now recall which hotel I stayed at in Grantown. I do recall that it was large and imposing, and served a very fine dinner and an excellent breakfast. And that the bed was soft and inviting, and the hot bath more than welcome! I slept well that night.

No comments:

Post a Comment