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 ...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The 2006 Challenge, day 9: over the hills to Ballater

After re-crossing Cock Bridge, I took the old military road south of the River Don, noting Jenny's self-catering bothy in passing. I then took the path up Scraulac, and continued over Cairnagour Hill to Mona Gowan, where I stopped for a bite of lunch. The weather was turning against me now, so I had full weatherproofs on as I sat with my back to the summit cairn. I was warm and dry, despite the hail beating down on me. Behind me the Ladder Hills were bathed in a beautiful, dappled sunshine; and ahead of me, hidden away in a dense, enveloping cloud I knew that, somewhere, there was the brooding mass of Lochnagar. Surveying the scene and enjoying the solitude, I was struck - as I had never before been struck - by the fact that I was totally, completely free to go as I pleased. I had all the equipment I needed, and I could simply stay up there for as long as I chose. It was up to me!

Eventually, I decided that I would get up off my arse and head in to Ballater. My route card said that I would take in Morven ... but looking at it, with its top shrouded in cloud (the base being, now, at about 800 metres) I decided that I really wasn't in the mood for blundering about in poor visibility. So I just headed down the south ridge of Mona Gowan and collected the track past Morven Lodge, and over the Lary Burn and Peter's Hill, up and over the ridge between Craig of Prony and Creagan Riabhach, and down to the Pass of Ballater. I turned left at the road, then right past Monaltrie House, and was soon in Ballater where I pitched on the campsite and did a bit of laundry before heading out to find a bar and a bite to eat.

Ballater, I decided, is a delightful little town. And where else, I ask you, will you find a little back street garage with THREE Royal Warrants (the Queen, the Queen Mother and the Prince of Wales) proudly on display?

No comments:

Post a Comment