Sunday, 3 July 2011
The 2011 Challenge, day 9: Cairngorm Lodge to Tomintoul (5)
Eventually I was across the peat bog, and I followed the Land Rover track down to the ford over the Dorback Burn. And I looked at the ford in dismay. It would be fine for driving through in a Land Rover or other 4x4 vehicle; but it didn't look all that grand for crossing on foot. I didn't really want to change into my sandals for the crossing as my socks and shoes were sodden, and I would undoubtedly want to put dry socks on when I reached the other side, and I just didn't feel like taking the time that this would involve. So I looked for some rocks that would offer a series of stepping-stones, and I thought that I had found some. Half-way across, however, my right foot slipped and went into the river, soaking shoe, sock and trouser leg.
I scrambled to the far bank and looked for somewhere to get changed. This was now not just a matter of changing shoes and socks, but trousers as well. So I squelched past Lower Drum as I was, and then found a sheltered spot by the small stand of trees just to the North, and changed into my other trousers, dry socks and my Teva sandals - which I was to wear for the rest of the day.
North of the Dorback Burn it is all agricultural land, and I followed the track through cultivated fields past Muckerach, where I turned right onto the road to Dorback Lodge.
Dorback Lodge (pictured) was once a very fine house indeed; but now it is all boarded up, and has signs up warning people to stay away as it is a dangerous structure. I am always disappointed to see such fine houses become ruinous, even if I could never have aspired to live in them: as they say, they don't build 'em like that any more!