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Sunday, 3 July 2011

The 2011 Challenge, day 9: Cairngorm Lodge to Tomintoul (12)

I had thought that from Bridge of Avon I should have to follow the road into Tomintoul, but far from it! There is actually a little footpath, all but obliterated by writing on the map, which leads from Urlarmore up to Campdalmore, from where it is possible to follow the track down to the car park at the North West end of the main road through Tomintoul. From here it is road walking of course; but you expect that once you reach a settlement.

Tomintoul is the highest village in Scotland, and in Britain. It was dismal and wet when I arrived, and I walked the length of the village to the Youth Hostel (pictured). There were two or three other Challengers there including Elizabeth Murphy, and a gentleman who was particularly pleased to renew his acquaintance with me - David Boyd. David was the first-timer whom I had accompanied over Mount Keen in 2006, and was now making his third crossing.

I had rubbed an intrigueing blister on the upper inside face of my right big toe. It did not interfere with my walking in any way; but I thought that it would be prudent to drain it. So I borrowed a needle for the purpose, I did some laundry, and David and I went to supper at the Clock House restaurant which was as wonderful as ever.

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