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Sunday, 3 June 2012

The 2012 Challenge, Day 10: A Stroll into Braemar (8)

Supper in the Fife Arms was acceptable, and after supper I got to talking (and playing pool - rather badly, in my case) with a young couple called Dave and Sue. They were the first Challengers I had met since setting out from Lochailort, but it turned out that they had withdrawn. They had been following one of Peewiglet's routes from Torridon, which they said had impressed them because it just seemed to flow in sympathy and harmony with the landscape. However, the weather had got the better of them. Sue, especially, had been having difficulty keeping warm at night, and they weren't enjoying themselves in consequence. They hadn't encountered a great number of other Challengers and so saw little of the legendary cameraderie, and so they decided to call it a day. They didn't know if they'd be coming back another year - they felt that if they wanted to walk across Scotland they could do it any time, and it didn't have to be as part of the Challenge. They also gave me the somewhat stunning news that there had already been 50+ withdrawals from the Challenge which, if true, would be an all time record attrition rate.

When I got back to the B&B I telephoned Challenge Control to advise that I was safe and sound in Braemar, and to confirm my booking for the Friday dinner. They confirmed the attrition rate, which had risen to 52 withdrawals. I was glad not to be one of them!

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