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Sunday, 10 November 2013

The 2013 Challenge, day 13: Cortachy to Forfar (7)

I left the square by means of a little back street and archway (pictured) which returned me to the main street, and here I found a traditional barber's shop which offered hot towel wet shaves. This seemed like just the kind of pampering I needed after walking nearly across Scotland, so I booked one for myself and went for another little wander while they prepared the towels.

Now a proper hot towel wet shave takes a long time - over an hour in this case - and they only charged me £10 for it! I don't quite see how this can be profitable. Even assuming that the girl who shaved me is earning bare National Minimum Wage, that doesn't leave a whole lot over to pay for premises and overheads and leave the proprietor with a little bit for themselves. However, it was their price and I was happy to pay it - together with a £5 tip because she did such a wonderful job. To put this in context, soon after I returned from the Challenge, the London Evening Standard did a little feature on a London barber who was offering his customers traditional wet towel shaves ... at £45 a time! OK, so just about everything in London is dearer than in Scotland; but not usually by 350%!

Once I had been shaved, I returned to the camp site and found another Challenger pitching his tent. When he was done we went off together in search of some supper; and over supper he told me about his achievements this crossing. It seems that on most of the days when I had decided the weather wasn't suitable for going high, he decided otherwise; and had ascended 8 Corbetts and 38 Munros on the way across. That's more Munros in two weeks than I've done in my entire life!!!

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