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Friday, 6 June 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 8: Day Off in Dalwhinnie (1)

Jules and Elizabeth cooked me a wonderful breakfast, and then I took my leave of them. I figured I ought to use my day off to attend to some necessary chores in Perth. So I headed up to the bunkhouse, and left my rucksack there. I arranged for them to do my laundry and then accompanied Dave A to the station. He was heading home and we were on the same train to Perth, so we travelled together. He was, it has to be said, still very clearly in shock, and who can blame him?

I took my leave of Dave Albon at Perth railway station, and headed into town. I found a camera shop, and they said they could re-charge my flat battery for £5; so I left it with them. I had been suffering a bit from a sweaty scalp when pushing hard - for instance, in ascent - and I don't like sweat dripping in my eyes. So I went to a barber's shop and had a haircut and hot shave (Oh what decadent luxury! And only £10 in the Highlands of Scotland!). I then went in search of a pharmacy and an outdoor supply shop. The bunkhouse had managed to get me Compeeds and painkillers, but not Kendal Mint Cake. I bought myself a comb (a minor omission from my packing), some more painkillers (as it's always useful to have more than they will sell you in one transaction!), some lip salve (I thought I had some in my rucksack: but when I came to need it, it had turned out that I hadn't), some Kendal Mint Cake (alas, they only had Quiggins, not Romneys) and some storm matches (I don't know what had happened to mine; but at Crosben cottage I had found that I only had Swan Vestas with me: which is fine in a cottage kitchen or bothy, but not quite so good on a wind-sept hillside!). I then set about finding myself some lunch, and ate in a lovely little cafĂ© which served me leek and potato soup followed by liver and onion with chips and peas, and of course the inevitable Irn Bru.

Having had my lunch I went and retrieved my (now fully charged) camera battery, and then it was time to head back to the station. My route took me past the King James VI Hospital, and I could not resist taking a photograph of the inscription stone.

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