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Saturday, 21 November 2015

September Cairngorms (1)

The timing of our holiday had been forced on us by the date of Mrs B's colleague's wedding. And this was a little unfortunate, as it meant that we would be driving back to England on the weekend of the Blair International Horse Trials - and this year the Blair International Horse Trials were also the European Eventing Championships and therefore ideally not to be missed. However, as the name implies, a Three Day Event occupies four days (don't ask!), and we could, if we wanted, go to Blair for the first day of the European Championships, if nothing else.

Well, the first day of a Three Day Event is dressage day, and what can I say about dressage as a spectator sport? Not all that much, really, besides that it is slightly less exciting than watching paint dry. However, Mrs B and I have very different ideas about riding. For me it is about getting out into the countryside (hunting, TREC, endurance, sponsored rides, hunter trials, and just hacking around the pleasant green lanes of England) whereas for her it is all about riding little circles in enclosed spaces (why????) - so, would you believe it, she actually WANTED to go and watch the European Paint-Drying Championships. Which was fine by me, as it gave me a free day to myself and I decided that I would go up Ben Macdui, then cross the plateau to Cairn Gorm, have something nice at the Ptarmigan and catch the furnicular back down off the mountainside.

So that was the plan. Mrs B drove me to the car park at the foot of the furnicular railway and the ski tows, and then scooted off to get over-excited watching the proceedings in Blair, and I set off on the Ben Macdui Path. In its lower reaches, this is a very well-made path with stone cobbles all the way, as this photo of the crossing of the Allt Coire an t-Sneachda shows.

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