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Sunday, 1 November 2015

The 2015 Challenge, day 6: Dalbeg to Red Bothy (14)

There is an estate hut beside the track, about 2 kilometres above Red Bothy. It was unlocked, and I briefly toyed with the idea of stopping short. But I wanted to shorten the following day as much as possible, so I would have plenty of time in Aviemore to see to resupply, any equipment needs, enjoying cakes from the gluten-free bakery and so on. (ESPECIALLY enjoying the cakes from the gluten-free bakery ... ). So I decided to press on down to Red Bothy.

I reached the bothy a little after 6.15. There were already five tents pitched outside the bothy, including JJ. I asked if the bothy was already full, and he said not. People were just pitching because it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, now, and looked set fair to be a wonderful night for camping. I could see their point. So I pitched my own tent, put my boots to air in the sun, then took my stove into the bothy to cook supper. I heated up some chilli, and followed it with a packet of chocolate raisins. I may have drunk some Talisker from my flask, too.

By the time I had washed up my supper things and packed my stove away, there were 9 tents pitched near the bothy, and only one person saying he was actually going to be sleeping in the bothy. He was adamant - he had become a "bothy bagger" at the age of 53, and he hadn't used this one yet. So sleep in it he must, despite the wonderful camping weather! I settled into my tent for the night. My right foot was looking a bit of a mess - with several places where it was rubbed raw on top of the toes - but I reckoned this was probably just a case of looking worse than it really was. Nothing that a bit of exposure to the air and a good night's sleep wouldn't sort out. And tomorrow would be a short day now - just 19 kilometres (including an out-and-back to the Corbett) so I would have plenty of recovery time in Aviemore.

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