Woohoo! I've discovered how to add a few little tick boxes at the bottom of each post, to enable readers to record their reactions. Do please use them. I think I've identified the four most likely responses ...

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The 2015 Challenge, day 7: the "Burma Road" (6)

At the bottom of the Burma Road we took a glug stop and a breather in the lovely little wooded glade just above Lynwilg (pictured), then we crossed over the A9 and walked the last couple of kilometres into Aviemore, where we separated. It wasn't even 2 o'clock, and I hurried to the specialist free form café where I bought my lunch. I had a delicious steak melt (with goat's cheese) followed by a great big slice of Italian orange cake. And a couple of cans of Irn Bru. It was just what I needed. The steak melt was garnished with the most amazing red onion marmalade I've ever tasted. I asked them for the recipe ... and they gave it to me. It has raspberries and chillis in it ... which is interesting, to say the least. I'd identified the chilli heat, but not the raspberries. The recipe is for industrial quantities, mind, so I'm going to need to reduce the measures a bit before I make it!

After lunch I resupplied with high energy stuff, and bought a cuddly toy mammoth because ... well, because they were there, and once you know they exist, how CAN you live your life WITHOUT a cuddly toy mammoth?? Then I went to the Youth Hostel where I decided, on a whim, to upgrade to a private room. They only had a 4-bed private room, so the upgrade would cost me £52. They were surprised that I was happy to pay this, but as I pointed out, it WOULD mean I saved £2 on towel hire, so it wasn't actually as expensive as all that ...

I dumped my stuff in my room and went for a shower ... and that's when I found my first ever tick! I used my specialist tick remover to remove it, but I didn't manage to get it out cleanly, and part of its mandible remained embedded in my flesh. I was able to borrow a needle from Mark Storey, a fellow ten-timer (and the only one who's actually younger than me, curse him!) and I managed to get some of it out. but I couldn't see what remained, although I could feel that it was there. So I covered it with a plaster, and hoped that this would draw it.

I phoned Challenge Control and spoke to Alvar. He said that people WERE making it through the Lairig Ghru, but that I should aim to start early if I was going that way, as a deterioration in the weather was forecast. I thanked him for this sage advice, did my laundry, and then headed out to the Old Bridge Inn for some food and something to drink.

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