Saturday, 7 November 2015
The 2015 Challenge, day 9: Derry Lodge to Braemar (6)
Peter Grant, "the last Jacobite", was born in 1713 or 1714, and fought at Culloden. He lived to be 110. When he was 108, King George IV visited Scotland (the first reigning monarch since Charles I to do so ... ) and was introduced to the elderly veteran of Charles Edward Stuart's army. According to legend, George IV is supposed to have said "I do believe you are my oldest friend and subject", to which Peter Grant replied "No sir! I am your oldest enemy and subject." It is probably apocryphal, but it is a lovely story for all that. Grant died on 11 February 1824, and by special permission of the King, the pipes played "Who wouldnae fight for Charlie?" at his funeral.
Having paid my respects, I then made my way back to the youth hostel. I phoned in, and learned from Challenge Control that the weather forecast for the following day was none too good. Most especially, there were strong winds forecast, particularly at high level, and this did not bode well for my proposal to do the ridge from Morrone to An Socach. I discussed this with Sue, and said that I would see how it looked in the morning and ring to advise her what my decision was.
I showered, cleaned up my rucksack (which was suffering from a burst bag of powdered goat's milk ... don't ask!!), and sorted out my resupply. Then I went and did my laundry. By the time I had finished, I had reached a decision for the following day: I would give myself a slow and easy start, stay low, and have an easy stroll to Loch Vrotachan on my Fowl Weather Alternative route. So I phoned this decision through to Challenge Control.
I decided against cooking my own supper at the Youth Hostel, so I went into town and had a perfectly rare steak at the Invercauld Arms. I had a couple of pints of cider, and then I returned to the Youth Hostel for a long, relaxing evening in the common room. I finally turned in at about 11.