Monday, 14 November 2016
The 2016 Challenge, day 11: Once More Into the Hills (20)
At 6.30 I had signal for my mobile phone, so I phoned Challenge Control and told them that I was retreating from the hill and withdrawing from the Challenge. At 6.45, I reached the ski centre.
It took me the best part of an hour to get a lift down to Braemar, but when I did it was with a really lovely couple who were touring Scotland. He knew it of old, she was seeing it all for the first time, and her enthusiasm for what she saw was infectious. They did much to lift my spirits, that lovely couple.
So I booked back into the Youth Hostel, and they kindly phoned the Invercauld Arms for me to see if the kitchen was still open. No, it wasn't. Last food orders are at 8. Never mind ... there was all my jettisoned gluten free food in the Youth Hostel kitchen. I went and retrieved it from the free food box and cooked myself a meal. The Youth Hostel is licensed now, so I was able to have some wine with it as well. But it was still with a deep sense of disappointment that I retired to my room to ponder my next move. I had a room booked at the Glen Clova Hotel for the following night. It was too late to cancel it. So if I was going to have to pay for it anyway, I may as well use it. But what, I wondered, was the best way to get from Braemar to Clova in a day, using only public transport and my thumb?
I thought it best to sleep on that one, and figure out the answer in the morning.