TGOC 2017 Days 5 to 9 – Fort Augustus to Braemar

Day 5 Tue 16th May Fort Augustus to Challybeate Springs


So before I go on, let me tell you about SHITTING ****ing Blogger’s bastard ****ing editor 😑😑

1 hours work down the drain because it decided to suddenly delete the whole lot then auto-save FA!
I did an Undo, but guess what yep FA!
I may move the whole lot to a better blog site.

And back to day 1

So after deciding on a party the night before, I headed out on the morning in ok weather
with Jayme, Peter and Mario

An ok walk out of town, avoiding the road as much as possible, and finding the new path that avoids the haul up the road and comes out about 400 m past the main site at the start of the Glen Doe engineering works.








The weather was threatening but ok on the way up.
It was however, blowing a tad, and we stopped off at the small bothy to the right of the track.

Cracking on after chocolate to head to the top and over to the reservoir









As we hit the top, the weather closed in.
Rapid donning of wet weather gear and head down to the reservoir and beyond into lashing rain and wind. At the bottom we stopped by the cabins to ask if we could shelter and get some water.

The nice man.


did much better.


He took us through to the rest room and kitchen area where we were allowed to dry off, and use the kitchen and have lunch..

I mean WOW


Well, it would have been rude not to stay.
So we did, for over an hour.
Stuff drying out, hot coffee and tea, lunches taken in the dry 😁😁😁😁

Eventually though it was necessary to head out.
It was still drizzle and rain, but it was clearing from behind and fingers X for Challybeate

So, off we went, checking further along where there used to be 1 track but now had 4, which one to take.
And on and on towards partyville.

Brief chat with a bloke with a digger, who had donated chocolate bars to the last bedraggled folk that had headed that way.


Wonderful isn’t it?
You wait until there are 65 400+ feet Turbines whirling round.
Huge access roads
A ****ing great sub-station
Loads more hydro access roads









Heading up the last bit off the main track to Challybeate

And at last we got to the party location.
Crossed the river by some rocks and some deft footwork, and started putting up tents.
Not many there yet, but give it time.
I believe eventually, despite the cold, there were over 20 tents.
And as luck would have it, the weather turned out really fine, which boded well for tomorrow.





Because SIZE does matter πŸ˜πŸ˜‚











And party we did.
But the next day, gone as if not there.
I did have to walk a bloody long way to have a discrete shit though.
Nobody even built a HENGE!!! πŸ™„πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Day 6 Wed 17th May Challybeate Springs to Newtonmore Via the tops

And so without even a headache we rose early to crack on up the hill.
It was to be a big day before finally dropping down to Newtonmore and the Hostel, and maybe beer?
Having initially intended to walk with Martin and Keith from Day 1, today and for the next few days, I would finally actually walk with them.
I was probably just waiting for the better weather.

We started following the river, before heading slightly left and up to pick up the ridge line.
Some mighty views from up the top, as the sun cleared away any haze.
Still a bit blowy though.





Somewhere on route we picked up Rob.
Might have been at the start.





A rather fine ridge walk, and then round to pop up Carn Dearg









And then back round the ridge before the final descent to Newtonmore (see map)
It was a bloody long day.































Day 7 Thu 18th May Newtonmore to the Feshie


A day in which Viewranger (lucky we rely on paper maps), has a total epi and forgets I have any ****ing licences for any maps at all.

So what happened with Viewranger?
Well to cut a long story shorter, Viewranger had updated over WiFi at Newtonmore.
But I had my maps on an SD card not the main phone.
Chuck in the complication later that a cache cleaner had wiped out the licences, and that I had bugger all internet signal, what with being in the middle of Sweet FA, when I loaded VR up, it just said no licence, connect to internet to update licence….. WTF!

Now, weirdly a work around I managed at the time wasΒ 

Copy all the maps to the main phone memory.
It appears that the cache cleaner had only buggered up the links to the SD Card.
So, as luck would have it, (although we didn’t really need digital maps), I got it working.
Later when I got back I discovered the cache thing from VR in conversation.
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I now keep my maps on the main memory.

I also have a backup of Locus Maps that I am playing with and looks good, although very very different.
VR now of course has OS map licenses, so no need to spend heaps on download tiles.
BUT…… It does not appear to retain these permanently, and swapping phones appears to lose them…
I may need to investigate that more.


Back to the trip….

We headed out of town SW down the road to eventually go under the railway and out onto what ought to be, but turned out to be anything but an obvious path.
So we sort of followed a track and then just plunged into heather across Nuide Moss, eventually finding a small bridge to cross before picking up the old military road track up the Allt Ghiubhais



What? No Paths? πŸ˜‚




Passing by the wee hidden bothy



and then up and over more rough ground before dropping down towards the river before Bhran Cottage.
Alas none of the bridges were there, and we had to bulldoze our way along the river through basically crap and wet before descending a fence line and then dropping in to where the second bridge by Bhran Cott was.


No way across that


Head up river kind of

Long gone, we ended up wading the river, before stopping to dry feet and have a snack.

Lowest point to wade across



Now I should mention Keith’s feet…
Martin and Keith had intended at this point a higher route, but Keith had foot pain, and so it was decided to take a lower route up and over to Feshie via the weir and forest trails and camp a bit up from the bothy, and give it time to get better. If it didn’t, at least it wouldn’t be up a sodding great hill.
So, pain killers inside we headed up past the weir and over along the track to pick up the eventual boggy track up past and around the woods before finally descending into Feshie




Crossing at the weir


Just after crossing the weir


Up the track past the weir and about to hit the higher track that takes us towards the woods.
Foot care is essential



Last water stop before heading up round the woods



Looking Back





About to drop into the Feshie
Lochan an t – Sluic


To the Feshie





Up the Feshie, South Side, East of the Bothy








A seriously low Feshie River, we tiptoed across


A Tree washed up stream in speight


Erosion on North bank
Over the river



Not a bad spot.
Not bad weather either




Well, that had been a bloody long day.

I mean a LOOOOooooonnnnnngggg day.

So it was early rise tomorrow, and then a trudge to Braemar.

Keith and Martin were planning to camp short, but I could already sense the lure of the Fleshpots for the Sat night revelries ?????

Day 8 Fri 19th May Feshie to BraemarΒ 


We headed off up the track, taking the trade route along the Feshie up past the waterfalls and on to the Geldie over the open ground. A classic route and a nice one with very little that can go wrong, although back in 1995, having camped up here, we woke to a bloody great stag by the tent, and 6″ of snow that had shrunk the volume of the tent by 50%.












The Geldie spreads out before us






Just after the American chap had been seen pissing into the stream πŸ™„ we caught up with Elton.
Or maybe they caught up with us.
Anyway, we all stopped for a sit down and a banter.

We headed off up to the Geldie crossing from Bynack Lodge, and the old ruin that is now being converted into a bothy…
I wonder how long before it is trashed by weekend ****ers in cars and bikes


Someone was staying here.
Not us

Then we headed on up to White Bridge and the Linn of Dee



As we approached the Linn of Dee, Martin decided it was time to camp and they headed off down to find a spot.

The Linn of Dee?
The Linn of Dee?

Why, it is but a stones throw from Mar Lodge, and that is just a bimble to Braemar.

It was Friday night, and the weather was good, and I was a day ahead for the second time.
I watched them head to the river.
Time to ring Kate and check if she had places for tonight as well as tomorrow

SHE DID!!!!Β  πŸ‘πŸ˜πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

No contest then, “bye boys”, and to Braemar it was.

Stopping to walk along the river at the Linn of Dee rather than the road and on to Mar Lodge











Leaving Mar Lodge via the main bridge, harmonica in hand and a tune on the go, I walked up the road to the start of the woods and then took the middle track up past the pond, and then through the Morrone Birkwood to the trig point and down into Braemar.

Well, I say it was all just a stones throw.
In reality approx. 12.11 kms

But heh….

Beer, Bed, heat (AND….the forecast for the Sat morning was going to be RAIN).

Nuff said!



Leaving the bridge, just the road to go and the woods 😁😁 And it was not raining…

Up the track


The small pond in the woods
I had a chat with a chap walking his dog here




Looking out and across to the big hills




Heading into the woods main






Ready to descend to Braemar





The kitchen at Kate’s (Rucksacks Braemar)

I landed at Kate’s, just me and a French Girl whose name I ought to remember in that night.
Shower and sorted. I think Gerry may have been in for the Saturday night.
All done, grab some food and head into the Invercauld Arms for a beer and see who was in on the Friday

Day 9 Sat 20th May Braemar all day, doing pretty much BUGGER ALL, or did I????

So, Sat arrived and I bumbled about.
Went and got some supplies and some whisky to take to Callater for Sun.

Had a chat with the lady in the Post Office, then, as luck would have it, I bumped into Jeanette and Bill and Michael in the high street, and was invited up to Callater for the day.
Well, it could have been a very dull day without that luck, so I dropped stuff off at Kate’s, and then wandered back and Michael drove me up to Callater, where I spent most of the day doing not much, just bumbling and chatting, and sorting out a bed for Sunday night.
Might have had tea and beer, might not.
No pictures as I totally forgot.

Later, Michael drove me back down to Braemar, where I bumbled into the Invercauld again after chatting with assorted folk at Kate’s, inc JJ.. 😁

And it was into the evenings revelry…..
And mighty it was…

Fife Arms? Still not open? Who needs Ya!


JJ at Kate’s


Same old bunch of reprobates


Mick hold court and flirts with the ladies


Caburn, Lindsay, Colin and Al looking err…Β 


JJ bangs out a folky



Either they were all moving, it was an eathquake
or I had had a couple?
Yep… that was another blinding TGOC Braemar night.
We wandered back to our beds at some ungodly hour..
I see to remember Waggy couldn’t find his rucksack, and hadn’t put his tent up.
I may have dreamt that!
Oh well, sleep of the damned before breakfast in the morrow and a walk back to Callater for yet another party .



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