Sneaky friday off and a bit more TGO Challenge 2014 prep, an early start for the hour and a bit drive up the Dee, a quick admin stop in Braemar for Bacon and fresh softies at the wee shoppie and into the butchers for a nice steak as well, breakfast and supper sorted it was all systems go, nearly, one more quick stop to pick up a couple of lads hitching to the same place.
Braemar smelled amazing, as soon as I got out of the car I was instantly taken back in time to my teens when I lived and worked in Glen Esk, Angus, the ultra low cloud base, slightly damp/faint drizzle, trees, no wind at all and the smoke from a few coal fires combined to instantly take me back a few decades.
Anyway after parking up at the linn of dee car park I said cheerio to my passengers as they headed off for a few days conquering big hills, I spent 20 minuets sorting myself out then headed off on a loosely planned couple of days leg stretching exercise
About 5 miles in - The Luibeg burn in various forms and off shoots, I stopped here abouts under a fine scots pine for a quick beans and sausage boil in the bag, big cup of tomato soup and a dicht of Gehwol on the plates of meat, the rain came on and over trousers and jacket were donned for the next section. The burn is still a bit to full for crossing with dry feet and with the bridge just around the corner i wasn't going to be bothered messing around with stripping down, so the bridge seemed the sensible choice for today, although wet roots and a steep muddy bank nearly combined to have me in the burn anyway, the path just before the bridge is getting more sketchy by the year
Just about to pop over into Glen Dee and a final look back to Glen Luibeg and Glen Derry, quite a decent climb out of the luibeg with a heavy bergan on, predictably the rain went off at the start which allowed me to cook just nicely on the climb.
Never seen as many grouse, they were everywhere, this one wandered along quite happily in front of me, when I got to the spot hes at now his previously unseen partner decided to get up from under my feet, causing a torrent of abuse to echo through the Lairig Ghru, sorry.............
The Devils point to give it its neutral name looking good, I expected more snow tbh.
Heading down the Dee towards white bridge, only 8 hours ago I was at the other end of it, a wonderful river from head to sea. The walk down the river was quite hard work, very very wet paths and lots of that typical boggy patches where your never quite sure where the path actually is, I was getting quite tired as well and made a fatal error of thinking about the steak supper I had planned. A bag of skittles fairly perked me up though.
Walking along the geldie burn I looked back to see the first sun of the day, not bad at 1930hrs, unfortunately my camera is starting to go and the photos dont do the view justice, about 5 minutes later I came across a dozen or so capercaillie roosting in a forested area, I have seen pheasants roosting up trees on numerous occasions but never capercaillie, always good to get a first.
Tent up, steak on, 15 miles under the belt and feeling remarkably good.
Sitting on a rock having a brew, four stags wandered down to the other bank before I let on I was there, its been a cracking day and other than the two lads I dropped off earlier, I haven't seen another soul, what a fantastic day in a wonderful country