About the Loon

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A happy chap who likes a walk every now and then

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

THE TGO CHALLENGE 2014.....DAY 9 (The beachend boys are in town)

I courted that girl on the banks of the Dee,
I made up my mind she was fashioned for me,
Soon I was thinking how nice it would be
If she would consent to get married to me.
The day we were wed, the grass was so green,
The sun was as bright as the light in her ' een.

Day 9 White Bridge to Braemar 10 miles

Probably the shortest day of the trip, a Saturday, Scottish cup final day, if we hadn't been knocked out in the semi final, today would have been a nightmare, my plan somehow would have involved a return trip to Glasgow from Braemar, the deeside reds bus would have been my target today, probably a bonus that we are crap.

 Sausage wrap and broon sauce again, I dont think ive looked at a sausage since the challenge finished. The spot I bivied up in is between the Geldie burn and the Ruigh na Clach wood, its about the forth night ive spent at the spot this year, its dried out quite a bit since the start of the year, on one of my trips, four stags came down to the river opposite me, thats what being in the wilds is all about for me, another trip and the woods were full of roosting Capercaillie, the most ive ever seen, theres a lek not to far from where I was. The general area is pretty open so the woods are quite handy for stuff...

The walk in towards Linn of Dee is quite fine for a well beaten track, as i was heading out I bumped into quite a few day walkers heading in the opposite direction for a day in the mountains.  About half a mile past white bridge you pick up a really good mobile signal, so I made a wee call to see where Mrs Mctoogle was, she was just passing Ballater so we were pretty much on target to meet somewhere between Braemar and Mar Lodge.

I love the old Caledonian forest, the next few days will see me walking through some of the best bits, just magical trees. Hopefully the huge re forestation programmes currenty taking place come good, and all the bastard wind turbines fall over, ach well we can dream.

Walking along the road towards Mar Lodge I was joined by a couple of lads who arrived on the road from the Lairig Ghru track, they had lost one of the party, the father in law I think it was. They were hoping to find him at Mar Lodge, I haven't heard any news reports on the subject so I presume they were in/out* of luck

*delete as applicable

The mighty Dee, the car park and area around the Linn of Dee was its usual Saturday busy.

The majestic Mar Lodge, I didnt stop as I had a hot date, maybe next time (except I plan on going via Ballater next year, maybe..)

Oops, hot hatch,  twisty, up and doon country roads, whats the bets "a stag ran across in front of me mylud"

Two words you dont often see in the same sentence.

I was fairly hacking on and eventually at Arderg I bumped into the brains of the family, she'd parked up at the hotel and wandered out to meet me, she executed a swift pirouette and we headed off towards Braemar. She forgets I had a rather big bag on, so a polite "slow down please" message was sent forward.

Before the challenge, I had planned to cut up through the An Car wood and into the village via the showgrounds, but the walk on the road was actually quite enjoyable,  especially with fine company and someone to have a muse with.

 I later heard that a couple of navigationaly challenged challengers/bloggers with a liking for cheap supermarket brand whisky got lost for days in this section, so maybe I escaped lightly. 

We were booked into the Fife, so we went straight there to partake in a swift pint or two, after satisfying the thirst it was along to Gordon's for a panini and carrot cake mitt coffee. Followed by a return trip to the fife for a couple more drinks and to check in, the rooms in the hotel are huge but maybe a bit dated, the shower is a touch sketchy,  alternating between just right, jesus f@@@@n christ cold and third degree burns, Mrs McT was a tadge bemused when the tent was hung up in there, but most impressed when I washed out my socks and top (pants were heading home to Aberdeen in a sealed bag for incineration), wait until she finds out I can knock up a mean sausage wrap.

After getting the admin squared away, we took a walk through the village to the Braemar lodge restaurant for some supper,  it was very good, the wee whisky bar in there is a cracker, I had my first and second (maybe even third) bottle of Cairngorm black gold on the whole crossing, try it, a truly wonderful brew. After a great meal we wandered back to the Fife for the night.

Day 9 Thoughts and Impressions

Second day without a cuckoo, im starting to miss them. St Johnstone won the cup, ha ha, get it up you joots. Wife's aren't just for Xmas. 


  1. Great stuff - despite a small factual inaccuracy. Of those two Challengers who like cheap whisky getting lost in the An Car woods. My understanding is that only one of them drinks cheap whisky. He happened across the one who likes very expensive whisky who was hopelessly lost and wandering in circles in the woods, close to death. He rescued this hapless individual, carrying him to Braemar and revived him with Famous Groyse on the pavement at 11 in the morning ouside the offy.

    1. Unfortunately sir, as much as I would like to assist you in this matter, (you need to read that in a call centre type voice) , I'm afraid that history has already been written, and we all know that once it is written it becomes truth. On the bright side, in years to come future challengers will talk in hushed tones about the two whisky addled challengers who disapeared in the An Car woods. Its maybe time to think about who you want to play you in the movie....

  2. My comment above. Famous Groyse? Must have been a cheap fake bottle of Famouse Grouse.