Dulnain Bothy No 1 to Aviemore
Paul and Wayne were packed before me and their route was slightly different, so they left the bothy before me. The weather was cloudy but it didn’t feel like rain. This is the second time that I’ve walked down the Dulnain and I was looking forward to it. It’s a brilliant walk.
After a kilometre or so, I bumped into Bob and Rose who were packing up in their tent. We had a short conflab, and then I wandered on. There was no real time pressure so I didn’t push myself particularly. I just enjoyed the wonderful scenery.
I spotted a what looked like an eagle, but the picture I took came out blurred. Then, just before bothy number two, there was another, wheeling above the river bluff. It must have been there for about three or four minutes and I was able to take a couple of good photos. Magical.
By now, almost all the clouds had disappeared and it was developing into a hot day. I pressed on to bothy number three, where I faced a decision: should I cross the river and take the ridge or continue to follow the river and have lunch at the Red Bothy?
I decided that lunch at the Red Bothy and the prospect of meeting some other Challengers seemed the preferable option. Between bothy three and the Red Bothy, the Dulnain widens considerably and the going is a bit lumpy and boggy in places. Eventually the path leads to a track to the Red Bothy.
At the bothy I met Dave and Graham who were lounging in rocking chairs. Also there was Nicole. Dave and Graham were leaving so I nabbed a rocking chair. Nicole and I had a natter before she headed off. I took my boots and socks off and the sun dried them in a matter of minutes. I lounged around for about an hour before moving on.
I know the Burma Road to Aviemore gets some bad press, but it’s a good track with some fine views. At the top it was a bit breezy but with a wonderful view to the Cairngorms. This was all familiar territory for me as I’d been this way a couple of times before. All that remained was to get down to Aviemore.
The worst bit to Aviemore is the last mile or so walking on the verge by the road. However, soon enough I was in Aviemore. The first task was to get a lightweight windproof jacket. Foolishly, I’d left mine at home. I bought a cheap(ish) TNF bright yellow one as well as a 100 gas canister.
My original plan was to go to the Coylumbridge camp site, but I really needed to wash and dry my socks. This would be better achieved at a hotel or B&B. I spotted that the Cairngorm Hotel was advertising vacancies so decided to book in there.
After dumping my stuff in the room, I went to Tesco’s for some food shopping and to get something for the Cheese & Wine party the next day. On the way back I spotted Paul and Wayne. They were looking for somewhere to eat. I suggested Roo’s Leap in the station. After taking my shopping back to my room, I joined them for dinner. Wayne ordered the Monster Burger. All credit to him, he finished all of it!
We had a great time chatting with each other and the locals. Paul had to phone his family and I had some socks to wash, so we didn’t stay too late. All in all, it had been a great day.