Near Tullochmacarrick to Ballater
Today was always going to be a bit of a stroll. As I was booked into the Alexandra Hotel, there seemed no point in rushing to get to Ballater early. Consequently, I was the last to leave our camping spot. Also the wind and sun had a chance to dry my tent. Looking at the higher hills, there had been a fresh fall of snow overnight.
As I finished packing, John and Norma appeared on the track. They didn’t recognise me in my bright yellow windproof! As I climbed up to the track, Lynsey, Carl and Louise appeared, so we formed a little group to go to Ballater. From Tullochmacarrick. I led the way as I’d been this way last year. We avoided last year’s boggy path by following an unmarked track by the river.
Just beyond Gairnshiel Lodge, on the main road, Louise tripped over and gashed her knee. Fortunately Carl lept into action as First Aider. We redistributed some of Louise’s gear between us and Louise bravely continued.
From the A393 to Lary, the route took us along some farm tracks and lanes. Tomnavey was a strange place. Everywhere there were rusting abandoned bikes and motor vehicles minus wheels in the oddest places. The lane above Tomnavey was rather more picturesque, as was the walk to Inverenzie. Just beyond Lary, John, Norma and I decided to have some lunch, while the others carried on.
After a pleasant laze in the sunshine, it was onwards to Ballater. When we got to the main road into Ballater, instead of following it, we followed the old railway line, which runs below the road. It was a delightful walk, much better than the road. In Ballater, John and Norma went to their B&B while I carried on to the Alexandra Hotel.
My room was ready. Before putting my feet up, I did my washing and put it on the radiator to dry. In the evening, I had a meal with the Rev. David before we both repaired to the bar for a convivial evening with Louise, Carl, Lynsey, Andy, Jayme and Peter.