TGO Challenge 2015: Day 11

Ballater to Water of Allachy

Distance: 18.8km
Ascent: 266m

Day 11click to enlarge

 I wasn’t expecting much from today’s walk, but, despite the weather it turned out to be rather good. I left the hotel just after nine o’clock. On the green outside the church, I met Lynsey, Carl and Louise. After a quick natter, I walked past the recently burnt out station 😦 and found the cycle track to Dinnet, which is part of the Deeside Way.

DSC02594 DSC02597 DSC02601 DSC02602Ballater Station and Deeside Way

 While not desperately exciting as a walk, it did have the merit of being refreshingly flat and was quiet enough for a variety of wildlife to frequent. There were lots of rabbits along the way. There were also Lapwings, one of which buzzed me several times. A little way down the former railway track I bumped into Hugh and Barbara, who I’d met last year briefly. They were going quite slowly, so I pushed on ahead.

DSC02612 DSC02615 DSC02619 DSC02621Deeside Way to Dinnet

 About half way to Dinnet, it began to rain, so it was on with the waterproofs and up with the umbrella. I was rather pleased with myself as I rigged up a hands free umbrella system using the chest strap of my rucksack. It worked really well, especially as I was sheltered from any wind. It made what might have been a rather miserable walk into quite a pleasant one despite the weather.

By the time I got to Dinnet, it was raining quite hard, so I called in to the Loch Kinord Hotel for some lunch. The hotel staff were very welcoming. Soon, Hugh and Barbara came in, followed by Brenda and another couple of Challengers whose names I didn’t get. I had an excellent lunch and two pots of tea. I was first in but last out. By the time I left the rain had eased somewhat.

DSC02622 DSC02625 DSC02629 DSC02630Dinnet to Glen Tanar

I left the Deeside Way to follow roads and tracks to Glen Tanar. I saw absolutely no one along the way. This was fortunate as two pots of tea had caused me to over hydrate and I had to stop an embarrassing number of times for comfort breaks.

DSC02634 DSC02636 DSC02641Glen Tanar (Tourist Information Centre and St Lesmo’s Chapel)

By the time I reached the Tourist Information Centre, the rain had resumed again in earnest. There was still no wind, so the hands free umbrella experiment continued. I passed St Lesmo’s Chapel, declined to take the Firnmouth Road to press on to the Water of Allachy. Despite the rain, the walk up Glen Tanar and the Water of Allachy was quite delightful.

DSC02649 DSC02650 DSC02652 DSC02653Glen Tanar and the Water of Allachy

Unfortunately, my pictures really don’t do it justice. In good weather it must be a magical walk. Even in bad weather it was beautiful. After a mile or so, I began to consider pitches. There were several places where it was possible to camp, but I decided to continue to a building marked on the map in the expectation there might be some flat ground suitable for camping there.

IMG_1467IMG_1465DSC02656Water of Allachy pony hut

 Right on cue, into view came a hut. It had a decent piece of flat ground in front of it, which wasn’t water-logged. Even better, the door wasn’t locked. Inside it looked like it was a hut to stable horses or ponies. There was a bench for my rucksack. I could put the tent up outside and unpack my stuff in the dry before transferring to the tent. Perfect.

It was a great place to camp. It was sheltered from any wind and water was readily available yards away. The only downside was the drips from the trees. After I had dinner, the skies brightened and I was treated to some sunshine. It had been a surprisingly satisfying day despite the weather.


6 thoughts on “TGO Challenge 2015: Day 11”

    1. There’s several other places as well, although the longer grass might conceal ticks. Definitely none here.

  1. Enjoying the TGO Challenge diary posts Robin. Your day 11 would have been my day 10. Brolly proved its worth again. Nice one for the nay-sayers! 🙂
    Looking forward to the rest of the posts.

    1. I used it for significant periods on two days. It turns rain from being a pain into a minor inconvenience. I was pleased with my hands free adaption 😎

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