TGO Challenge 2017: Day 12

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Distance: 25km, ascent: 639m

The disadvantage with hotels is that a good breakfast often means a late start and so it was today. It was after 9:30 by the time we made it to the bank to get some money and then to the start of the Deeside Way.

The Deeside Way is an old railway track and provided a quick and painless way to Dinnet and beyond. It was a very pleasant start to the day.

Passing the Cambus o’ May bridge we saw the damage that the recent floods had wrought. It just shows how quickly things can change, as many Challengers remarked at how dry it had been underfoot dring the Challenge.

At Dinnet, we called into the hotel for a spot of lunch. Excellent food and very welcoming. Not long after we arrived, two other Challengers, Gerrard and Natascha walked in (I’d met them before at Loch Affric). It transpired that it was their 20th wedding anniversary. Cue a lot of feeble jokes about medals etc.  We spent rather longer than we should’ve but you’ve got to make the most of some decent food. After a short road walk we were back on to a mixture of tracks and footpaths vaguely following the Firnmounth Road

Yet again, I was treated to a cornucopia of scented gorse.

We stopped at the Glen Tanar visitors centre for a quick rest and to refill our water bottles as the sun was making the walk hot work.

We passed the pretty church and then picked up the Firnmounth Road winding its way up the hillside.

By now the clouds were starting to gather. Occasionally we got glimpses down into the beautiful Glen Tanar.

It was a bit of a pull up to Craigmanhandle and as we emerged from the forest, it began to spot with rain.

The walk across to the Hill of Duchery involved a bit of heather and bog bashing, but nothing too serious.

Soon we caught a glimpse of our intended overnight stop. As we descended we looked keenly for potential places to camp. Despite looking promising from a distance, getting closer, good spots were elusive.

In the end, we decided to camp in a field but hidden from habitation by a convenient wood lot. As we pitched there was some light rain, so we repaired to the tents for some food. I was a bit nervous that the farmer might turn up and tell us to move on but I saw no one and we were well hidden from any buildings.

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