Derry Lodge to Braemar
This was planned as an easy-peasy day, and so it was.
The weather was good – our tents were dry so there minimal faffing before setting off to our first destination of the day – Mar Lodge.
With leaving Glen Derry behind came the realisation that we were also bidding farewell to the real rufty-tufty wilderness. Apart from the Fife of course!
Image c/o McVitie’s
In recent years Mar Lodge has been a very welcome port of call for passing Challengers, offering refreshments and even accommodation to those in the know. I’d told Alan all about the legendary welcome offered here and he was looking forward to his visit as much as I was. Imagine our horror, sadness, disappointment even, to find that this year Mar Lodge wasn’t providing biscuits.
Other Challengers were clearly equally shocked by this revelation. The usual banter was noticeably absent – we were dumbstruck. It can only have been down to the recession. It’s the cutbacks y’see.
We had a quick explore before heading off to Braemar:
Alan hadn’t yet experienced the excruciatingly boring road walk into Braemar, and well, I didn’t want him to miss out on what has become a Challenge rite-of-passage. So that’s the way we went.
Looking back over the River Dee
We stayed at Kate’s very excellent Rucksacks Braemar bunkhouse. We were beginning to feel almost human after cleansing showers, washing our kit through and excellent grub at The Old Bakery (purveyors of very fine meals to Challengers). This eatery has become something of a focal point for Challengers in recent years, deservedly so.
Braemar has become popular with motorcyclists and there were some fine examples of British stuff:
Triumph Bonneville 750
Both the Triumph and the Nortons represent the death-throes of the British motorcycle industry. Both engines are OLD and developed well beyond their capabilities. The Triumph’s 55bhp engine, for example, is a development of a 27bhp engine designed by Edward Turner in 1937.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around in a decadent and rather lazy manner (nice!): eating, drinking, socialising…..the things a couple of chaps need to do. It was great to catch up with other Challengers. It was quite busy in the Fife even though we were a day ahead of the main wave of Challengers.
We had an early night. It hadn’t been a long day but relaxing is a tiring business.