Cairngorms, part one

26 Sep

At the start of the month I spent a few days walking in this area of the world. Previously i’ve always visited the west Highlands but because it was late summer I thought i’d go east instead to avoid the worst of the midges and rain. The last full day turned out to be one of the best mountain days i’ve ever had, maybe the best.

Day one, Wednesday. Wilmslow to Glen Feshie.
Train to Aviemore,  taxi to Achlean, walk three or four miles to Ruigh Aiteachean bothy.

I’d been too concerned about being eaten alive by midges for it to occur to me that the flowering heather, fresh pines and vivid grasses would be spectacular at this time of year. And it certainly hadn’t occurred to me that within a minute of me walking through the front door of the bothy, i’d be presented with a cup of tea. Often one meets other people in these remote shelters, but this one had a very hospitable Glaswegian named Lindsay and a German woman, Theresa, who was three weeks into her walk from the south-east corner of Scotland to Cape Wrath at its very north-western corner. It was a gentle weaning-off from the comforts of home. Besides, this bothy had a toilet, which is a rarity, and even more of a rarity, it didn’t stink.

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