It was the start of a long weekend break. It was maybe my third trip out this year. I was planning on heading up to Loch nan Cnapan as I hadn’t got there last year due to the bout of cellulitis in my leg. So I had packed for 3 days – which is pretty much my overnight kit, but with extra food and fuel.
I took my first break after crossing the Luibeg Burn at the ford that the NTS has been working on. They’ve done an amazing job. I didn’t, and misjudged the water depth. Time for a snack. I had been out of the buffeting wind along the valley, but moving back out on to the hill’s shoulder got the skloogs running back up my nose.
I had my camera out ready to take a photo of the jet fighter, who’s engine I could hear, only to realise that it was the wind in the glen beside the Bod. Whichever way I turned, the wind seemed to be in my face. If this was at ground level, I was already ruling out getting up to the open plateau – especially as the wind caught me unprepared twice and almost bowled me over.
I thought about heading south down Glen Dee, a route I’d taken last year with Dawn, but the wind would be in my face for a couple of hours. If I tabbed it back towards the shelter of Derry Lodge, I would probably keep going back to the car.
Arriving at Corrour Bothy, I had already decided to head back to Aberdeen. Knowing I had to cross the burn again, I dug out my oversocks and stored them in the backpack's belt pouch.
Crossing the Luibeg Burn again, I dug out the TrekMates Gore-Tex "Amphibian" waterproof over-socks and crossed holding my trail-shoes in the cord of my poles. I was surprised by the grip offered. Job done. Thanks for the suggestion, Dawn.
My goal had now become to get back to the car before 6.30, when the new series of “The News Quiz” would start. I made it with 5 minutes to spare. Sadly, turning on the car radio, I forgot that there was no Radio 4 reception until outside Braemar. Jings, it was the drone o’ the pipes on NECR as I got changed and then dove (almost uneventfully) back to Aberdeen. 15 1/2 miles. 0930-1825. 3 blisters. I'll do better next time.