The weather had set fair so the night spent at the top of the Geldie burn was cold but not threatening.
My plan for last night was Mar lodge down in the valley. I got there about 11 this morning after the last TGOers that stayed over had left. Its nice to see signs specifically welcoming those on the challenge, and Jane who I had emailed about my reservation was on hand to provide me with a pot of tea and a yoghourt and an orange.
On the map Mar Lodge and Braemar are quite close, but it is still 1.5 hours to walk. I had formulated a plan for my feet which required the sport shop to be open.
Braemar found many TGOers chilling in the hotel and cafes. I walked passed them all to reach the mountain sports shop at the end of the town. Here I bought a pair of Innov8 Roclite running shoes with Sealskin waterproof socks and some wool liners. The shop agreed to send my painfully heavy Scarpa SLs back home. I transferred the Superfeet footbed across first – and that was my feet sorted.
I called control to confirm my plan to use my lower route – despite the practices of many other challengers I’m not so keen to use this sort of shoe when its very rough underfoot.
I floated back up the village main street to the Old Bakery with their special menu. Double egg sausage and chips followed by chocolate cake with the TGO malt.
Now about 4 I was anxious to make a start on the next leg of the journey – through part of the royal estate at Balmoral. My revised plan gave me the rest of this day and the following to reach Tarfside. I would cut out the impressive snow covered Lochnigar ridge.
Camping in the Balmoral estate is frowned upon – I found out afterwards.
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