TGO Challenge Day 9 – White Bridge to Braemar
We awoke early with a plan, we split into two groups and myself and Gill heading off early with the GPS on a mission to find a replacement for my old friends the NorthFace Hedgehogs. We really did cover some ground (see here)on our way to Braemar, I think Gill would do quite well at a mountain marathon event.
On the way we stopped at the Linn of Dee to take some pics, another quite beautiful spot that Scotland has to offer. As we closed in on Braemar challengers were dropping down off the hills from all angles and all heading for one place The Fife Arms. We arrived for opening and sat outside in the amazing sun with hordes of other challengers. I managed to convince Gill that it would be a good idea to hydrate ourselves after the mornings fast paced walk, she agreed it was a good idea, I came back with 2 pints of lager and the days debauchery had begun.
Andy Howell dragged me over for a podcast interview for backpackinglight.com, after a few uneasy moments it was all over. Andy and Shirley talked me into buying some trail trainers as a replacement for my now knackered boots. So off I went to the local gear shop and 20 minutes later I was returning to the Fife with some brand new sneakers.
Pete and Paddy turned up and the drinking accelerated to a canter as the cider now flowed in the glorious sun. Humphrey Weightman joined us and we gained instant kudos with our tales of being barred from LFTO. Life really was great and we chatted with many challengers all enjoying the fabulous weather on this years crossing.
Some time around 6 I seem to remember Paddy getting a bit of a wobble on, now this really is the time to either stop drinking or find some food. So on the recommendation of many challengers we headed for the hungry highlander for fish and wips. Myself and Gill pitched the tents at the local campsite then headed back to the gang, on our way out of the campsite we bumped into the internet hiking legend that is Mr Mike Knipe who somehow recognised us instantly, after a few hugs and handshakes we rounded up the troops and decided to get ready for the evenings events. Paddy commented as only he can on the tent situation.
A question was posed, how do you rid yourself of the effects of drink and freshen up at the same time? Peter found the ideal solution with his amazing fully clothed shower technique that left him dripping like a broken tap. At the Breamar party we shared drinks with Mike and Peiter and foot tapped along to the sounds of bingo wings the local rock group. We watched on as a rendition of the Proclaimers “500 miles” blasted out of the party tent, I seem to remember Shirley, Alan Sloman and Andy Howell doing the 500 mile dance as the party closed.
When we reached the tents Mike Knipe gathered us all together for a wee-nip of whisky, I awoke in the morning half in and half out of my tent with a mouth as dry as Gandi’s flip flop.