Stravaig-2007-Day 23

Day 23 : Tarfside to Ballater

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Sunday 26th May

29km

1125m ascent

1 Munro

St Drostans Church
Another nice morning as I left the camping field for the trek to Ballater. I was very impressed by the simplicity of St Drostans Church which is apparently not often visited by Challengers, the only name in the visitors book I could see was Rolf’s. Tarf Bridge

Glen Mark

Cairngorms National Park signI think I should have taken the path over the hill to Invermark rather than the road but it was still a nice walk. It was good to get off the road again up Glen Mark to the Queens Well, a very impressive monument to the attitude of the people to royalty at the time and not the eyesore that some people seem to think. There is a new path to the summit of Mount Keen from here which should blend in given time and it did make the ascent easy despite the deteriorating weather, rain, hail and even sleet on the top! The Queens Well Summit of Mount Keen, conditions normal!

Glentanar

The path down to Glentanar is a horrible eroded mess, even worse when it meets the bulldozed track but there is a nice new bridge at the Sheil of Glentanar. I failed to find the path to Lach na Gualainn and struggled up through the heather and rain to the Glenmuick estate boundary where there is a gate in the middle of nowhere and the path then becomes clear.

Bridge at the Sheil of Glentanar

The weather relented for the walk over to Ballater with good views of Lochnagar and surrounds. Where I reached the road again at the Bridge of Muick there is a plaque commemorating a chance meeting between Queen Victoria and a battalion of Gordon Highlanders who were off to be slaughtered in South Africa! Plaque at Bridge of Muick

Lochnagar

I bought a Sunday paper to pass the evening and managed to carry it to the campsite but then never read it, for who should be there with his distinctive blue tent but Alan Sloman continuing his trek to JoG. Ballater campsite

River Dee at Ballater

We went for a meal in an ‘interesting’ pub, the décor was fascinating, chrome, granite bar, multicoloured LED’s, as Alan said it must have cost a fortune to make it look this bad. The noise from the bar was unbelievable but the food was ok and we then escaped to a much more traditional hotel where we stayed too long!

Ballater

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