The morning forecast said no more rain for a week. The sun shone. Until we started walking, then it pissed it down. All day. Until now – 9pm. We are tucked up bed a tad damp after 20 miles with a pack laden for 5 days in the hills and 950m of ascent. It was very hard work.
We left Braemar and walked down the road, turning down Callater Burn past the lodge and onto Jocks Road, over Crow Craigies and down past Loch Esk and Glittering Skellies, down to the river and up the back of Bachnagairn. Then followed endless hag bogs until we hit Capel Road then more hills and endless gags and eventually joy – Shielin of Mark bothy.Navigation had been a proper test, conditions were vile and visibility often very poor. And Shielin of Mark bothy is notoriously difficult to find. A final bearing took us, satisfyingly straight there.
We couldn’t wait to get inside and brew up. It was 7.30pm and we’d not really stopped since we started at 9.00am.
Unfortunately the place was occupied by four people who pretended to be asleep. We stood there like morons saying hello. No reply. They filled the place as it’s a small bothy and we were cold and tired.. Not even a hello. I’ve never been made to feel so unwelcome in a bothy. But I guess they were all tired too.
A day of effort pain and reward.
Anyway all is well that ends well. Tents up, lots of scoff, wine, warmth amidst the damp. Nick is cramping up rather a lot though. Easy day tomorrow. Into Tarfside via Glen Lee.