Going round the Cairngorms in 2017 was such a lovely experience that I wanted to do it again, but this time show my good pal and trail partner some of the routes I’d taken. Yvonne agreed to come with me, with the promise that it wasn’t too difficult, the days weren’t too long and it was beautifully scenic from start to finish…
Well… the start was all of those things, and the finish too, it was just the 11 days in the middle that were all a bit hellish! We experienced the worst weather yet on a summer trek. The weather was more akin to that found in October in Scotland, it rained every single day -either heavy downpour showers or constant driving rain for the whole day. No respite at night either and when the temperature dropped during the second week and the wind picked up -there were times we were at risk of hypothermia.
Still you’ve just got to deal with what you’ve got and just get on with it!
Learning points: I discovered that most of the time, riding in the rain isn’t as bad as my mind imagines it will be. I will never go on a long distance ride without my trusty poncho, but I need to upgrade my “waterproof” jacket to one that actually works. Wind, rain and cold with no shelter is not a fun place to be. You can actually get blown off your horse by the wind. Horses have amazing memories and can remember how to negotiate a tricky step from two years ago. Horses don’t like Peacocks! Your Trail Partner is worth their weight in gold (and mine’s one tough cookie).
Day 1. Nethy Bridge to Loch an Eileen
Day 2. Loch an Eileen to Head of Glen Feshie
Day 3. Glen Feshie to Glen Bruar Lodge
Day 4. Glen Bruar Lodge to Blair Atholl (bugged out due to weather)
Day 5. Blair Atholl to Straloch
Day 6. Straloch to Blacklunnans
Day 7. Took an early rest day due to weather
Day 8. Blacklunnans to Glen Prosen
Day 9. Glen Prosen to Glen Doll
Day 10. Glen Doll to Gelder Shiel
Day 11. Gelder Shiel to Corndavon Lodge
Day 12. Corndavon Lodge to Tomintoul
Day 13. Tomintoul to Nethy Bridge