I enjoy another day off in Braemar, this time I buy a ticket to enter the newer of the two castles, fascinating place still fully furnished in fifties aristocratic style. I have another tough section coming up, some twenty Munros - including one I missed during planning - and a hundred and twenty kilometres in four days...
In the event I make remarkably short work of the first day, powering over six, count 'em Munros before 5pm. A nice, if breezy day too, makes for fun walking, and I do feel a certain sense of achievement too. I am a lean, mountain climbing machine, oh yes. Definitely earned the burgers I've brought from Braemar - what? Of course they can be cooked on a camp stove.
I begin the next day by climbing Glas Maol, which brings back memories - this was my first ever Munro, I came here during, hard to believe though it may seem, a golfing holiday. After a few days I was quite heartily sick of golf, so climbing a big hill was a great improvement! This time I follow it up with four more, all close to the Glen Shee ski centre, which is handily open for lunch. More familiar hills too, did them on a proper walking holiday a few, well, many years back - well, no harm going up them again.
The next day is very hard, another five Munros, this time I think over five thousand feet of ascent in total, it takes over twelve hours and I am pretty shattered by the end. Then one more day to get to Blair Atholl, only three Munros, but it rains all day, this does not help. My thighs chafe in my wet trousers - think I can see why they wear kilts around here - it is not much fun. At least on reaching Blair Atholl, I find it has pizza, in an odd place, a pub in a marquee, a venue for beer festivals and live music it seems, but not tonight.
No time for a day off, but I am reaching the end of the trip, just two days to go. I walk out of Blair Atholl past Blair Castle, there are lots of private road signs, typical of Scotland. Three Munros today, it is hard work, a lot of trackless hacking through bog, I keep going, quite tired now, but the end is in sight, indeed this is my last night camped out on the hill.
And the last day is easy enough, just a single Munro, bringing the count to seventy-seven I think, go me. Back to Blair Atholl where I have definitely earned a burger plus a beer or five... shame about the 7am train the next morning but what can you do.