10/9/14 - 10/9/14
We were fortunate to have a simply glorious day for our last day of walking the Speyside Way - sunshine, no rain, and just a gentle cool breeze. We chatted to Mo (the hotel manager) about her experiences in the shearing sheds of Australia, and then our taxi arrived to take us back to The Glenlivet Distillery to finish the Tomintoul Spur. We bought sandwiches there to take on our journey, at which point Simon did a Classic Faff.
The walk started with some serious ascension, and some serious sludge to wade through. We skirted around the peak of one hill, and climbed to the very top of the next hill - Cairn Damh. Amazing views, and a very worthy Mars Bar Hill. Belinda found the remnants of a bottle of Tomintoul whisky, but we doubted very much that it was whisky in the bottle...
After descending, we then had one more hill to traverse, before boldly going through a forest of extreme sludginess. We were glad we weren't headed to Tomnavoul, as that path looked even worse.
After the forest came the farmland. Hello cows, hello sheep! At one point we even walked through a commercial peat farm which meant we were privileged enough to be able to walk on a boardwalk. Such luxury! Such driness underfoot! It was such a pleasure to walk on that even the sheep decided to do it too, and guided us through their paddock. At this point the songs got particularly creative - we'll be releasing an album shortly.
We stopped for lunch looking out over the fields - Simon and Pat were both totally converted to being Coronation Chicken fans, but Belinda had a less satisfying cheese and pickle experience.
We continued traipsing through the fields, and were then told to 'descend directly to the footbridge'. There was no footbridge in sight, but we descended as directly as we could and our faith was rewarded with a footbridge. Winner! Approximately 1km later we found ourselves in Tomintoul, a lovely little town to finish our walk in. We checked into our B&B, which was perfect in every way except that the ceiling above the staircase was not particularly Pat-friendly.
We then entered the Whisky Castle - an amazing array of whiskies, including the world's largest bottle of whisky. The owner of this establishment was a bit like a Scottish Matt Preston, complete with cravat. Wildly passionate and outspoken, and maybe just a wee bit drunk.
We then had time for a spot of souvenir hunting and general relaxing before heading out for dinner, then a cup of tea and some American Pie before bed.