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The Speyside Way, Day 3: Ballindalloch to Grantown on Spey

Supposedly 12 miles, But Really 15 or 16, and Counting Slugs

View Joe and Susan's 25th on ORWAT's travel map.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

We celebrated the big holiday (obviously, not a holiday here) by reveling in traditional Scottish weather-- rain and wind. We've been here for over two weeks, so we really shouldn't complain that the weather took so long to find us. But still, it wasn't the best day to deal with rain and wind, as this was the day for the most challenging of our Speyside hikes. By itself, the hike is not all that horrible, but it was a rather difficult day for us (especially me) for a few reasons:
1. We hiked 17 miles yesterday.
2. The rain and wind made everything a real drag.
3. The Scots seem not to have any accurate way of counting miles. We noticed this yesterday as well. Today's example: Our map indicated that the hike from Ballindalloch to Grantown on Spey would be about 12 miles. Not even close. It was more like 15 or 16, according to Joe's Apple watch. And my very tired legs and feet.

We started the day with a nice breakfast at our hotel in Ballindalloch. One of the women who works at the hotel then gave us a lift to the start of the trail, a little over a mile away.

Today's hike started back at the disused railroad bed, but we didn't stay there very long. Before we knew it, we were climbing and climbing and then going down a steep, grassy (and wet and slippery) hill, then back up another hill, then walking a long not very pleasant old logging road, then back to the disused rail line, and finally into the woods that seemed to go on forever. Much of the day was spent on hiking trails, and that was a little more pleasant than yesterday. Except when it was pouring rain.

To entertain ourselves, we counted slugs. Total at the end of the hike: 20.

We should have counted strange gates, the purpose of which seemed mostly to interfere with our ability to proceed at a reasonable pace. Grrrr.

But, along the way, we saw plenty of sheep, birds, kine (cows), bunnies, a few deer, and, of course, slugs. And, almost no people.

We finally made it to our b&b in Grantown on Spey. The b&b, The Strathallan Guest House, is a lovely place with lots of nice touches-- all in its highland splendor. We had dinner at a nice little restaurant not too far (alas, I can hobble only so far) and now we are enjoying a wee dram of some Highland Park that we picked up in Kirkwall, before we pack up in preparation for tomorrow's walk toward Aviemore.

Here are a few photos that we were able to take when it wasn't raining too hard:

Posted by ORWAT 13:21 Archived in Scotland Tagged ballindalloch speyside_way grantown_on_spey

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