Day 5’s 7.6km route with 20 mtrs ascent and 133 mtrs descent.
Day 5 of the walk was the spare day. It serves two main purposes. Firstly it provides me with the ability to catch the early train – a necessity given that the rail journey is around 10 hours! And secondly it provides a time buffer should things go wrong on the walk.
The last day is always a mixture of accomplishment, sadness and excitement and this one was no different. I guess that was one of the contributing factors that caused me to get up at stupid-o’clock! Ah well 🙂
As usual I’ll let the photos tell the story!
I knew I had to get up early, but for some reason my body clock got me up before the alarm…. 0415!
I decide not to try and go back to sleep. Instead I get changed, make a quick soup then read my ebook reader for while. It was a surreal experience doing this at night with the musical accompaniment of the nearby stream!
Eventually it’s time for breakfast. It is still relatively early, but I want to take the earliest train back to Bristol as it will be a long journey.
Time to pack. The first thing I do is remove all the kit to the outside of the tent and then give it a final sweep through prior to packing.
Packing doesn’t take long. As usual I leave the place exactly how I find it. Time to head off into the night!
All equipped and ready for the night walk to Aviemore. The Petzl Myo RXP headlamp once again proves to be the perfect night walk companion.
Navigationally, the way to Aviemore is very simple. It’s all on well marked trails and roads. As a bonus, it is all practically down hill too!
One odd experience I kept having on this night walk was the far off encounters with the local wildlife. You can see their highly reflective eyes shining back at you from the distance – the stuff of horror movies! 🙂
It isn’t long before I get to the Cairngorm Club Footbridge. Features like these are great as they allow one to get a precise position fix on the track.
Across the bridge we go!
Soon after crossing the bridge I come across the first Y-junction of the walk. In this case I need to hang a right!
After around 1km I run into this boundary – again a handy navigational feature!
This part of the walk Northwards through the woods was surreal in that it seemed like I was facing a never ending track with trees lined up on either side. That said, I was really enjoying the night walk!
There are a few streamlets crossing the track, but they are all catered for by small crossings like this one.
I know I have now covered a fair bit of ground. I’m expecting to run into the B970 road pretty soon.
Above me the skies start to brighten. It looks like this day’s dawn is now underway!
On my way I run into some more local wild life!
The track I’m on now merges with another track from the West. It’s now around 500 mtrs to the road.
In the distance off to my right I see the first signs of human habitation. My walk in the wilderness is now well and truly over
I soon find myself walking past a caravan park. I hope no one notices my exit from the woods!
The sign to the Forest – this marks my official departure from the forest and the Cairngorms.
There’s the B970 road. Luckily for me this track continues down the side of the road that should keep me away from the traffic. So off to the left I go!
The light levels are now at a point where I’m wondering whether it’s worth keeping the head torch on. I almost decide to pack it away, when some cyclists come zipping by me. As a result I figure it’s best to leave it on.
I take a last look Southward back toward the Mountains in the Cairngorms. Farewell! I will be back!
The track I’m on runs out, but there is a pavement on the other side of the road. The intent is to follow the road until I reach the Fish Farm around 1km away, where-upon I need to hang a right.
I’m now very much out of the wilds. Above me the clouds have closed in. It looks like it is going to rain.
On the way Westward I pass the head quarters of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.
Although my time on the road is short, it seems to go on forever!
It’s now raining in earnest which prompts a stop off to remove my second layer and put on the Goretex Pro Hardshell. I don’t know if it is because it is new, but it is making light work of the rain.
There’s the Fish Farm, and just ahead is the Y-Junction on the right!
I’m soon at the bridge crossing the River Spey. This will take me into the heart of Aviemore.
I hang a right and start heading Northward. According to the map there should be a way across the railway line to my left, but there is no obvious sign of it just yet.
But the way across soon makes itself known!
Just up this track is the main road through Aviemore. The Railway Station is not far now.
It’s around a 1 km walk Northward up this road – the final stage of the journey. The Railway Station should be on the right.
Wooot! Aviemore train station – the official end point of this 4+1 day walk.
I get to the platform with a lot of time in hand. It’s now a case of stowing the navigation equipment and ditching the remaining water that I have.
That’s the end of this journey. Farewell Cairngorms until next year!
It’s now a case of just sitting down and waiting for the train. The views from this station are rather good and made me wish I was still out on the hills.
That’s it for this walk. I really enjoyed it and gained many happy memories.
I only have one more walk this year, due to holiday constraints at work. The next one is going to have to be pretty special to top this one!