Living by the Spey, most of my walks into the Cairngorms are from the north-western side, such as the one to Angel’s Peak last year. I’ve always wanted to venture in from the Deeside on the south-east, walking up to Loch Etchachan and Ben MacDuie, so on a recent weekend we drove round the top of the mountains to begin a three-day camping trek from the Linn of Dee near Bramar. We were blessed with endless sunshine, but the unusually still air meant we were also cursed by Scotland’s smallest and most infuriating fiends: the midges! Apart from their invasions morning and evening, it was a trip of radiant light and colour, of long days and far views, of rushing water, birdsong and quiet. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
We got to Braemar by 5.30 that evening, extremely thankful for hot showers, a pub meal and a huge soft bed. But even more thankful for three days walking, swimming, sleeping, looking and listening in the Cairngorms.
“However much I walk on them, these hills hold astonishment for me.”
Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain