Their story, in their words….
At the very start of our journey, we all met up at the Victoria Coach Station, where we began our 12 hr 45 min ride to Aberdeen Union Square. Once we arrived, we immediately took the 201 bus which took us straight to Braemar, requiring an additional 2 hours. After a total journey of 14 hours and 45 minutes we pitched up at the Braemar caravan park because it was too late and dark for us to continue our walk especially because we had to walk on a road with cars. Firstly, we followed the A93 to get to our true starting location, the Keiloch car park. From here we proceeded to follow the tarmac road and head north-west. After walking 5.9 miles, we found a reasonably good spot to pitch up for the night near a river where we restocked on water and rested for the upcoming days. Upon waking up we began walking and realised we were walking in the wrong direction, so we turned back and had to go back up hill which was hard especially with the sun glaring at us the entire time, once we were back on track we were making our way to the top. Once we finally reached the end of the route we pitched up at a very good location in between two mountains, once fully pitched up, we proceeded to climb up the mountain with our bags with our tent.
Reaching the top of the mountain felt phenomenal with a view unlike any other, despite this not being Ben Avon it still felt like such an achievement to be able to climb a mountain and the tiring route was worth it. After coming back down we went to sleep in the tent. However, during midnight, we encountered a storm, heavy rain started pouring down and thunder was loud and clear. So, we walked down the mountain back to the car park where we began because there was a small shelter there. Once the rain wasn’t as intense, we headed towards Braemar and stayed under a bus stop where we could put everything down and have shelter. That night we planned to sleep in the bus stop as it was raining, and the tent was wet. As the night approached the people of Braemar were having a gathering in the Braemar Gallery and a couple saw us hiding in the bus stop and offered us a shed to have shelter for the night. After a moment of thinking we decided to accept and rest up there for the night. After having a short talk with the couple who owned the place, we learnt the existence of the place called the “Linn of Dee” knowing that we came down the mountain early due to the storm. As a replacement, we decided to take the walk to the Linn of Dee which took 6.2 miles (one way) The walk was incredibly tiring, but the environment was incredible, walking through the pine forests was relaxing. As for the next day, the day before we go back to Aberdeen, we decided to walk up another mountain relatively close to where we were staying where we had to walk past a duck pond. This walk was a lot easier, but we felt like it was something we had to do to compensate coming down the mountain early. During this trip we have learnt what to do in times where unexpected events occur and we have learnt how to ration our food properly in a way that we won’t run out. A lot of survival skills were picked up during this.