I have now visited all but one of the places that I have lived in the UK, the last is relatively distant on the north end of Orkney mainland and it will take all week to get there. The weather forecast today was dire (including a yellow warning for excessive rain and thunderstorms) so my analysis of the weather charts early this morning indicated that I should set off at around 1030 to minimise risk of hitting torrents of rain. At around 0915, I noticed that it had stopped raining (it was not supposed to do that) and a quick recheck of the weather maps showed the forecast had changed and it would be a good idea to set off immediately. So I did. As it happened, there was light rain/drizzle/mist for much of the way, so I got wet, but no miserably so. The route was over the hills to the Don Valley and then follow the Don until the steep hill over the pass at the Lecht (the highest permanently inhabited building in Britain) and then down to Tomintoul.
I was really hoping to bring you some stunning Scottish scenery pictures today, but no luck. I was also hoping to add mountain hare, red deer and possibly ring ousel to my trip list – no luck either. But the Hotel Square in Tomintoul excelled by noticing me arriving outside and coming out to welcome me and offer me an immediate cup of tea. All hospitality should be like that! I notice also from my window a cycle holiday support bus from a well-known company and I deduce from their website that participants are on a 22 day, 1600 km Lands End to John O’Groats run costing £3,100 (they pay for their own suppers and some lunches in addition), with all their luggage being transported in the bus. A different way from myself, but no doubt they are having fun!