Monday, 24 May 2010

Cairngorms Camping – Bynack More (Munro # 48)

The summer seems to have arrived – hurrah!

On Friday night Neil and I loaded up the car and headed up to the Cairngorms for a weekend of camping, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. We had a good journey and were appreciating the fact it doesn’t get dark till around 10pm now! We arrived at Rothiemurchus at around 11pm, but unfortunately the campsite we had originally hoped for was full when we arrived. So we continued onto the next one, just 5 miles down the road. The gate was closed, so we parked up outside and started taking our tent to a spot. We were stopped in our tracks by a woman in a yellow jacket who said we couldn’t pitch our tent at that time of the night! (Despite the campsite still looking fairly lively!) What were we to do...? All other campsites were full…there was a Hilton down the road?! I popped in to check availability – a room for the night was going to be £160, but she could do us deal and have it at the bargain price of £110!! We declined. Perhaps MacDonalds would be better….they only had the executive suite left at £136. The Cairngorms Hotel was only £60 apparently, but they were fully booked! So it was now midnight and we had nowhere to stay. We couldn’t wild camp as there were no camping signs all over the place. Eventually, Neil’s sister Eilidh (who lives in Inverness) had a surprise visit at 1am!!!

So on Saturday morning (after a lie in!) we headed back down to Rothiemurchus and pitched our tent. A beautiful location with a fantastic view of the Cairngorm Mountains. After a bit of lunch we headed off for our walk. We decided to go for Bynack More – a Munro at 1090m. This one had a relatively long and steady walk in and the amazing weather meant we had fantastic views all around. Lochan Uaine on the way up is a gorgeous bit of green water which makes you feel like you’re in a smaller version of the Canadian Rockies! The ascent is gradual until around 800m and then it is a push to the top, with some quite interesting stone stacks. We spotted a friendly ptarmigan sat on the top of one of them. We reached the top at around 5:30pm and had the summit to ourselves. Munro #48 for me and #80 for Neil. We could see across to Cairn Gorm and surrounding mountains, still covered with a fair bit of snow. The walk down was quicker and we were back at our tent by 8:30pm. Then it was time to light up the stove and have our ‘al fresco’ dinner – perfect!

Sunday was a more relaxed day. We sampled Aviemore’s finest latte in the Mountain Café, had lunch on the riverbank at Rothiemurchus and did a small walk at the Falls of Bruar. Weekends like this just confirm what a beautiful place Scotland is…looking forward to many more Scottish adventures this summer.

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