TGO Challenge 2014 Day 7 and 8 - Aviemore

True to my word, I told Vicky that it didn't matter to me whether we finished but I could see that by Thursday as we prepared to take the train to Aviemore that it did matter to her. She had been working out for 6 months to prepare for this trip and even though she was still in a great deal of pain, she was thinking about how to continue with the Challenge.

 Vicky making her way for the 3 blocks from the Tipsy Laird Bunkhouse to the Kingussie train station and the train that will take us 15 minutes up to Aviemore.

 The Cairngorm Guest house is just a few minutes walk from the train station in Aviemore. We got Vicky situated and got some more ice on her knee to rest until dinner time and the Tweed concert.

This is really a lovely B&B and Peter and Gayle could not have been nicer too us in making sure Vicky was comfortable.
 The Cairngorm Hotel (below) is the most well known establishment in Aviemore, located directly across from the train station. We went to have dinner first and then stay in the bar for the concert.

Every evening they have a piper play outside the hotel for everyone to enjoy. 
 Tweed started up at 9:30 and played till 11:30 pm.

Here is a few minutes of TWEED live. I would strongly urge you to buy the CD or download it from iTunes. It was on my shuffle and made for great walking music. We also used it for packing up in the morning to get us motivated.

 The crowd was packed into the Cairngorms Hotel Bar and was really enjoying the music. We sat next to Brian Aspinall (72) and his two sons, Brian was making his 10th Challenge, a milestone, and his two sons had come on his first Challenge and were coming along on his 10th.
The hotel lite up at night as we walked back to our B&B
The next day I was up well before dawn and watched the sun rise from our hotel room. This is the day we would have been walking in the Cairngorms and it could not have been a more beautiful day.
The early morning mist (fog) was rolling over the hills but burning off quickly as the sun was coming up.
The Cairngorm Mountains were in perfect sunshine today
 A tortuous view out of a window when you are a hiker.

Vicky did feel better today with more rest, ice and most of the remaining drugs we got from the clinic. She began to talk about trying to "finish on her feet" as she called it. She even called John Manning and told him that we would be starting up again from Braemar on Monday! He must have been impressed as shortly Vicky got a Facebook friend request from John....
I told her that I would be the ultimate decision maker of whether I thought her knee could take anymore walking but we both agreed that if she had done any real damage to the inside of her knee then she wouldn't likely hurt it any worse by walking as long as it didn't cause her severe pain. Vicky works around doctors every day and we have enough doctor friends to know what they were going to say and do when we got home anyway.
With Vicky deciding she wanted to walk on, it was up to me to figure out a new route that would be as easy as possible for her to do without putting too much stress on her knee. Our intended route was originally through the Spittal of Glenmuick to Shielin of Mark Bothy to Tarfside, and that would be too much stress on Vicky's knee. I did email John Manning and he sent back an excellent route suggestion of Ballater to Deeside Way and then the Fetteresso Forest finishing in Stonehaven. This seemed very doable.
We visited the Mountain Sports shop in Aviemore and got Vicky a smaller knee brace meant for walking, and the correct maps for our new route and we returned the full leg brace and the crutches to the Aviemore medical clinic.
So we would be off to Braemar in the morning and with two more days of rest on Saturday and Sunday hopefully Vicky would be ready to carry on.

Day 7-8
No miles walked

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