Day 5: Exploring Cairngorms National Park by Public Transit

Date: 2nd July 2016

Day 5 Destination: See some more of the Northwest part of the Cairngorms National Park including it’s main city Aviemore & the town of Grantown-on-Spey

Day 5 Travel Map

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Costs: £5.5 (Aviemore train) + £6 (return bus ticket Aviemore – Grantown) + £5 (Brewery tour) + £4 (breakfast/brunch) + £6 (tent) = £26.50 ($35.25)

Note: Dinner not included cuz splurged with Yoda & our friends. Not counting it towards the “true” solo camping trip.

Lessons Learnt:

  • Though I did not learn the lesson this day itself, always use your Spirit of Scotland pass if you have the opportunity. Being a newbie with this pass,  I though that it’s prudent for me to not use the pass for the measly £5.50 needed for the return ticket on the Newtonmore – Aviemore train to save a slot on the 8/15 days usage pass. I was wrong. It’s near impossible to use all 8 days on the 15 day Spirit of Scotland pass. So use it at every opportunity you get.
  • Brewery tours are a way more fun a) if you have an extremely charismatic guide – both females in our group developed mini-crushes on the guide who seemingly had done everything from being a lumberjack to a water polo player & b) with friends around to jest with.

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    Cairngorms brewery wisdom

  • The Cairngorms brewery tour is amazing value for money at £5 per person (8+ beers to taste). Additionally, they also sell mini-kegs at around £18 for 5L of beer which we shared among us on Day 6. Also the Winking Owl’s Steak & Ale pie is the bomb!! 
  • Aviemore is the go-to place to buy anything you have missed out on bringing to a month-long camping trip. We bought an extra mat, a pillow & satisfied Yoda’s fascination with owning different types of toothbrushes by buying a foldable toothbrush, all from Mountain Warehouse :-/

Ramblings

As mentioned previously, our main writeup on this region is very detailed & filled with ramblings. The only thing of note is that there lies an Osprey reserve in a very beautiful forest between Aviemore & Grantown which we saw but did not plan to get off. Turns out that forest was one of the Forest Parks run by Scotland’s Forestry Commission. I would learn much later that these forest parks are gems based on our visits to Argyll & Galloway forest parks. If visiting this area, please don’t repeat our mistake & have a wander around the Cairngorms Forest Park.

This was the part of the trip with the most food at our disposal as 4 people shared the load. Here is part of our spread including Scottish smoked salmon, Grasmere gingerbread from the Lake District, super-addictive Sainsbury cheese sticks & many Boots sandwiches & drinks.20160703_102054_hdr

Here are some other pics that we like from the day not shared in our main writeup.

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Golf course near Grantown

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Folk learning the sport of caber tossing

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Dramatic views at Aviemore station

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