A View Into Our Future

Another lazy morning was dictated by a phone call booked for 11am. We had our breakfast and packed up the van ready for a walk and then I went over to the beach. Here there are some benches in the sun, with a view of the Loch, and most importantly, cell service. I had a good hour of work done, while Aimi had her phone call. 

Having been offered the job, only by process of deduction, not explicit exclamation, meant even though I was sure it was all fine, there was still some doubt in Aimi. The phone call was about the contracts and still didn’t clear up the matter.

We decided to sit at the cafe across the road from the campsite, we didn’t talk too much. Emails were flying backwards and forwards asking for documents and ID until finally there was no more to be done, and we could go for the walk. The hiring team would be in touch to clear up our questions later.

We headed up a well established and well signposted path, directly opposite the campsite, that featured in BBC CountryFile. And we can see why. Its a very gentle and wide track leading up into the Cairngorms hills towards a cute little bothy. 

Just as we arrived the weather sent us a flurry of heavy rain. We dove into the bothy to find 7 people all sat around having lunch. Rather than standing outside, we followed suit and enjoyed chatting about books and the highlands and a study happening on the effects of reintroduction of wolves up here. It was great and I’ll be looking out for the book when we pass through Aviemore tomorrow. 

An old couple we met here were spending 5 weeks bike-packing all over Scotland. They were staying in bothies, hostels and the occasional hotel when they really needed a shower. It was wonderful to talk to them and imagine us doing the same 20 years into the future.

Once the rain cleared we headed up the steep track leading to the summit of what I now know to be  Meall a Bhuachaille . It was steep but only about 500m of ascent that ended with a huge cairn and low wall of rocks. We were hit with another light shower of rain near the top. When thinking of why we choose to walk up hills in the rain, you’d think I’d struggle to answer. But it’s quite simple really. If we didn’t walk up hills in the rain, we would never get to the top. Not only is this true due to the UK climate but I think it is a good metaphor for life too.

The rain blew over quickly leaving a wondrous view. We could see all the way up the valley towards Kingussie, Newtonmore and Laggan. And the mountains stretched on further yet. We could have been looking at the back of Nevis we could see so far! Certainly, we could see “our hill”. But my geography is not good enough to pick it out.

Thanks to Aimi, we definitely did this walk the correct way around. The descent was magnificent. The view stretched out ahead of us all the way down till we entered the trees. It was at this time Aimi got an email that confirmed her job offer and contracts explicitly. This was great news and finally gave her a sense of completion and achievement. 

We stopped in the Pine Marten bar on the edge of the campsite for a celebratory drink and food. Choosing a table was easy, the one built into a small circular turret room. It was just large enough for 4-5 people to sit around on the bench seat and be surrounded by windows. Looking out at the view into the forest, we were quite high up. The tall pine trees stood proudly beside us and brushed the building with their limbs allowing a greedy red squirrel to gain the bird feeder. We sat very still and just watched. It was right outside the window popping its head into the feeder to get nuts and then nibbling them to pieces before getting another. It was mesmerising and Aimi got some amazing photos!

As if having dinner with a red squirrel wasn’t amazing enough to end the day, the sky exploded into a spectacular golden sunset. We walked along the loch-side beach and I coaxed some romance out of Aimi.