When you are doing a long walk it is always great to waken up to a dry day even though it was a bit cooler, it makes a big difference for getting your gear away in a dried state. Like the day before Elma was at hand to transport our rucks sacks to the next location and having packed the car for the second time we made our way ahead. Again a brief history of Potarch and the surrounding area.
The bridge at Potarch over the River Dee was the design of Thomas Telford, 1811-1813
At the Potarch Hotel you can see the Dinnie Stones. These two stones were used to counterbalance masons when working over the edge of Potarch Bridge. Large iron rings are fitted to the top were used for lifting the stones. The stones are not equal in weight or regular in shape, which makes them very awkward for lifting. In total they weigh 785lbs or kg. In 1860 local strongman Donald Dinnie carried these stones, one in each hand, across the width of the road and back. See a link to Donald Dinnie, he is one of Scotlandís forgotten heroes Click Here (Donald Dinnie)
The first bridge across the river Dee was built by Thomas Durwood at Kincardine OíNeil, this was the only bridge until one was built in Aberdeen in 1527.
Kincardine OíNeil is the oldest village in Deeside. St Erchard established a church there in the 5th century. A well was later erected in his honour at the edge of the village. It is said that in 1057 Malcolm Canmore, rested with Macduff and some followers in Kincardine OíNeil overnight before catching up with Macbeth near Lumphanan and beheading him. It is believed that he then brought Macbethís head back to Kincardine OíNeil on a golden platter.
We head across the Potarch Green over the Potarch bridge part of the B993 then continue onto the Deeside Way again which commences at the other side of the bridge, the path takes us to the oldest village on Deeside , Kincardine O Neil. At the most western side of the village we visit a long established business of J M Strangs a petrol station, where we replenish ourselves with some supplies. Being a regular visitor to the garage myself I have become to know the owners well, in fact Jock (John) Strang was born in the house I live in, in Glen Tanar, he always has some amazing stories of bygone days in the Glen. On that day his wife Rita was on duty always serving with a welcoming smile. Leaving the shop we head up Pitmurchie Road part of the old military road, almost directly across from the entrance to the garage, this is a mild hill climb passing some houses on either side until one reaches the marker posts indicating the continuation of the Deeside Way. Re-joining the path the route before us climbs mildly, but for a good mile or so through the Dess Wood, before it starts to drop down towards the Dess Burn then crossing the road which runs between Dess and Lumphanan where the path joins onto the old railway line once again. The railway from Banchory bypassed Kincardine O Neil and went further to the north through the village of Torphins this made Kincardine O Neil the forgotten village when the rail link existed hence it being smaller populated now. Re-joining the path of the old line the route takes us parallel to the A93 right into Aboyne until it crosses the main road to the old path into the centre of the village.
On reaching the centre of Aboyne we thought we deserved some refreshment and stopped in by the Huntly Arms Hotel. One of the oldest coaching inns to be found in Scotland, this hotel was built in 1432 and has played host to Jacobite leaders and even later, Queen Victoria. The hotel was empty apart from two local lads, Kirk and Bongo who gave us their words of wisdom over a pint. Having spent an hour in the establishment we thought we should be making tracks. To re-join the Deeside way you cross the car park adjacent to the hotel, cross the main road and the path begins again at the left hand side of the Victory Hall. The path is again part of the old rail line and takes you in straight roman road like path behind the newer build houses. Once leaving the village boundary of Aboyne we soon had to cross the A93 to continue on the path on the opposite side of the road, this then took us past the Deeside Gliding Club near Dinnet, at this point light rain began to come on, to our amusement people sheltered under trees while we walked past dressed only in the plaid. We walk a few miles further and we enter Dinnet and walk onto where the old station platform once was, it is at the point of the cross roads between the old rail line and the B9158 that our walk ends for the second day, we give Elma a call to pick us up, which is quite timely as the rain becomes heavier. Instead of sleeping outdoors as we planned we decided upon being indoors because of the heaviness of the rain basically seeing no point of us and our gear being soaked unnecessarily.
Click here for Day 3