When I got up I first missed a cake with 31 candles on it and someone singing 'Happy Birthday'. Well, there was nobody
there for my birthday and to be honest I hadn't expected someone to be there. But anyway I had always been away from
home on my birthday for the last 3 years.
The weather was fresh and cloudy that morning but at least it didn't rain. And even if it had done so, the last two days
had been brilliant sunshine so there would have been no reason to complain. As I told you before I wanted to head into
the mountains again. But before that I planned to cycle down to Stonehaven to have a look at Dunottar Castle. The ride
down there was bad, because the traffic on the road was very heavy.
After passing Stonehaven I stopped for a short visit to Dunottar Castle. When cycling back to Stonehaven to join the
A957 into the mountains I suddenly heard this famous crack in my back wheel and felt the back brake scraping on the rim.
Nice birthday present, broken spoke number two. I stopped and put in my replacement spoke and then cycled into
Stonehaven to look for a shop where they could repair my bike. I found one straight in the center of town but they told
me that I had to wait till about 3 pm until I could get my bike back. I really didn't like to hear that because that
meant that I was stuck in Stonehaven for 4 hours but there was nothing I could do. At that time it was still cloudy and
pretty cool, but after noon the sun came out again and the weather got nice.
I left Stonehaven at about 3 o'clock and headed towards the Dee valley on the A957. The road took me over a small pass
from where I had a great view down the Dee valley in the direction where Aberdeen must have been (it's still there I
suppose). Coming down into the valley I then joined the A93 up into the mountains. I went on through Banchory and then,
shortly after Kincardine O'Neill I was forced to stop again, this time because of a puncture in the front tire. But
actually that didn't bother me too much after all what had happened already on that day.
At about 6 o' clock in the afternoon I arrived in Aboyne and there on the camping site I found a wonderful place for my
tent just at the shores of Loch Aboyne. Next to me there was a German from Heidelberg, which is about 50 miles from my
hometown, with his girlfriend. They had come down from Glen Shee that day and were heading towards Aberdeen. While we
were talking another German joined us (why did I go to Scotland?); he first had been standing at the dish washing sink,
but apparently he preferred to talk about traveling with the bicycle to cleaning the dishes. He came from Hamburg and
told me he'd been been on bicycle tours as well, but not in Scotland. At the moment he was on the road with a couple of
friends in two campers.
After talking about this and that for more than an hour I changed into my good clothes (???) and went down to Aboyne for
a beer or two. It must have been nearly midnight when I retuned and went to sleep.