Wednesday 8 February 2012: Cold Lochnagar
It may have been -12 degrees here yesterday, but there was no wind. Today has been the coldest day I think I have ever known in my life, since I have never been a polar explorer.
Even though it was only -1degree, the wind was as cutting as if it had blown in from the north pole. It was cold enough for nobody in their right mind to be out and about without good cause.
There is no snow at all here on low ground, although Lochnagar in the distance was covered in a white blanket and the river Dee was all but frozen on the stretches with slow moving water.
We had a very uncomfortably walk around Ballater with eyes streaming from the cold, a searing pain on exposed faces with the wind and wearing so many layers that it became difficult to negotiate any vertiginous paths, before we warmed up in a cafe with a blazing log fire.
With his Lordship electing to don an extra thermal layer down below, we returned to the lodge and took the car along to Braemar with very short snappy photo shoots at Crathie Kirk, and on the road where we had views over to the Grampians.
The town seemed to be in lock down with nothing moving. Usually at this time of year one might expect to see skiers and apres skiers, but today nobody, and even the natives said it felt chillier than yesterday.
We have been to Ballater where we walked through feet of snow and when it was warm and dry enough to cycle to Loch Muick and Aboyne, but never when we have felt that it was ridiculous to be outside.
Now back and thawed out, we're wondering what tomorrow will have to offer.