Very unimpressed with our ‘welcome’ when we tried to check in at the hotel. I appreciate that we had arrived early but you’d think they would be used to people travelling up on the sleeper train. We didn’t expect to have our room - we just didn’t fancy taking our suitcases on our walk! They finally allowed us to leave the cases in a function room and we set off for a quick stroll around Craigellachie Nature Reserve and a quick visit to M&S to stock up on lunch. We then walked to the lovely Druie café at Rothiemurchus for a much-needed cappuccino. We then set off on a favourite walk to Loch an Eilein via Lochan Mor (lily loch). Had the girls been with us they would have hired bikes and cycled off ahead of us. Short drink stop at Lochan Mor where we saw some Little Grebes with a back drop of snow-capped mountains. On to Loch an Eilein and we headed into the woods to look for Red Squirrels in an area we’ve seen them previously-only one distant view sadly but we did get lovely views of a Crested Tit. This is a bird we always struggle to see when we visit in May as they are usually nesting and very secretive so very happy to get good views of them. We then walked around the Loch-something that we’ve not done before-beautiful views. We then walked back into Aviemore to try to check in to the hotel -a total of 29km walked in total. Time to hit the Cairngorm Hotel for tea.