Bawbags, burns & bothies in Ballater.

Ballater
Ballater is a burgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland on the River Dee, immediately east of the Cairngorm Mountains. Situated at a height of 213 m in elevation, Ballater is a centre for hikers and known for its spring water, once said to cure scrofula.

Man, Scotland is RAD.

I've just returned from one amazing week in Scotland. The sun was shining the entire week, there were no midgies in sight, the trails were mint, the whiskey tasting was endless and the crew was the best. We were out in Ballater with the Santa Cruz Bicycles boys & girls for the new Solo bike & Women's specific Juliana bike launch & we had such a fun week of everything. I finally got to meet & ride with Andy McKenna & his lovely wife Aneela - been wanting to meet these guys that run the www.go-where.co.uk Scottish guided company for so long now - always drooling over their instagram pics, so this was perfect. I got to experience a little bit of their daily instagram-ed lives & I'll never forget Aneela's amazing laugh! We just had a blast riding with the girls, ripping up the heather clad Scottish hills - cheers Mary -Anne, Aneela & Zea!

I also learnt a whole bunch of new Scottish words, don't think they're all good one's, but here are a few - thanks to Aneela:Β Bawbags,Β Burns, Fannybawbags, Fannybaws, bothies, Royal Deeside tweed, man, the list goes on and on...and I had a lesson in Whiskey making, smelling, sniffing, tasting & finally drinking. Turns out I'm not too keen on heavy peat flavored whiskey, made my tongue go all numb & tingly.

As for the first WC of the season - it was insane! Such a great venue, i have forgotten how good this venue was and how amazing all the Scottish fans are. I was bummed that the porridge cart wasn't there, but I did sample some delicious Haggis & tatties (the veggie version) and it was YUM. Our Juliana Bicycles booth got a lot of attention & the gals (and guys) loved the bikes! I got to catch up with some members of Team Dark Cloud, reminiscing about the trials & tribulations of the Trans Provence & I cannot wait to ride with this crew once again in September - Team Dark Cloud strikes again! Great to see & catch up with all the Ball's, andΒ got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants ever - The Ben Nevis Inn.

The trails were sick, the scenery mind blowing, the riding crew - super fun. Cheers to everyone who made this week super special. Visiting new places are the best, riding new tracks are insane, making new friends - priceless (no, this is not a visa add). Now I'm back in Italy, in the Valley of the sun for some more world cup action & trail exploration this weekend.

Thank you to Sven for the stunning shots!

Peace out.

Anka

x

heather clad mountains

Fort William WC - Juliana Bicycles booth

hike-a-bike with Sven

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

spectacular vistas

Lusciousnessssss

waterfall pose

Baller & I getting techy

whiskey time at Lochnagar

babes in the bothie

more lochs

Lochs & lassies

Ballater

Ballater

at the 2013 UCI MTB World Cup. Ft William, Scotland.

views & bogs

sunshine & heather

bbq time