On Saturday, 4th September, Angela, Jo, Sally, Rikky and I set off from Orchard Road car park in Forres towards the back road past Waterford to Kinloss. This was all very uneventful, for a change, but there was a large volume of traffic on what is usually a very quiet back road.
It was a beautiful day, the Sally Effect prevailed and we had clear blue skies, barmy temperatures and at times, the perfect cooling breeze. Definitely no rain!
At this point we were breaking the 3.2 mile an hour average as we gently steamed towards our first coffee break at the bird hide on Findhorn Road. We arrived at an empty car park and wandered aimlessly to find somewhere to park our behinds. We were shortly joined by three cars (mainly containing OAPs) and another walker.
Soon, we continued on our way. Somebody had mentioned, again, that "It's a perfect day for Pimms!" so we headed for the pub. Did it matter that it was before midday? That, in fact, it was only just past 11am? Sally and I looked at each other. NO! So, on we went to the Crown and Anchor. Which was shut. We had twenty minutes till the bar opened, what to do? They only have one toilet, it would take, ooo, twenty minutes for us to all take advantage of their porcelain, so we waited!
At 11.30 am we were told, "Oh no, we won't be open till 12 pm now."
So, we went to The Kimberley.
They wanted our business and opened the bar, just for us, switched on the cash register and lemonade pump, sliced lemons and limes and presented five, refreshing Pimms and lemonade for our delectation. The barman also tried to persuade us to have a meal, but we'd already tarried quite a while, so made off in search of the Water Taxi.
We found said Water Taxi and a very nervous young man made his way to the floating pontoon with five giggly, middle-aged women. We all donned our sexy bouyancy aids and wobbled onto the boat, giggled some more and off we went. Squealing all the way. What fun! This made Angela's day, and she's done it before!
The nervous young man was only too pleased to deposit us on the beach and sped off to the safety of Findhorn Marina without delay, relief all over his face.
We faffed a while, jackets on and off, waterproof trousers dried off in the wind from a coffee spill, camera in and out of it's case and then we were off again. I don't like struggling over sand, so we cut up the beach into Culbin Forest only to take a wrong turn (mine, what a muppet) back to the beach, which was now shingle. We struggled along the shingle beach a while before making our way towards Binsness, where we found a nice sunny spot for yet more refreshment and nourishment. And fend off wasps. So we set off again for a stroll through the forest before leaving the trees behind at Wellside Farm and making our merry little way to the ford and towards Broom of Moy.
Jo went for a paddle, which she thoroughly enjoyed, but couldn't persuade anyone to join her.
We strolled on, covering several serious subjects as we strolled, before reaching Broom of Moy and crossing the bridge back to Forres.
Jo and Angela were aghast that I had never been to Lidl.
I have now!
And there it all came to an end, as Jo's husband and son appeared, by chance, disappeared and then, as if by magic, reappeared with Jo's transport from the other car park.
What a day, pub, boat trip and shopping, what more could a girl ask for?
The statistics go something like this:
190 ft ascent
206 ft descent
4 hrs 24 mins walking
1 hr 59 mins resting
2.9 mph average
(0.37 miles on a boat included)
More down than up, we like that!