We convened for the Christmas Girly Walk at Lidl’s car park on Saturday and everyone was full of festive cheer as we fidgeted to keep warm in the snow and ice. We were Angela, Alison, Pip, Rikky, Sarah, Judith, Sally, Jo and me. Angela had intended us to have a sip of mulled wine before setting off, but had dropped the flask in the porch at home. As it was an old fashioned glass one, she’d decided not to sieve the contents, but rather to bring a bottle of Baileys, so those that liked had a good measure from a plastic cup before we left at a good pace towards the forest.
Angela took the lead (I had the map and route…) and we were soon heading down the track on the wrong side of the hedge. Judith put us right and that was the only near mistake of the walk. We’ll put it down to the snifter. It was a simple route, a mix of back roads and forestry as we wended our merry way. The going underfoot was mixed, a lot of snow, some compacted to ice and some fluffy and light, but the weather was mainly good. We had one decent snow shower, a few light flurries, but plenty of blue skies and winter sunshine, although it was decidedly nippy at snack and comfort stops.
We reached the car park at Wellhill to find the public conveniences open (usually locked during the winter) and there was a cheer as several of us took advantage of the porcelain. There was hot tap water too, wey hey!
Walking through Culbin always makes me nervous, I am notorious for getting lost in this forest, so how I’d got in charge of the route and map I’ll never know, but we made it through to Cloddymoss without event and I was proud. Here, we celebrated the season with our favourite walking friends and enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine (from Jo’s sensible flask).
Deluxe mince pies, six between nine was tricky
From the left, Jo, Rikky, Sally, Pip, Sarah, Judith, back of Alison’s head (the best shot of the two I took!) and Angela in the silly hat, say n’more
There was a glow about us and lots of good humour. Maybe a little tottering in places, but we’ll put that down to the ice…
Onwards every onwards, towards Dyke for a parcel drop off en route, to meet the Other Louise and sadly to lose Judith who begged a lift back to town for another engagement. Then a slight detour to kill time, just so we didn’t arrive at The Old Mill, Brodie, too early. (I personally don’t think it’s possible to arrive at a pub ‘too early’, but I might be getting myself a little bit of a reputation…). We headed down the track towards Brodie Castle and through the grounds to look at the frozen pond with staggering swans. I think someone wanted to walk around the pond, but luckily the consensus at this point was that we could go to the pub, phew.
We had a lovely ‘light bar snack’ and maybe a glass of wine or real ale, but I think we may have been a little too jolly for the place, our waitress certainly didn’t appear to appreciate our humour. Oops.
After a lovely walk and meal, there was a flurry of activity as transport arrived to take Sarah and Pip, Alison and Rikky in opposite directions. Angela and the Other Louise decided to walk back into town and the remaining three stayed at the table to drink coffee, eat chocolate and muse a while. After a short time there was much messing with mobiles, none with a signal and one without charge, but somehow we managed to hale a taxi (Jo’s husband and son in fact) and the Hardcore were at last transported home.
It was indeed a Merry Christmas walk!
9.12 miles walked
265 feet ascent (no lumps, hence the speed!)
3 mph average
49 minutes 54 seconds resting (it was a tad fresh for standing around!)
3 hours and 03 minutes moving