Friday, 23 August 2013

Chocolate Cake

The day had an inauspicious start. As I walked into the lounge with my breakfast, one slice of toast slid gracefully off my plate and landed on the carpet, marmalade side down.

When we arrived in town where I was to drop David to collect a pool car, the offices were not open.

When we finally got on our separate ways (although initially in the same direction) we got behind every bit of slow traffic we could find and this was to be a theme during each of my journeys today.

As I brought up the rear behind two cars and a van going over The Lecht I became aware of that nasty burning clutch or brake smell. (Apparently there is a difference, one smells of rotten eggs. They both smell of burning to me!) I was praying very hard that the smell was not emanating from my car. I had to wait a while after the two cars passed the van before I could but I was pleased to find I left the smell behind me. Phew.

I collected Laura and we set off to leave the car at the beginning of our chosen walk, after having first persuaded each other that 10 miles was perhaps a little ambitious given the time constraints, so we headed for Thistledae. It was a clear day with a little high haze, but very warm and slight breeze. Things were looking up.


Near the start

We had a job to do on this walk. Laura had received a request for a photograph with a certain theme, so we duly complied with this request.


Happy Tree Hugger


We found a baby one too

By this time we were on a path that Laura was not entirely happy with. It wasn’t following the map, but the wayposts were most definitely sending us this way. We continued up hill through the trees, expecting something interesting to happen with regards the direction of the path.


Admiring the purple heather, there was a lot of it


There were views


And views


And more views

After a while, another waypost hove into view, this time directing us off the lovely track we were on through long grass and thistles to another post. Off we went, there was no path that we found, but plenty of tussocks and holes and I “Ooopsed” and giggled and squealed my way across the meadow. At the next post, we located the next against the boundary wall. At this point either the grass got longer or we were sinking deeper into the decidedly damp, tussocky, holey ground. I hoped we weren’t going to get out of our depth.


Looking awfully relaxed


Shorter grass, but the ground was still damp

We eventually made it to the remains of some buildings, something to do with corn and men designating a male only building in which to chat and drink whisky. I expect us wimmin had fun at that time too….

We followed the waymarkers and joined the track Laura had expected us to be on in the first place, it was obvious we’d been on a detour to visit the ruins that had not been adopted by most folk who probably did the short out and back from the track we were now on. I know, in my heart of hearts, that if Laura and I had ignored the waymarkers and stuck to the track as marked on the map, we would not have done that out and back (I’m too lazy) and would have missed that little bit of history. And all that fun…


A bit later, after we escaped the long damp, grass, at some different ruins


“The field of two goats” was obviously wholly inappropriate today


There were still views


We had our lunch seated at a handy picnic table near this beautiful building

As we lunched, there was some entertainment provided by the local birdlife, a very noisy buzzard and what looked and behaved suspiciously like a peregrine falcon, but I need to do some more research on that.


And the views continued on the way back

Once back at the car, we discovered we had time to find a local tea shop and partake of a little traditional afternoon refreshment. (I think that sounds all wrong) Anyway, in Ballater, we browsed the outdoor shop before retiring to the Bothy for tea and cake. Or scone. I had cake, chocolate cake as it happens. This finished the day off rather beautifully.

Roughly 5.68 miles with a total of 963 ft ascent in a bit of time.

Loved it, what a wonderful day, thanks Laura, Ls Belles’ Tea Shop Tours of Scotland!


Gayle said...

I declined chocolate cake with my tea on Thursday! The order of things seemed wrong to be eating chocolate cake before I'd even set foot on the trail to walk it off. I did have an extraordinarily large slab of orange and lemon sponge instead. Then I walked over the border into Scotland (two visits north of the border in seven days - that must be a record!).

Love the tree hugging photos, BTW.

Louise said...

I am occasionally faced with such dilemmas, but I don't usually struggle long before I fall face first into the cake, whatever flavour, whether there is walking to be done or not...

The photographs were rather fun and in response to a request from Matthew, her son. She's just a bit worried about what he wants them for. Tee hee!