My hairdresser, the Lovely Louise (there are a lot of Louises up here…) and I have fallen in to a convenient little routine. I rarely have the car during the week, because if I don’t really need it, I am far too lazy to get out of bed early to take David to work and nick it. When I have an appointment at the hairdressers, Louise picks me up first thing on her way to work, she cuts my hair and then I walk home. (If I’m feeling exceptionally lazy, I catch the bus…) As I was a lazy toad yesterday, I thought a good punishment would be to take a detour and extend my walk by a couple of miles and a couple hundred feet. It was a mish mash of various paths I’ve taken before once or twice with The Other Louise and her bolshie beagle, Ailsa. turns out, I probably haven’t used some of these paths for about three years and I had to rely on my dodgy memory.
Turned out to be a rather nice little. I set off in the opposite direction from usual, heading past the school and through the posh housing to drop onto the Dava Way at its beginning. After a short way, there is a short flight of steps up to another track whilst the Way continues straight on, under a bridge. I took the steps.
Up or straight on
From the track you get views of the surrounding farmland and hills and a peak of the Dallas Dhu Distillery, which often features in my walks, but not today.
The distillery, in a dip in the centre of the photograph
The sun, struggling through the clouds over the farmland
Along this stretch of the track, I was given a little fright when a cyclist came up behind me and spoke. I managed not to squeak in my surprise and answered his question, yes, if carry straight on, you’ll eventually meet the road and turn left…this is true, so long as he realised that to go straight on, I meant for him to go through (or round) the four gates he’d meet on the way. I didn’t see him again, so he either got it right, or didn’t go through (round) the first gate and took the track round and back into the woodland and away from his destination. Oh well.
Having gone round the first gate, you come to part of the Flood Alleviation Scheme along the Mosset Burn, which has in the past had a nasty habit of flooding.
Looks like a convergence, but I think it’s the burn threading around some mini islands
Having left the woodland, I continued on the access road which runs along the edge of farm land. I know that the hump and little wooded area in the centre of one of these fields is the site of a badger set, but I’ve never been here at the right time to see them. Neither have I been at the burn at the right time to see the otters, but a friend has and I’m only slightly jealous. The track eventually pops out onto the road and I had to remember which way Louise had taken me, baring in mind, we are friends, we chat, we were walking a naughty dog and I may not have been giving my whereabouts my full attention. I plumped to turn right and walk a little way up the road before crossing and taking another path into woodland. The fence along the right of the path rang a bell, as did the evidence of it being a popular path with dog walkers.
There is a fence on the right…
The woodland became a little more dense, then changed briefly to what could be a pretty little path with a little dappled sunlight.
Imagine dappled sun and bluebells…
Another decision had to be made when I reached a junction, left would take me to a path by the cemetery, but too far back to town, straight on would take me onto farm land that may, or may not be ploughed or even in crop, so I turned right onto the track that would take me up to a minor road that I planned to follow for a short distance before turning onto a single track road that would drop me on to the cycle path along the A96. I was a little alarmed to see to heavy lorries on the minor road ahead of me. It can be busy, but they were a little larger than I was expecting. The track goes through a small section of neglected woodland, with a lot of dead and fallen trees and the odd bit of abandoned machinery. I met the road and turned left, ahead of me I could see, well, actually, I wasn’t quite sure, it looked, wrong…
Abandoned and unloved, but appropriately named…
Never seen this junction before, the road I know goes away to the distance on the right
This used to be a single track road!
I took the track that used to be a single track road and it was an utter delight in comparison to what it used to be like, playing Russian Roulette with the odd rather speedy car! It seemed awfully narrow, no wonder I hated it when it was a through road. However, it had another bonus. There are blackthorn bushes that grow along here. The fruit of the blackthorn is? Sloes. I hadn’t harvested them here before because of their proximity to the traffic, but now, there is none. Oh yes, I will be back! And to top it off, I saw bullfinches. Delightful!
Signage and a new path leading to the business park, all related to the new road and junction
There are nice views over Findhorn Bay, Findhorn and the Moray Firth to the hills beyond, but I didn’t fancy clambering up the bank to the barbed wire fence at the top to take a good photograph.
Over the Firth
I soon dropped onto the cycle path and beetled along it east for a very short distance, before taking advantage of the slower than usual traffic to nip across the road. The slow traffic was caused by temporary lights, road and surveying works. Wonder what they’ve got planned?
Anyway, off down another little lane, through more woodland, Crows Wood, to pop out onto another cycle path, my usual route home.
Across farmland to Cluny Hill
Three quarters of a mile from home, by Crows Wood, the sun finally came out!
Roughly 5.84 miles, 307 feet ascent and 3 mph average speed.
I really enjoyed that!