The 12th October seemed like a good day to meet up with the Lovely Laura and go for a walk. We decided it was about time we returned to the Tomintoul area and gave The Bochel a go. We are quite familiar with the area and really should have been prepared for the mud fest that ensued, but it was a while since we’d been in the area and we had forgotten.
It was a grey day and it did attempt to rain later in the day, but it came to nothing in the end, despite the waterproof faff.
It all started very well, we parked the car at Tombae car park and set off a short way along the road before taking a track and crossing a bridge. Then it got…tricky. There were cattle. A substantial amount of cattle. They weren’t too close, but kept moving which didn’t please me. And the mud! The mud was utterly ridiculous. That is partly why I seem to have taken very few photographs. That and the fact we were talking quite a lot.
The boardwalk, short respite from the mud fest
Loved the sky
So, the plan had been to follow the footpath and then make our way uphill to the top of The Bochel, but we didn’t like the going much, after the mud fest it was a steep, heathery slope, our next least favourite ground for walking, so we decided to continue contouring for a while before making our way across and down the hill to meet the footpath. There we came across another slight issue with cattle, they were blocking the track we intended to follow up onto the road to avoid the return through the mud fest. To avoid the cattle, we went through a gate leading into the adjoining field (the gate between the two was open, but the cattle seemed uninclined to come through it) and walked quite quickly across to another gate (which I think we climbed?) and into some trees. After a quick scout about, we decided our next course of action would be to follow the fence line along the edge of the trees and make our way to the road tat way. Much to my horror, we found we than had to climb a stile into the back garden of a small, occupied cottage and sneak through their gate to reach the desired track to the road, but we got there eventually!
Once on the track, we crossed a bridge and made it to the road. At Allanreid car park we made use of the picnic bench and had a rather late lunch. Soon after we walked along the road back to the car. Such fun!!
Roughly 10.8 km and 316m total ascent.