Monday, 30 March 2009

Prettying up

I've realised this blog is devoid of photographs. Being as the main 40th birthday gift I recieved was a new digital camera, a Samsung GX10, I should really make more of an effort. I had intended to only post photographs relative to this blog originally, but I'm not so sure that will work now. So, to relieve the monotony of these pages, I shall insert a few of my favourites every now and again, although some may be pre-Samsung, 'cos I like some of those too!
Walking near Gairloch, overlooking the 'Fairy Lochs' towards somewhere in the direction of Beinn Eighe and Liathach, I think. (It was 4 years ago. I've got old since then.)

On the mountain trail at the Beinn Eighe nature reserve. It's definately Loch Maree peeping in from the left hand side.

From Big Sand, Gairloch, looking towards Port Erradale

From Big Sand, looking towards the Torridons

From Big Sand campsite, looking over the dunes (and other campers, in this case Germans) towards Skye.

We frequent the Gairloch Marine Life Centre every year, last year we were looking towards Skye and were lucky enouth to see Minke Whale at the same time.

These two were both taken from the trail at Knockan Crag, looking towards the Coigach.

Looking over the marshes at the Findhorn estuary, over Culbin forest with, I think, Little Wyvis and Ben Wyvis in the background, snow capped.

39 miles = 1 lb

Or was it the New Shoes?

I totalled 39 miles last week, with two short walks on consecutive days. Not really exciting stuff. Except I did manage to walk along a path with a shear drop down to the raging torrent of the Findhorn, unusual in both cases.

New Shoes? Again, not very exciting and Rhiannon's fault really. Had a trip to the orthodontist and had time to kill, accidentally fell into Millets. Fairly uninspiring as a rule, but they did have some decent reductions on footwear. I happened across a pair of Merrell Siren Ventilator shoes that didn't break the bank and as I'd gone through the heels of my Karrimors, decided I deserved some. They feel a bit odd at the moment, I'm just getting used to the extra support and according to the blurb, they're designed specifically for a woman's gait, but they are comfy in that they don't rub, I haven't had sore heels or blisters and my feet are held firmly in place whilst allowing for any expansion on a long walk. Because it's been quite fresh outdoors this last week, I've noticed the 'ventilation', I think I'll appreciate this if it's warm in the summer.

I've been getting lost this week too, but not outside. The journeys you can go on through the blogging world can be quite extraordinary. The ideas and information are great and the amount of solo women backpackers I've happened across are awe inspiring. I think it could become quite obsessive to 'stroll' through blogs, but very useful to see how other people plan their routes and the equipment they chose and why.

The 1lb? That's what I lost over the week, although after this weekend, I'm sure it'll have returned! Don't usually get out much over the Easter break, can never get all the children to agree to the same walk and the battle takes away the joy of being out, but Rhiannon is old enough to be home alone for a few hours now, so maybe it's going to get easier from now on. We'll see.

I'm garbling, I'll go now. Huge pile of ironing before I'm allowed near the maps again. Bah.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Still here

...and I've actually been for a walk too! Amid the handful of a few miles here and there, I popped in a longer walk on Saturday, a training walk for the Dava Way with the 'girls'. They walked about three miles further than me because they walked past my door and I just couldn't quite persuade myself to walk three miles on and then ring David for a lift home, so I peeled off and left them to it!

Anyway, it wasn't too strenuous, the Coast Path from Lossiemouth west:
17 miles
3 mph on average
5 hrs and 25 mins (I've deducted the stops, there appear to have been quite a few due to one particular member of the group...)
Only climbed about 170 ft, due to the fact that we walked more than half the way on the beach as the tide was rather handily out!

That was fine, so long as we stuck to the wet sand, (I hate dry sand and dunes. Too much hard work!) but we did have to paddle through the shallowest bits of the burns that run out of the forest at Roseisle a couple of times. Stopping at the coffee shop for hot drinks and cakes was a little unnecessary, maybe would have been more popular (and less likely to finish the walk) had we not taken a shortcut through the Foundation and therefore bypassed the pub. Obviously an all women group!

Anyway, I suffered no injuries, blisters or sorness, so considering how dreadfully unfit I am, (would have struggled with hills) and carrying an extra stone (which I'm continuing to ignore...) I was really quite relieved. I used my old daysac, Aedan's school bag, and had no headache or sore neck, so I think I've proved the Lowe Alpine Ace II 25 just doesn't suit me. I need new walking shoes too, as I appear to have gone through the soles of my Karrimors. Ooops.

I'm hoping I've persuaded the girls not to do the reverse of the Dava Way in April as a training walk, I think it will be too demoralising, so thinking caps on for something suitable to keep us all happy.

I'm also planning walks for our holiday in the North West of Scotland in July. It'll be the fourth year in a row we've been, but this time we're hiring a cottage and mum's coming too. This might give David and I the opportunity to try a wild camp, for my benefit, and for mum to look after all four little treasures by herself before May 2010, when she has foolishly volunteered her services. I'm also toying with the idea of a Munro. Maybe Beinn Eighe, but only if I'm much fitter and can summon up the nerve. I've visions of getting up to Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair and being overwhelmed. We'll see.