Monday, 29 March 2010

Four walks and a wonder

Walk one

Sunday 21st March was a mini-girly walk. Not everyone could join us this week, so we arranged an extra walk. The walking is becoming less important than the gathering of friends perhaps, but for me, the friends make the walking extra special, so I don’t mind.

We did a shorter, more gentle route because we had Hoppy along, although she’s hopping less now. A total of 5.85 miles and 265 ft of up  at roughly 2.6 mph in a circuit around Altyre on a very lovely day.

Walk two

The second walk was the regular Monday route with Angela and Louise, although Angela did a shortened version. Again. The remaining two managed  5.95 miles and 255 ft of up at roughly 2.9 mph in the circuit on another jolly pleasant day.

Walk three

David, the boys and Ciara joined me on Saturday, 27th, for a circuit around Bridge of Brown on the Glenlivet Estate, part of the Crown Estate. It was a beautiful day when we left home, but as we got higher into the highlands, there were dark, threatening clouds gathering that I didn’t like the look of! When we parked up, we decided to walk anyway and three of us donned our waterproof jackets in readiness. The other two were foolhardy.

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W

There was plenty of snow around, but very little on our actual route. We saw several pairs of lapwings in display flight and tons of frogspawn in streams and puddles along our decidedly boggy path. There was a keen wind for a good part of the walk, but not too much of a bite, in my Smartwool base layer, Montane Dynamo and Quattro, I was just comfortable.

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W

Sadly, we saw evidence of the harsh winter conditions, three dead roe deer. One looked as if she had just curled up and given up. There was also evidence of  the fight for survival of other deer. Any fallen tree or branch had been stripped completely bare by nibbling teeth and even the odd branch hanging down low. I’ve never seen it quite so much before.

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W

A circuit of  4.46 miles and 877 ft of up at roughly 2.6 mph in very picturesque surroundings.

Walk four

Sunday, 28th should have been a mini-girly walk today, but ended up being just Angela and myself. We had a fine time doing the same route as last Sunday, except we didn’t have the Sally effect. It’s always rains when Sally isn’t with us, it tried hard, on several occasions, but didn’t dampen our spirits! Same stats as last time, except 2.8 mph. I breathed while Angela talked!

Wonder one

Tuesday, 23rd. Ah, well, I sometimes join a friend of mine when she walks her dogs. Well, I say dogs. Zacky is a collie cross and he is a lovely dog. Coda is a Leonberger who is  also a lovely dog, if a little more imposing. He tends to be referred to in our house as a small, hairy donkey, or a walking hearth rug. He’s huge! And very affectionate. I’m usually covered in enough Coda hair to make another dog. Lovely! Recently, Christine has taken on a third dog. Another Leonberger, a female with the unfortunate name of Crumpet.

Anyway, I joined them all for a walk in Culbin Forest and as we left the car park a couple and their small, insignificant dog was taking our proposed route. We were courteous and took a different path and having had previous experience of the Culbin Effect, I picked up an official leaflet with a map, so we didn’t get lost.

That was useful.

We still found ourselves navigationally challenged, and wondered on several occasions exactly where we were! I’m convinced the markers don’t match up to the map…

We totalled roughly 7 miles (hard to be exact, the GPS switched itself off, again, even with a new battery…and I wasn’t exactly sure of our route when I looked at my map at home…) with roughly 183 ft of up.

At least it was a nice day.

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