Monday, 8 November 2010

Laura, Louise and the Laughing Cows

I think they were you know.
We agreed a date and time to meet and were both early, always a good start. After a quick faff and a conflab, off we set on our little ramble on the Glenlivet Estate. It was a fine day, a light, cool breeze with some low cloud or mist on distant hills as we made our way on a reasonable track. It wasn’t reasonable for long.
As we trekked uphill, over stiles, through a gate and on into the bog, it became clear we walk in a very similar manner, a reasonable plod with heavy breathing and regular pauses uphill. Makes life a whole lot easier!
Towards the Ladder Hills
SDC11003 Curious Star Jelly stuff, must investigate!
On we trudged, slithered and squelched until we joined the Speyside Way and what a disgrace that was!
SDC11004 Upwards on the Speyside Way (this was the best bit)
And on we went, chatting all the way. ‘Cos we’re girls and we can!
Soon we reached Carn Daimh, with it’s pile of rubble and plinth, took a few photographs, admired the ravens and decided it was a bit chilly up here for lunch and we’d drop down the other side of the hill into the trees for shelter.Good move!
SDC11006The distillery
SDC11007 Rubble and plinth
Lunch was very pleasant. We sat sitting in front of a recently cleared area of trees that looked a little desolate but opened up views of the hills. Well, would have done had we been able to see them clearly, but I’m sure they were there. The path down this side of the hill and into the trees was a vast improvement and we enjoyed it while we could. Once we back into open ground, it deteriorated once more, but led to much hilarity and kept our spirits high, despite the wintry shower at this point. Onwards we ventured, following the virtual path through heather and bog to rejoin the dismal Speyside Way.
Making our way through the last bit of woodland was tricky and nearly led to wet pants, but we recovered ourselves and eventually emerged the other side, opting for the cyclists gate rather than another stile (there’d been a few) which would have taken us boggily downhill.
We had been following this track downhill, avoiding stiles where possible (our little leggies were tired of stiles) but in the distance I spied a large gathering of cattle. They looked a bit like a group of hoodies on a street corner and we felt they were best avoided. The avoidance plan eventually brought us out over a fence to a ford, just beyond the hoodies and on their side of the fence, but they’d obviously lost interest and just watched, probably having a good chortle at our expense. A plank was kindly placed to aid the fording, but wading through the mud either side to avoid wet feet seemed pointless, so we splashed through the shallows instead.
The farm track mud was not so easy to avoid and I managed to pick up about a pound per foot. Eugh.
We herded some sheep to a different field, I’m sure the farmer will have found them by now. Soon we rejoined our outward route and returned to find our cars, still alone.
I think other people know about this route. It would be lovely, if the path was as good as it should be. If I’d been on my own, I think I’d have found it quite demoralising, especially the sleety middle bit, but I was in excellent company and we had such a good giggle, I still  enjoyed myself.
We’ve agreed to meet again, I’ve challenged Laura to find something less boggy!
I think Laura has more photographs and maybe a few statistics over here, I forgot to switch my GPS on at the beginning of the walk. Nothing to do with the talking.


Laura said...

I forgot about the sheep herding!

Louise said...

There was just something about following those filthy bottoms that stuck in my mind...