Monday, 29 November 2010

Snow doesn’t stop play but does make life a little more interesting and deep holes…

Yesterday was a girly walk and so, we did, despite the accumulation of snow. Only one girly dropped out, but we understand that, she does live further afield along the coast. The intrepid six were Angela, Alison, Judith, Jo, Sally and me.

SDC11046 David and I cleared the car before we set off

SDC11047The tree was pretty

We left Forres after a change of plan. Normally, we would have taken a more off road route, but today the road seemed a better choice. We made our way out by the hospital, past the farm and the quarry and then up the long and winding (and uphill…) road to Califer Hill viewpoint.

SDC11050 A waterproof moment as the snow put in it’s first appearance on this walk

SDC11051 The road ahead

SDC11053 The road behind (or was it the other way around?)

We persevered and once we reached the viewpoint, we had a snack stop (and a comfort stop for some). There were a couple of abandoned cars which the nursing staff among us felt compelled to check for freezing inhabitants, but thankfully, none were found.

SDC11054Towards Burghead SDC11055Over Findhorn marshes and Culbin Forest towards Ben Wyvis, I think SDC11056In the direction of Loch Ness, maybe


Pretty snow!

So, on we walked and although road walking is not usually much fun, it wasn’t like walking on tarmac today and we just chatted and trudged our way through the tree lined lanes, with occasional snow flurries (dumps…) and blue skies. It was actually a really lovely atmosphere, very relaxing.

Then behind us was a noise. A vehicle, but not an ordinary vehicle. What could it be?

“Oh look! It’s a quad bike!”

“I’d laugh if it was Greg!” (Jo’s husband.)

And so it was! Alison had never been on a quad bike before. She has now!

SDC11059 Alison hitched a ride

SDC11060More pretty trees 


Onwards down the valley, the intrepid walkers trudge

We were soon heading down the other side of the hill to Angela’s house for a very civilised lunch of Carrot, Orange and Ginger soup and a slice of Chocolate Cake, yum. Alison had arrived before Pete and the little girls, so she’d had to do some breaking and entering to make sure the soup was on to heat up in time. Maybe there are hints of a miss spent yooff? There was some male company at the house, it’s a long time since we’ve had male company on a girly walk, so it was a welcome treat and a relief for Judith, as her leg muscles had gone into spasm again (as they did on A Return to Portsoy) so her husband had arrived to convey her home in warmth and comfort.

SDC11065 Soup! (It matches the table cloth. To hide spillage?)

SDC11062The lovely view from Angela’s kitchen window. (That’s not a ski jump, it would be heading the wrong way!)

SDC11063Weather from Angela’s window 

Soon, we were on our way, but a split group. Angela accompanied Sally part way to Pluscarden, Jo, Alison and I made our way towards Rafford before Alison and I completed the walk to Forres.

SDC11067Less snow on the road, later in the day

SDC11068Sheep in the gloom

I think Alison and I walked the furthest, 12.1 miles, Jo totalled 9.89 miles. I’m not sure how much Angela and Sally did, but it was 6.56 miles to Angela’s and a further 4 miles, roughly, to Sally’s, so Sally totalled 10.56 miles and Angela probably wasn’t far off. Judith managed a good, uphill walk with her poorly leg.

1195 ft ascent overall

2.7 mph average, surprisingly

We left at 10 am and Alison and I were back in Forres by 3.50 pm, so with stops, I think we had a good day!

You’re right, I didn’t explain the deep hole.

You see, I hate being passed by large vehicles on the road. I have a tendency to end up in the hedge, trying to get as far away as possible. This time, I went over the snow drift into the ditch (commonly known as a dyke in these parts, unfortunately) and landed up to my waist in snow. My lovely new gaiters still kept the snow and wet off my lower legs though!

No comments: