Friday, 2 December 2011

An ‘L’ of a day

I was, as usual, a little late, but as Laura drove up the, er, drive behind me, I was pleased that we had both timed our arrivals to perfection! We parked at Revack Lodge, a little south west of Grantown on Spey, donned walking boots and gaiters, hoisted our day packs and off we went.

This was a bit of a magical mystery walk, not entirely planned by myself, but with a little help from a site I sometimes use, Walkingworld, I’d simply mad a linear walk to Nethy Bridge a circular, by linking with the Speyside Way for our return. Easy.

We were too busy chatting to take the short track to the viewpoint, so continued on. We were soon consulting maps and GPS to pinpoint our location, not entirely where we were expecting, but not lost. We soon arrived at a signpost we were expecting, but found a new barbed wire fence without the expected style.

SDC12336Useful (although the fence probably doesn’t show in the photograph)

We’d passed a gate with a track leading in the right general direction, so we backtracked to take that. A truck and trailer arrived noisily, the driver of which got out and proceeded to open the gate and Laura, being the friendly type, engaged the rather handsome young man in conversation. He explained that they had ‘had’ to replace the fence and providing an access point was complicated by those requiring access with wheels, so a gate was going to have to be inserted near the vehicle access, which would normally be locked.

SDC12337It was a beautiful day

We soon found ourselves crossing a little bridge, slithering our way up a track to then climb the grassy, slippery hillside to join another forestry track, with a couple of noticeable erratics, all the while discussing our last Challenge, routes for our next, gear, Laura’s recent trip and family.

The path eventually reached the road to Nethy Bridge, so we turned west  and headed to Castle Roy, where alongside the remains of the castle there is a pretty little church and church yard.

SDC12338 Castle RoySDC12341Laura photographing Castle Roy. Note the professional pose

SDC12339 The views south, to the hills

SDC12340 Pretty church

We decided this was a good place to lunch and whilst this bench looked like a lovely place to stop in the sun, we rather fancied this little shelter in the graveyard.

SDC12343 Cosy

This wasn’t the only advantage to taking a picnic with unusual company.

SDC12342 Convenient!

Well, it saved us from finding a handy bush on the side of the Speyside Way.

Along the road a tiny bit more we took a farm track to join the Way and headed back east. This was an easy stroll back to the lodge with great views of the hills and of the Spey, looking a little full and fast flowing.

We passed another interesting feature, left behind by the long since disappeared railway.

SDC12344 A railway relic

SDC12345 The lowering sun

As luck would have it, we got back to the cars mid-afternoon and the shop and cafe were still open, so we moved the cars closer to the entrance and made our way into the warm. The shop was full of sparkly Christmas decorations and bling jewellery, but the call of a hot drink was louder. Quite how we ended up with a free coffee and mince pie with brandy butter a piece is a long story, but it certainly made for a cheery end to a wonderful day!

According to the GPS it was 7.6m, although the map suggests nearer 8.4m. It was around 894ft ascent. We walked at about 2.3 mph for roughly 3 hrs and 19 mins with 1 hr and 28 minutes resting. Near enough.

I had a great time.


Laura said...

Me too!

Alan R said...

Flippin eck Louise, you missed out how many steps you took and the heart rate. Ha.
Nice walk that.

Louise said...

I like to be thorough :-)

Phreerunner said...

Very good Louise, though a bit confusing, as the previous item on my Google reader (La comes immediately before Lo) was an item where Laura appeared to be in Chairman Mao's bedroom. I know she's a quick mover, but are you sure you weren't out with a hologram?

Louise said...

It was a very chatty hologram!