Monday, 11 November 2013

Walking in the rain

After having received the exciting news that Laura and I were successful in the draw for The Great Outdoors Challenge, Ls Belles Tea Shop Tour of Scotland will be making their way from west coast to east next May and we needed to get together for a bit of a discussion. Not so much to discuss the route as to discuss the comments we’ve already received from our vetter.

A plan was hatched and we eventually found ourselves in the car park and Regents Park Keith, outside Boogie Woogie. It was an essential part of our training to go into the coffee shop and practice ordering and consuming coffee and scones.


Boogie Woogie Coffee Shop, Keith

We did that, then discussed the route comments. After a visit to the powder room we left Laura’s little car in the car park and took my tank to the car park at Herrockside. There, we sat in the car a while to allow a few light showers blow through as we just couldn’t be bothered to practice putting our waterproofs on to go walking in the rain. We happily looked through maps of our route which I happened to have brought with me and waited for the rain to stop. When it did, we dithered about which jackets we would wear, which pocket to put our camera in and which path we would take before finally putting on our daypacks and setting off up the hill.


This rainbow grew as we watched from the safety of the car


Heading off up


Looking back through the trees


South west towards Ben Rinnes




South east towards Bennachie


Distant moodiness


Knock Hill beyond the trig point


Pretty in Pink


Endless views

It was a reasonably good path all the way round this walk, with a few stony bits, a few boggy bits and a few slippery bits, but on the whole, nice. The views from the top of the Meikle Balloch hill were splendid, with distant hills to the south, west and east, including Ben Rinnes, Bennachie, The Buck and Knock Hill, and glimpses of the sea to the north. The weather was surprisingly pleasant. I was expecting a chilly wind with a few showers. In actual fact, there was a light breeze, bright sunshine and no rain whilst we walked. No waterproofs were required or worn during the entire training session.

We were back at the car before we’d successfully found a place to stop and have lunch, so we ate our sandwiches and handmade mince pies in comfort. An excellent first training session completed and a brilliant time was had.

Roughly 3.34 miles with 719 feet total ascent.