.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A cold and frosty morning...........

{Frost on every bush}

A heavy frost and a bright clear blue sky encouraged me out yesterday to walk to the other side of Creag nam Ban and maybe try to access the hill from there. There were frozen puddles and mud along the lane going towards Balmoral so the temperature was still below freezing.

I had had an email reply from the access officer who told me that Abergeldie Estate have installed kissing gates in some places but progress is slow and difficult. The claims of 'deer management' seem to be a coverall for preventing access.

The field of sheep were still there chomping noisily on some stalks along with a strong smell of turnip. I crossed the wooden bridge carefully as it was slippery with a wet covering of frost and continued up the road towards the distillery.

The land-rover track I took from the road was almost a pleasure to walk on after the last few days on muddy trails and enabled me to get easily to the stand of Scots Pine trees which protect the old settlement of Bovaglie. I had passed a herd of deer stags watching me suspiciously from the side of Creag nam Ban and seeing how wet and deep the bog was, I decided to leave them to the hill and explore the old farmstead instead.

{The track through the trees to Bovaglie}

The old farm buildings consist of a u-shaped barn and an old boarded up farm house. There are also quite a few even older remains of houses and retaining walls. I explored an area of planted conifers but decided not to go into the forest as it involved barbed wire fencing again. The view from this settlement is astounding, looking right into Lochnagar.

{Lochnagar in the distance}

I ate my lunch, enjoying the peace and quiet, until a gunshot reminded me that other people might spend their time in the outdoors for different reasons!

{An old cooking pot in the farm yard}

{The low sun making shadows}

Heading back, I spotted two buzzards hunting low over the heather, and then some sheep obviously sun-bathing while lying down chewing.  I found the frost hadn't melted on the bridge so had to tiptoe across again.

{Looking back at the frosted bridge over the Dee}

I realised, as I reached home, that I had almost forgotten about the access problem I set out to investigate.

There's always the next time!

According to Viewranger I walked 12.7 kms.


Alan Sloman said...

Lovely pictures, Laura. Take any wire cutters? I have been mooching with intent round all the local hardwear stores for strong lightweight jobs... Narrowed it down to two pairs now...

Laura said...

I imagine you like Edward Scissorhands - a pair of wirecutters in each hand - stepping up to the offending fence and then..........