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

Monday, 26 November 2012

Saturday sunshine.............

Tomintoul does make a perfect 'half-way' between Louise and I so it's no surprise that a good weather forecast encouraged us to meet up again at the car park at East Auchavaich. This morning it was frosty but sunny - a better start than the horizontal rain and wind from the last time.  

{The distillery}

We walked along the road, then staggered past the distillery, and arrived at the old seminary buildings at Scalan. It said 'open' but there was no sign of life so we wandered on, admiring the Ladder Hills and a bright, low sun just rising above them. Our aim was to get to the top of Tom Trumper, not high but it would give us good views of the surrounding countryside.

{Ruins beside the old Seminary}

{Louise photographing some sheep}

The ruins of the old stone houses at the Clash indicated just how many people must have lived in this glen in past times. It seemed sheltered and there was water, maybe an ideal place to settle.  A wooden hut, more modern with benches and a table inside told us that the area was still frequented regularly - probably by estate workers and grouse-shooting guests. This area might make a good place to wild camp in warmer weather.

After some fun getting over a wobbly fence and some bog hopping through prickly bushes we minced along some sheep tracks - the path shown on the map having vanished - until we climbed up to meet a long fence. The GPSs confirmed that the fence runs along the route of another track on the map so we turned and followed it up to a gate.  Luckily the boggy ground was still quite frozen and crunchy underfoot so the going was easy. 

{A tiny skull frozen into the bog}

After gently climbing we reached the top of the hill. Round about the summit was a diminutive pile of stones which we assumed marked the high point. Heading down again we did pass a bigger cairn - although this was definitely not at the summit.

{The summit cairn?}

A string of grouse butts, all neatly numbered with white painted stones, offered us lots of choice for a sheltered lunch during which we were entertained by a gentleman wearing ronhill's repeatedly running up and down the top of the hill - we lost count how many times he did this. Watching him kept us amused through lunch in the cold sunshine.

{Our view down the hill}

Descending the hill quite steeply in places towards a track beside a fence we found a Glenlivet Estate marker post. The route took us back to the road, past the distillery and to the vehicles in plenty of time for a well earned coffee and cake in Tomintoul before driving away in our opposite directions.

A map and more information is available on the Glenlivet website. Our route is seen on the map below - it's mostly Walk 2 with a bit extra.

Louise's account is here.

{Louise looking back at those prickly bushes}

Although short, this was a very enjoyable day out. Thanks Louise!


Louise said...

Wow. You have truely mastered the art of the unflattering photography. Thanks!
It was another great day, cheers Lxx

Laura said...

Well they do say the camera never lies!!!! Sorry! Loved the walk, let's do another one soon.....

Louise said...

Yes please!! I'll 'work' on that ;-)

Laura said...

Good, good!