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

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Two lochs and some crunchy mud.....

The weather is still swinging wildly from wet to dry with falling temperatures. The hills were white with snow on Friday morning and lower down there had been a hard frost. I usually get a lift to the starting point but this week I was on my own. My arm is allowing me to drive a bit now so I set off to meet up with the group at Dinnet crossroads car park.

It took me a good twenty minutes to clear the thick frost from the windscreen but I was then under-way and arrived in good time. I've been wearing some new gaiters for walking the past few weeks - some Rohan snow gaiters to be exact. So I had donned not only the gaiters but long-johns under my trousers and an extra Paramo layer under the Velez lightweight smock - it was a lowly minus 3! Brrr! It might even be necessary to wear a hat and gloves.......

The walk was neither long nor difficult but very sociable and because the day was bright we had good views of the snowy hills in the distance. On the way we crunched and squeaked our way over frozen puddles and deep muddy patches.

{Loch Kinord in low sunshine}

The first of the good views came as we walked alongside Loch Kinord. The area around the loch has many historical connections. There are iron age remains on the shores and a crannog (man-made island) in the water. Some years ago I believe an ancient wooden boat was found in the loch and is preserved in Aberdeen.

{The paths are marked clearly with wooden signposts}

There is no access to the loch as it is owned by the laird but the woodland around it is run as a nature reserve. There are more paths than are marked on the map and most are way-marked.

{A beautifully carved ancient standing stone}

The 'cross' marked on the map is a wonderful example of a carved Celtic standing stone. A nearby information post tells us this was re-instated in 1957 after it had been kept at Aboyne Castle for many decades.

Shortly after this detour to look at the cross, Margaret informed us she had come the wrong way having missed a path junction. She didn't really need to have owned up to us as we were all chatting so much nobody had noticed! It didn't really matter although we had to walk on the road for a short while.

Soon it was lunch time on a wooded knoll overlooking Loch Davan where there were many ducks, geese and even a swan. The edge of this loch is much more reedy and marshy than the other and is not as often visited. Migrating geese use this loch as a staging post on their way south. A couple of buzzards are often seen hunting in this area and one swooped through the trees as we got ready to set off.

{Loch Davan through the trees}

We wandered on through more crunchy lanes and paths. This would have been a mucky section but for the temperature keeping the muddy dubs nicely frozen. Then a short section along the Deeside Way and we arrived back at the car park as the sun was beginning to drop behind the hills at 2 pm.

The Viewranger measured this walk as just over 8 miles.


Louise said...

Jealous! ;-)

Laura said...

T'was really good! Walking on icy mud is almost as much fun as kicking through autumn leaves!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

so this time you had time to see the cross. Yes it is very pretty indeed.

What an enchanting place Kinord is.


Laura said...

Hi Rolf - Yes indeed it is an enchanting place especially on a bright frosty day!

Alan R said...

Looks a nice winter walk. “It might even be necessary to wear a hat and gloves”! i see the rest of the team decided it was.

Because They're There said...

Hi Laura. That cross looks pretty spectacular. Stuff like that always makes a good walk that bit more special.
Cheers, Alen McF

Laura said...

Well spotted Alan!

The cross isn't very big or grand but the carving is rather special. Surprisingly it isn't protected from the weather in any way.