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

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Invercauld Bridge to Crathie......

I had to wait till after lunch before I caught the bus to Braemar. Getting off at the Invercauld Bridge I was first of all tangled up in some roadworks, then, caught my hair in a low hanging tree branch and finally had to wait for ages before the GPS would start up.......

{Towards the Bridge}

{A bit of history to read....}

{Onto the Bridge.....}

There was just a hint of snow on the road over the Bridge but as I turned left towards the Estate gate there was a lot more - deep, soft and where there were footprints or tyre tracks it was quite slippery. I decided to put on my Microspikes. This is more easily done sitting down but I hopped about on one leg at a time and eventually set off, crunching through the hard slush.

{The gate}

Of course I had no sooner got going on the snowy track than I turned a corner and discovered.....no more snow! More hopping then followed as I took the spikes off again!

{Thirty metres on......}

The forest was peaceful with just the occasional bird calling from the branches above me. On the walk across the fields by Ballater two days before there had been oyster catchers, lapwings and plenty of crows. At the bus stop waiting at Crathie I had even heard a woodpecker but it seemed to still be Winter here, closer to Braemar.

{The White Bridge}

I passed the White Bridge (which has locked gates) and turned onto a faint path. There, ahead of me, more snow, but this was much softer and I walked through it easily. A movement caught my eye and I saw a small group of Red Deer were standing watching me.

{Click for a closer look at the Deer....}

{Red Deer footprints in the snow}

The track passes close to the River before reaching Connachat Cottage. It was deserted but there are a few different tracks here so I had to pay attention to the map.

{A glimpse of the river}

The rain had started now so I was glad of the Paramo trousers and jacket. At the junction for Balmoral Castle I followed the signpost for Crathie. Stopping to take the photos I set a kennel full of dogs into a barking frenzy.

{Gate to the Castle}

{Instructions on the gate.....}

{Smart signpost to follow}

TGO Challengers intending to walk this way instead of along the A93 to Ballater might be interested in both the above signs. Once getting to Easter Balmoral it's worth noting that the shop and Post Office are now closed.

{The old shop/post office building}

Having carried my spikes I put them away just before finding more snow to get through. Some nice sticky mud too.....and a squeeze through the kissing gates.......

A short walk down the Brae and onto the South Deeside Road brings me to the Bridge across the Dee to Crathie and another woodpecker (maybe the same one as before) greeted me from a distance.

{Crathie's White Bridge}

Viewranger recorded just 11.5 km for this afternoon stroll.

If anyone has been paying attention that's four walks this week as part of my Challenge training. No really hard days yet, those are to be attempted soon. However, I already have one blackened toenail, which was careless at this stage.

More walking to come next week..........


Louise said...

More walking sounds good, but look after those tootsies. No suggestions how though xx

Laura said...

It's not usually my big toenail that gets the blister - instead of walking I'll be hobbling for a while....

Gayle said...

I had been paying enough attention to notice how many walks you've been getting in. I'm suitably impressed (and a little jealous).

My Challenge training is mainly involving sitting at a desk in a windowless office... harrumph.

Laura said...

Hi Gayle - I'm just trying to make up for NOT doing very much during the winter - still finding walking UP hill very difficult and that's with a tiny rucksack.......