Again I’ve had bad signal or no signal to upload, so I haven’t written anything from when I last posted.
I left Macduff looking for Aberdeen, I set out at about 10.30am. It didn’t take long until I was there and stuck in traffic in the centre, I was trying to find a carpark, there where a number of car parks to choose from but I just kept going with the traffic, if it moved, and then I had found one. I got parked up and walked out but I had no idea where I was or which way I should be heading. I turned left out of the carpark and came to some steps, “I’ll head up them”, got to the top again choosing to turn left, I had found ( I think) what I was looking for, the main road of Aberdeen which I had been on 10 minutes before. The street was crowded, people walking along both sides and the traffic was constant but never seemed to move fast. As I looked more down the street, I noticed that it was aligned with bun-tin, all the way down to the other end, must be a mile long. It reminded me of a world war film, with the union jack everywhere down the street and the old building that were all around.
I was just window shopping, having a good luck around. I went into an outdoor shop and bought myself some proper boots for walking and a gas bottle just incase I run out. I carried on walking till near the end of the street, I crossed over and begun my way back. I stopped off a WHSmiths for a new book but in the end I didn’t get one, didn’t know what to choose. I strolled off this street and onto another looking to see what else was around, not much as I found out. I walked around to the main street again and walked back to where I started, that was it, that’s all I did in Aberdeen, I got back to the car worked my route of where I was going then heading on my way but first to find this pub to get some grub. I found the pub on the outskirts of Aberdeen, I went in and chilled out. I had a mixed grill and a Jammie dodger cheesecake, both went down a treat. At this time it was 4.30 and so I set back out on my journey this time to find a campsite.
I found one 1 hour and a half away in Ballater. I set up camp, had a look around this small village, again not much to see, and then found myself walking into a pub. Football was on and I wanted to watch it as this would be the first time I’ve watched a tv in weeks. I was drinking bitter, only a couple of times I drink bitter and this was one of them. After the footy I had one more pint and whiskey. Again I dont drink whiskey but I fancied a change. I slowly had the whiskey with my pint once both was finished I walked back to camp and fell straight to sleep.
Having spoken to a couple of fine gents at the bar just the night before ( they where drunk and I could only just understand them under there thick Scottish accents), I told them that I would be walking to Loch Muick and to walk a Munro, the advised me on the best routes and if I got up early enough I could do three Munro’s. Well sadly with a slight hangover from the whiskey I found myself just wanting to sleep, but I soon got up. 10.30 I was sorting out water and food, once this was all done I set out to the start of the lake and walk of the Munro’s. I wasn’t all with it and a headache was there but I knew as soon as I got a sweat on I’d be fine. Finally after all packing, putting on new boots and sorting was done I set off. It was now 12.00 and completing all 3 Munro’s was going to be a task. As soon as I left the car and went into the reserve I noticed to my left a herd of dears. Unfortunately my camera was in my bag so only got a picture on my phone. Anyway I pressed on, it was a great walk along the loch, then there was a hill climb, not too hard, I soon found myself at the top. As I walked around the top following the path, it came to a hut with a seat, sandy’s seat, I rested for 5 minutes then chose the route that would lead me to the first Munro. I was a hard climb but different and was pretty much at ease. There wasn’t much of a zig zag path to follow but a bolder field of huge rocks to skip and jump over. I was racing over these and again I was pouring with sweat but had enjoyed this easy Munro. I sat at the top, had my sandwich and a drink and set out for the second, this one is not far away, only 40 minute walk and you can see one Munro from the other. At this time it was 4 o’clock and I thought I might be able to make the third but running low on water and not many people around gave me a feeling. I set out to go for the third but looking at the distance from where I was I knew it was going to be 2 hours before I got there, so that would of been half 6, then to get back to the car park 8-9o’clock. I wasn’t going to do this and finish at that time. I turned around but before doing so spotting wild dear in the valley below, making look so easy running from one side of the valley to the other In about 30 seconds. It was amazing to see it. I set off walking again, over the second Munro then the first (so four Munro’s really haha). I was skipping and jumping again and the found myself running towards the hut. I found it easier and quicker to run on the descent, I kept it up. I got to the hut and started to walk again. The route split again one going left towards the other side of the loch or straight on for the way I came up. Wanting to see the other side of corse I chose left and got to the decline again and found myself running down but at a steady pace. I was soon at the bottom and steadily strode around the banks of the loch slowly but surely to the end. It was a long walk but to finish it off as I got near the car park, was again a herd if dears but more than I saw earlier, there was about a hundred grazing, I took a couple of pictures then went back to the car. 7 o’clock I got back to the car, that’s 7 hours of walking! I drove straight back to camp did some sit ups and press ups, went for a long shower and went to bed.
The first Munro was called broad cairn.
The second cairn bannoch.
I was still getting up early and found myself ins little daze. I packed up and set out on my way to destination unknown. I was near to a loch I wanted to see (about 50-70 miles) so I intended to drive there and find camp. The loch is called loch rannoch. I drove down and first found a little town of Pitlochry and had a little look around. Looking in outdoor shops for new gear and gifts for people but didn’t find much. I also had a little walk to the dam and the fish ladder, to see if I could see and jumping salmon, again nothing. I got back to the car and set off to find a campsite. Also along the way I stopped off at the queens view which was on the way to loch rannoch. I drove on to come to Kinloch rannoch which is a little village, there was a sign for a campsite only 3 miles down the road and it was next to loch rannoch. I soon found it and put up camp. After camp was up I had seen a sign for local forest ways, one been 1 mile the other 2 and a half and the third 5 and a half, of course I chose the 5 and a half mile trek. I walked through thick forest areas, apparently where the last wolves of Scotland sort refuge before been killed and instinct from the UK. I didn’t see any wolves or bears maybe another time or the didn’t like the smell of me. Haha. Well I walked round took some pictures and as I was on the last mile or less I noticed a bird in the tree in front of me, it was a woodpecker, never seen a wild woodpecker never seen one in captivity but there you go. Got a few pictures of that but might be hard to see but I saw one. Then I walked back didn’t see much else. Got to camp made tea, read my book and went to sleep.
I wanted to climb another Munro and today was going to be a big one, the tenth biggest Munro, Ben Lawers. I set off about 9.30 to get to the car park, I followed my app to get me to the start of the walk but it doesn’t show you that only the mountain. I went to where I thought the start would be, Lawers been the guess but no. I got good signal at Lawers and 3G, so I looked online and found the start of the route which wasn’t far away in the end just a few more miles down the road. I got there about 10.30, I got ready and went on the walk/climb. The weather wasn’t the best and I knew I wasn’t going to get a good view but still I would make the walk/climb. It was cloudy, raining in places and visibility would decrease at every step I went up. After the first hour of walking, I could only see 10-20 feet in front of me. This wasn’t a problem I still could see where I had to step the only thing I couldn’t see was how far I had to go. I could see at points it looked like it went to a point and thinking it was going to be the peak but going up further I could see it went on further. I finally got there thinking I was the only person doing the walk/climb I wasn’t, at the peak was two people sat there studying a map. They asked which way I came from and I pointed on the map and they had come from the same place but they wanted to walk further over more Munros, I gave my opinion, “that might take two to three hours just to get to the third one” as I thought they’d be going up and down an struggling. Oh I forgot on the journey of getting to the summit of Ben Lawers there is a peak before it but many people dont notice it. I did. Anyway I had my ready made sandwiches and I set my way back down but before I did I set my running app. Then guess what I did? I ran and walked down the Munro’s, it took two hours to get to the summit of Ben Lawers and after my run and walk down it only took an hour. Mad I couldn’t believe I had ran down a mountain but yeah I did. I rewarded myself with a quick pint in a pub close to the car park, then made my way back to camp. And as I made my way back to camp I remembered England was playing, I went back towards camp and knew that there was a hotel there maybe with a bar. In luck there was and it had the footy on. After the footy I got back to camp had tea then found myself in bed and asleep in no time.
After my run down Ben Lawers my t-shirt that I was wearing was drenched in sweat front, back and arms, I mean it was like I jumped in a pool then got out! Just thought I’d let you know, haha.
I had loads of sleep and rest that I was up at 7.30 but didn’t get up till 8, made breakfast and then set out to my next challenge of a Munro. Schiehallion is the Munro, it is at an average height and challenging but a easier one than some of the others but still a challenge. I got there ready for this walk and aching slightly from my run. I set off and soon I was taking over people that where slowly making there way up the Munro. It had a low gradient and I was flying up. I got to the top and the weather today made it worth while. The sky’s had cleared a lot and you could see for miles, mountain after mountain, clouds and blue sky. I had sat down behind some of the high rocks for shelter on the top it was slightly windy and cold when stood still. Once eaten and had a good view of all around I set off back down but today I’m not going to run. I didn’t run down but still at one point I had fallen flat and landed funny on my little finger on my right hand. Well it soon started to swell and bruise, I put in a stream that went past, I knew it needed ice, and that was cold enough! I put my buff in and then wrapped it around my hand and finger then continued to the car. Once I got back to the car I left the buff on and drove back to camp. Once back at camp I dried it off and then looked at it, it was still bruising and still swelling. I then wrapped it up to the next finger with ductape to keep it straight. Well I kept knocking it and it came painful. I have put up with the pain and just got along with the things that I wanted to do. After an hour or two I set off to Rannoch station, it is a dead end road but has a station. There are many walks from here and one that I wish to do but it will take a few days to walk, on this walk I would like a few friends to come along with me. The area I wish to walk to is one of the most remote places still in Europe.
Anyway I drove back and along the way took photos, stopping off at everyplace to take that photo. Once back at camp I made tea and got to bed.
Still with the finger wrapped up I drove to pitlochry to get petrol and travel on to my next destination. This destination soon turned out to be at my cousins, they lived 62 miles away from Pitlochry. I texted them to let them know that I would be on my way if they are able to see me. I made sure I got a text back before I set off to there house (1. Because I didn’t no where they lived 2.that I was welcome). I was welcome and also was told the address. I got there at 12.30, and my stomach was in nots, I was nervous but excited. I was welcomed into the house with a hug. And later on was asked if I was staying for the night or a couple. I said I’d stay the night, for a catch up. We chatted and of course I showed my photos maybe boring them to death. We then watched the Netherlands game and a soap and went to bed, my bed was the sofa, one said I should of brought in my camping bed and used that in the middle if the room, for some reason the sofa sounded fine to me and for a change. I was glad to see my cousins after years of not seeing them, I think more meet ups will happen in the future.
I had awoken to a cup of tea at my feet and then following a bacon sandwich! I wasn’t expecting this and I was great full for this. I was allowed a shower, then packed my things back into the car. One cousin was on his way to work at this point and came over to shake hands to hopefully seen me again soon. I sat with them for another hour and had a brew then said I’ll be on my way, but where I was going was the next choice, I didn’t have a clue. I chose to drive back towards loch Lomond but to a different campsite from before and see what else there was to see.
I drove through Sterling and other places. I then stopped by a loch that was a 30-40 miles away from my destination and made lunch and had a chill out for an hour and a half. I chose a route round to the new campsite and once ready set off, this soon came to an end as the road was closed so I had to go to an alternative route. In the end I was there in no time and had a look at the near by town. This only took five minutes so I set off again driving to see another view of loch Lomond before going to the campsite to set up. Again the weather was good and as I passed the lochs and mountains that surrounded them I could see that this short drive was worth it. I got to the end of this round took a few snaps, had a walk around and again was on my way but this time to set up camp. On the way back I was furiously trying to get 5 live radio station so I could listen to the football but it wasn’t having none of it until I made it back to camp. So I’ve made my tea and been listening to the football and also having a beer. I’ve been a little agitated today and I think im coming to the end of my trip and I’m nearly ready for home, as I’m slowly decreasing the places to go, but still there is loads to see and that will be a different time. For now the footy has finished and I’m off to read my book and finish my beer.
Finally I have caught up with my blog but will it upload!!!!!!
Speak soon, thanks for reading!