Last weekend we drove up to Kinlochleven to do the Grey Mare Tail’s circular walk. Apart from a teeny tiny wrong turning when we missed the white path marker and carried on regardless cos we saw other folks up ahead and assumed we needed to be where they were (red herring alert!) everything went according to plan and it was an easy 2 hour round trip with not too much of an ascent at all.
This would be a great walk for people who’re not comfortable with a steep uphill climb but are ok with picking their way over paths that can be quite rocky and awkward at times.
Some pics from the day…
End of September trip to John O’Groats for a long weekend with friends who’d rented one of the Natural Retreats lodges up there. Not much walking done due to wet ‘n’ wild weather conditions (and a strong preference for staying indoors with a wood-burning stove, great food and wine, blethering, films and books) but we did manage to fit in a beach walk with Oscar the pup. :)
We have dress down Fridays in our office – combined with seriously over-active air con – which gave me the perfect excuse to road test it before going on a hike. I wore it for my 6 mile round trip to/from work with a light sweatshirt underneath and my North Face jacket on top. The fit/layering worked really well and it kept me the perfect temperature both during the walks and in the draughty office.
On Saturday I put it to the test over a fleece and base layer on a 12 mile mountain walk around Glencoe. This outfit was fine while the sun was trying to break through but my jacket was needed when the weather took a turn for the worse and the snow rolled in. Luckily the gilet fits neatly under the jacket with no compromise on movement.
I really like the colour and fit of this gilet. I’ve got loads of sweatshirts that I can wear under it and even though I’d normally dress up a bit more I felt comfortable wearing it over a grey sweatshirt in the pub on Saturday night for the obligatory post-walk pint or two of cider (followed by a wee dram!).
This is definitely my new favourite thing.
A few pics from yesterday’s walk around the Glen Etive area of Glencoe. The weather started off great (freezing cold but dry, sun trying to break through) but took a turn for the worse at the halfway mark. Still a very enjoyable walk though with a little unplanned deviation from the path, some light scrambling and lots of river crossings (which I’m really not a fan of – my preferred method of crossing would be to swim. I have a very poor sense of balance so stepping stone action freaks me out quite a bit). All in, we reckon we did 12 miles, which is a decent challenge in snowy conditions – definitely worthy of a post-walk pint of cider or two. :)
Ben Dorain – the first Munro I climbed so I’ll always have a soft spot for it:
Buachaille Etive Mòr – my favourite mountain (I’ve done the ‘easy’ route up, I will NOT be attempting the difficult route…EVER!):
Lunch spot – not a bad view!
Herd of deer:
Hope you’ve had a great weekend too.
Headed out to do the Drymen to Connick Hill walk on Saturday but that part of the West Highland Way was diverted due to tree-felling and the path up to Connick Hill closed for maintenance work. The lack of information about any of that activity on the key reference websites was a bit disappointing.
It was a dreich day and the chopped down forest areas looked particularly bleak:
We did manage to get a few hours of walking out of the route though so it was worth the drive (says me who wasn’t the one doing the driving!).
I listen to the same playlist every day when I do the 3 mile walk to or from work. The playlist is optimistically named ‘Driving’. Optimistic (ironic?) since no country on this earth will ever grant me a driving licence. Which is a shame as I do love driving – the independence, the thrill of the open road, the freedom to go wherever you please, free from the rules that normally bind us (turns out there are actually rules, a whole book of them in fact called The Highway Code, hence the reluctance of most authorities to legally endorse my automotive ‘skillz’).
Since I’m quite an OCD type of person, I feel the need to document my playlist in 3-mile chunks on this blog. Part 1 – the first 3 miles:
- Sex With an X – The Vaselines
- Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing – Chris Isaak
- Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
- Reflections – Diana Ross & The Supremes
- Baby, I Love You – The Ramones
- Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
- Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
- Geraldine – Glasvegas
- My Sharona – The Knack
- Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) – MJ
- It’s Tricky – Run DMC
And the award for the most-loved track from this selection goes to The Ramones for services to music, overly-long fringes, leather jackets and skinny jeans:
More installments to follow…
Tonight I went over to Silverburn to pick up my new walking boots. How cool are these? I LOVE them! Gore-Tex, heel tension locking system, ankle padding memory foam, speed lacing – all in all, a massive upgrade on my last pair.
All the features mentioned above are great but obviously I chose them for their pink bits. I do like a touch of girliness about my walking gear. Not enough to develop a full-blown Barbie Does Ben Nevis look, just enough to add a bit of femininity to highly functional kit.
I’m going to test these out tomorrow on the 3 mile walk either to or from work in preparation for a 10 miler this weekend. Can’t wait!