Finally being given ‘permission’ to leave our local authority after a very long period at home, we were delighted to again have the freedom of the hills. I’ve struggled with the stay in your authority nonsense and, without getting too political, deeply resent that larger local authorities have had freedom to roam while those of us in smaller areas have been confined like battery hens, all cooped up within a small space. Thankfully that’s over for now.
Always have a Plan B
Plan A involved heading west. We (Bruce) had a few options sorted that would enable us to find a parking space and enjoy a day out. However, the forecast had changed overnight and the scheduled fine day had become rain at lower levels with light snow and fog higher up. Therefore Plan B was invoked, heading south and to the Angus glens.
Up with the Lark!
Up bright and early at my usual work time (back of 6 am – joy!) we were on the road by 7:30 am as per the agreed schedule. It’s a bit like catching a flight – be on time or you’re in danger of your luggage being offloaded and missing the trip.
We arrived at our destination, Loch Lee, for an 8:30 am start. The car park was relatively quiet, just a handful of cars; it was therefore pleasing to later bump into someone that had arrived within an hour of us to find only verge parking, averting too much discussion on timings for our next outing.
Place Your Bets
Heading out, we passed the Mount Keen path, instead opting to continue on towards Invermark Castle and Loch Lee. Figuring that any crowds would be bound for the munro, we debated how many people we’d meet, the consensus being more than 5 but less than 10.
While still beautiful, the gorgeous purple of the heather from our last trip out in summer was noticeably absent, the hills somewhat ‘dull’ in comparison. On the upside, the feeling of space and freedom was wonderful! So good to be out in a big open space once again.
We walked the length of the loch before heading across the grassy plains for a change, a wee shortcut from the main track. This led to a small ford across the stream. I opted for the more direct route figuring it couldn’t be too deep if vehicles could cross it, risking a little submergence for my boots (newly fixed with Shoe Goo – thanks Bruce) as my very comfy Salomon boots have parted way with their rand! Bruce went across the stones taking a more carefully chosen route. Both routes proved successful.
Continuing on, we reached the Falls of Unich. The breeze was gentle so there wasn’t the spray that accompanied our last visit. They’re well worth a look and this would be a pretty, low level walk if anyone doesn’t wish to go high.
Climbing up the side of the waterfall we came across a singular big lump of ice. I was intrigued by this, and looking up, found that the last vestiges of winter were clinging to the bank, ready to drop off any time soon. If this is an indication of the state of the snow remaining on the big hills I’d be treading carefully!
Once up, we considered a visit to Craig Maskeldie, leaving the main path to navigate across to it, before abandoning the thought as the ground was boggy and we figured the views probably weren’t going to be any better! Thus, we headed across towards Cairn Lick, skirting around it to pick up the big track down.
Lunch was taken overlooking Carlochy – tuna baps taste so much better outdoors, as does all food. The crags here gave us a little shelter from the wind that was picking up. By this point we were also getting spots of rain through the wind, not enough for waterproofs, just enough to play havoc with the hair!
Heading back down the track towards Loch Lee it became apparent that our bets were way off, although nothing compared to the Beach Esplanade on a regular Sunday!
The Weather Gods Were With Us!
Timed to perfection, the heavy shower hit just as our boots were loaded into the car. A very leisurely day out and a great way to start the journey back towards hill fitness.