30 June 2018

I Bagged My First Munro!

A Munro is a mountain in Scotland with a height of over 3000 feet.  "Bagging" a Munro is the activity of climbing the listed Munros, a common pastime.  There are nearly 300.

Last weekend, we once again got a lift from the Aberdeen Hillwalkers into the Cairngorms.  It was a gorgeous day with temperatures in the 20Cs/70Fs--hot for Scotland.  I was pleased, although several of our fellow walkers struggled.  I even got a little sunburnt!  Honestly, if not for the clean mountain streams to replenish our water, I might have struggled a bit as well.

The first half of the walk, not surprisingly, was challenging on the legs and lungs.  Our picnic a few hours into the walk was well-deserved and also very tasty as one might imagine.  I do enjoy a picnic in the hills.  It then got rocky for a while as we neared the top of Lochnagar.  The views from the top, and the fact that it was my first Munro, were worth the effort to get there.  Then, we had to descend.  We were slow getting to the top because one member of our group was feeling a little ill, so we had to hurry down somewhat to make the time cutoff for the club bus.  We took a shortened return route which included a lot of uneven stairs and a lot more rocks.  All of which, earned me a few blisters.  But, I bagged a Munro!

Lochnagar in the distance (photo taken on a previous walk)
Just starting, near Keiloch

Red deer, near the peak

From the top

Sipping Royal Lochnagar on Lochnagar!

Panorama from the tip top

On the way down to Glen Muick

Loch Muick

Nearing the end of the descent

Pat took most of the photos.

23 June 2018

Continuing to Enjoy Spring in Aberdeenshire

We joined the Aberdeen Hillwalkers again recently for my first trip into the Angus Glens.  It was a good walk--about 11 miles, but visibility was not great most of the day due to fog/low clouds.  It was very atmospheric and captivating, but I will certainly need to return at some point to get the full effect.  I made a novice mistake with my camera, so I only have a few good photos to share.  Visit this link for more photos--some very good ones--from our fellow walkers and further details about the walk, if you are interested.

Airlie Tower, commemorating an Earl who died during the Boer War

Very dramatic hillside

We had American visitors recently; a college friend and his family came from Pennsylvania for a week in Ballater and Aberdeen, before returning home via Iceland.  I did my best to showcase Aberdeen and the 'Shire and guided them around Edinburgh one day.  Of course, I was happy to revisit a few sites as well.  I was also very pleased to receive a substantial resupply of Dentyne Fire and Larabars!

Loch Muick: my personal favorite place to walk in Scotland so far.

Red deer

You can see more photos of Loch Muick from my first visit here.

We also returned to Dunnottar Castle with them on a gorgeous day.

I love this photo that Pat took.

The war memorial outside of Stonehaven

This was much better than the dreich day before when we returned to Newburgh beach.  However, it was high tide and there were seals everywhere in the water!  They seemed to especially enjoy my friend's 8 and 11-year-old sons dancing on the beach.  I was so enthralled by the seals and the atmosphere that I failed to even take out my phone to capture any of it!  We shall return.