Thank you so much for all your comments and messages to my post yesterday and this morning.
What I don’t understand is why Facebook has chosen to remove every single response that we have written to your comments, and flagged every one as being in breach of Facebook community guidelines. We have no idea how our responses breach any guidelines!!! So I apologise. But thank you do much for all your comments and ideas, we’ve taken them onboard. So watch this space 😊
Anyway, onto today…and today felt very special.
It felt really good to be hiking today. We don’t really know why or what it was, but it just felt so good, like we really belonged there and the trail was our home. The adventure of todays section was never ending, with the trail constantly changing, giving us surprises every few minutes, whilst the weather kept us on our toes. The views of the glen of Strathardle were beautiful. Eve and I felt so lucky and privileged to be there and experiencing such an amazing place on a spectacular day. Today felt good!
This section of trail was very atmospheric as we walked into mist and fog and watched the small water droplets move around in the trees of the forests like a murmuration, creating spectacular choreographed dances. We listened to Harry Potter music played by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Today felt like a really good day on the trail.
Eve woke me this morning by jumping around on the bed. I tried to settle her down but it was no good. We were up and eating breakfast at about 6.30 am and walking at 8 am.
The air was still and cold as we started walking, perfect weather to hike in.
Eve has been developing a cold for the last few days and today it finally reared it’s head. Eve has spent the whole day coughing and her nose streaming. Eve blew her nose so many times today that it's starting to become sore, so she has been applying lip cream to help sooth it. Writing this post all I can hear is Eve’s heavy breathing through her mouth. Eve seems to be handling it well although she spent the day excited about the prospect of getting some lozenges later on.
The trail has been perfect. It has been varied but never difficult. Every 20 minutes or so we would change from forest, to grass, to moors, to rocks, with each one totally different and unique. It never got boring and we loved every step.
There is a section of trail that is closed as it’s impassable due to fallen trees. I had been contacted by somebody to tell us about the closures so we looked it up on the internet to find the maps for the diversions. Thank you so much for this info Jinty.
Unfortunately there are no signs of the closure as you walk along the trail. What I had done is cross referenced the maps online to what I had on my phone to work out where the diversion started and made a mark on my GPS route so I would know. I’m glad I did.
The evidence of fallen trees was everywhere. We could see where the trail should have been as it was covered in trees. Using the diversion was the correct thing to do. It added a little bit of distance to the days section but only a very small amount. Part of the diversion was through the forest on a narrow steep trail that we both enjoyed.
There was a small burn that we come up to that was being swarmed by frogs. There was hundreds of them and I think most of them were feeling very sexually frustrated. In an educational way we watched several frogs getting very friendly and familiar with each other. In some cases it was a group event! That made for a a very interesting conversation with Eve about animal sex and biology! Eve prodded a few frogs and we spend about 20 minutes just watching them jumping around. It was odd to see so many frogs in such a small area.
The last time I checked the weather yesterday it was predicted to rain all day. The rain held off until late morning but never really amounted to much at all. It was almost annoying as, when it was raining, it was only just enough to warrant wearing waterproof clothing but not enough to prevent us from over heating. It’s hard for Eve as she has so much hair, that’s when it gets wet it makes her cold and is also really heavy. The whole day we debated if we should keep waterproofs on or off or just try to vent them instead by opening and closing the main zip. We spend all day a little too hot and sweaty but we were warm and that’s the main thing.
Whilst walking we phoned Sarah or Sarah would call us to discuss ideas for Eve’s education. We have come up with a few ideas and Sarah who is coming up tomorrow in the campervan is bringing some stuff to try and and hopefully some stuff for me to carry with me when we walk. I’m not sure what yet but I’m excited about trying some new stuff with Eve to see how it works. After all being able to change and adapt what we do and how we do it is essential to the whole outdoor lifestyle for Eve especially where her education is concerned. I will keep you posted on what we are going to do and how it works out.
One of the most amazing things that happened today however didn’t happen until the very end. We arrived at Kirkmichael and went straight to the village shop to get dinner and some supplies for tomorrow.
Eve found a level of confidence that I haven’t seen before. She wanted some lozenges, so went off on her own to get them but then… I gave her the money to pay and without a word or hint of hesitation she went and paid the shopkeeper by herself! I was genuinely shocked. But that’s not the best bit… I took our shopping to pay for it and the shopkeeper refused payment and said it would come out of their funds! I didn’t pay for any food except Eves lozengers! I was genuinely shocked and quite speechless! Thank you so much!!! That was so kind and generous! The kindness of strangers is amazing!!
This evening we are staying in an awesome airbnb that has been gifted to us for the night. It’s lovely and snug right on the trail and Eve has not got out of bed. I think she is genuinely starting to feel ill as she is never this calm and unadventurous in new places.
Anyway I am cooking dinner, chips, veg fingers (fish fingers but veg instead of fish) and covering it all in baked beans! A man/dad meal I think!
Anyway tommorow we plan on getting to Spittal of Glenshee and we can’t wait. I just hope Eve feels a bit better by tomorrow!
Small disclaimer, Eve is looking and sounding really rough, a lot rougher than when I started writing this. If Eve is ‘ill’ in the morning I will stop her walking tomorrow and try to give her some time to get better as she is breathing very heavy. The thing with Eve is if we walk 8 miles, the reality is Eve can do a lot more because she is everywhere, looking, touching, jumping, playing… 8 can become 9 or 10 very easily and like all children, if she stops, she stops and I don’t want that to happen in the middle of a moor, during a rain storm with the wind battering us. That would not be a good day out. Sometimes the hardest decisions are not when to go, but knowing when to stop!
Sleep well and we will see you all in the morning.
Ian, Eve & Sarah