Setting out from Spittal of Glenshee for what we thought would be a short, simple 6 miles ending at the road near Cray proved to be quite the challenge.
We were under no illusion that the weather would not be kind to us, as the forecast was not looking particularly friendly. What we didn’t expect was such a difficult section of trail. It was cold, windy and wet.
The route waymarkers were a lot more sparse than before, and much harder to find, with one in particular being quite confusing. We walked up the wrong path for a short while before we retraced our steps to carry on along the correct path once we realised we had gone wrong.
The trail was challenging underfoot as there were sections with absolutely no discernible trail. There were areas so waterlogged it was impossible to avoid wading through ankle deep. There were mini boulder fields and a few wee sections that we used stones to walk along to avoid the livestock trails that were knee deep in a combination of mud!
Just for clarity none of that paragraph is a criticism as it’s fairly typical for trails and there were many easy sections of field walking between them. However it was also made harder by the wind, rain and hail that would sweep in and out every 10 to 15 minutes.
However the views were wonderful and rugged. If we had walked this section of trail on a clear, dry day i am sure it would have been very different. But as we are hiking 1900 nearly everyday for a year, we are going to get hard days.
The thing about hard days is that without them you really can’t appreciate the easy days that offer big rewards for little effort.
Eve’s cold is still present and she was sniffing and snotting today. Her nose is a little sore but she is doing well and going strong. We did discuss if she wanted or could do todays section and she was keen to hike. We did have a few escape routes planned as the Shee Water was between us and the road, where Sarah was with the campervan.
We kept walking, stopping only to check maps, have brief snacks and go to the toilet. It helped to complete this section quickly but it was also exhausting. Eve still had enough energy to run at the end to Sarah.
We had actually finished by about 12 noon but in our defence we had set the alarm clock for 6 am to try to get a head start on the blizzard that was forecast. We started walking at about 8 am.
By the time we have finished we were both soaked and getting into the van felt like pure relief to be out of the wind and stinging rain. Sarah was particularly happy to see us as she had been worried. We did phone her a few times just to let her know we were okay.
The plan for this evening was to drive home for the night purely because Eve wants to go to Brownies!!!
It’s not a day off and we intent to drive back to the Cateran Trail tomorrow morning setting the alarm clock for 5 am!
I don’t think there is any limits to what Eve will not do to get to Brownies!! Just a side note, Eve has a cold but we still checked with the Owls if Eve could go, despite the lurgies that the children are obviously exposed to at school! We always try to do the moral correct thing even if that comes at a consequence to us.
The best thing about today was we went to KFC in Perth for food after our hike at Eve’s request. She’s been asking for a kfc for ages so we agreed to get one on the way home. She deserves it!
We haven’t had their vegan burgers before but they were actually better than we expected and warm, which is more what we were after! Hot food is always welcome after a tough few hours on a hillside. So thank you to everyone who has donated through Buy Me a Coffee, we used these funds to treat ourselves to lunch. Eve was thrilled. Thank you
Lastly, it was really hard to take photographs today as it was so wet. I have tired so I hope you like them.
Have a great night and we will see you all again in the morning!
Ian, Sarah and Eve
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