After a 5 am start, we drove back to Cray to hike 8.5 miles to the small village of Kirkton of Glenisla.
After yesterdays hike which gave us a real beating, today was a much more pleasant hike through mild interchangeable weather.
Eve really enjoyed the trail today as did I. Not just because the weather was kinder but it just felt nice. We have been asked so many times “where was the best…” and “what was the best…” but the truth is, it all depends on how it feels, with everything else being irrelevant. The best experiences are always after the hardest sections that require the most effort. Today felt amazing!
Getting to Cray it was cold and windy but the day gradually improved, even with rain and sleet rolling in and out with interludes of warm sun that almost felt like spring.
My backpack is heavier than normal as I have upgraded our evening wear to include cosy clothes, instead of just T-shirts and shorts. It felt great this evening to be wearing fleece trousers and Eve in pyjamas.
I’m currently going through a review of how we are are living on the trail, both practically and physiologically. This is to help all of us and because what we are doing is not just some little walk, but a way of life that goes beyond a hobby. We are living on the trail and out of a backpack until at least Christmas. I can’t imagine Eve stopping then either! I will write more about that over the next few days when I have more time and my never ending ideas have settled down into something more coherent!
Anyway saying bye to Sarah is always tough and although Eve is always keen to start walking I did have to encourage her this morning. It’s never nice but in all honesty when we get going it’s not that bad as long as we don’t talk about missing mummy, as then we can have tears!
Leaving Cray we walked along the road through Forter passing a splendid looking castle and horse. We obviously stopped to pet the horse that came running over to us and then walked with us for as far as the field would allow. Eve was very happy!
The road walking was easy but slow as we both took it easy and spoke about everything from autism to the implications of a infinite universe! It was deep!
Once through Forfar we left the road behind and headed up hill on a rocky track with views down the Glen and all around. It always surprises us that for such little effort the rewards can be huge! It also started to sleet. For the next several hours the weather changed from sleet to sun faster than we could put on and take off our waterproofs.
Sarah made Eve some honey and lemon in her flask this morning that she loved! She has been sipping it all day. I think she is coming out of her cold slowly. She was coughing and blowing her noise a lot less today than yesterday.
Auchintaple Loch came into view and there was something in it that from a distance looked exactly like a huge crocodile! We started talking about dinosaurs at that point.
We have been listening to the sound tracks of films today. I think I’m going to have to download some more as I only have a few saved on the phone and we have had them on repeat all day! Eve loved it and was trying to get me to sing along despite not knowing a single word. I then received lessons!
Walking through the recently felled woodlands was cold as the wind picked up and the area acted as a bottle neck creating some strong gusts.
The trail up until then had been super easy and a pleasure to hike. There weren’t a lot of waymarkers and we relied on maps to make sure we were on the correct route. We didn’t make any errors. Eve was checking the maps every few minutes.
We walked over an area that was grassy and wet. Luckily we could side step most of the worst areas so our feet stayed mostly dry. As most of you know we don’t wear waterproof footwear but do have waterproof socks for the worst weather when it’s cold and wet. We like that system and we find our feet stay warmer and drier for longer than when we wear waterproof shoes or boots. They also dry overnight if they do get wet! Best thing wearing trainers is they are much more comfortable.
Today was a new trainer day for me. (Thank you to everybody who donated to Go Fund Me as we used some of the funds). My old trainers were on their last legs with no sole left and big rips down the sides so I could see my socks. I don’t like spending money but Sarah enforced that I get a new pair when I kept slipping the other day when we walked together.
The last wee section was along a farmers track and down a road into Kirkton of Glenisla where we are spending the night.
We are staying at the Glenisla Hotel in a lovely room that was gifted to us for the evening along with an evening meal.
I honestly don’t know how to sum this place up, but it’s the nearest we have come to being treated like royalty! It’s amazing. The room is spotless, they provide everything, even the milk in the rooms is proper milk including vegan options, none of the little long life milk sachets. It's amazing!
We were welcomed with open arms by the most friendly gentleman who had our room keys ready and said as soon as we're settled to come to the bar for a hot drink (Eve actually spent the time doing Suduko with Sarah on Facetime).
Getting to our room, there was a big bag of treats waiting for Eve on the bed. We were both quite shocked and ever so greatful, thank you!!! Eve enjoyed the white Cadbury cream egg! Thank you so much! It’s means such a lot!!!
The meal was for 6 pm and the reason this post is so late is because the meal was so big and they gave us pudding too! Eve obviously had ice cream! 3 scoops!!!
Eve had vegetarian burger and I had vegan pie. It was immense and delicious!
We cannot thank the staff enough. I feel so humbled by their kindness and generosity. I have been reading up a lot about imposter syndrome, as I definitely feel like I have it. We have been treated so kindly and we can’t express our thanks enough.
I advise you to take a look and if nothing else pop in for a drink to look at the wall in the bar… the images don’t do it justice!
Right we’re off to bed as we have the alarm set for 6 am and Sarah is also at work tomorrow and she has to proof read the posts as my spelling is atrocious!
Sleep well and we will see you in the morning.
Ian, Sarah and Eve
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