Sunday, 31 October 2010

A beautiful autumn day

The extra hour in bed today was very welcome but it marks the beginning of much shorter days and the onset of winter. I hope that this winter is nothing like the last two when we were practically housebound for days on end because of the sheer volume of snow.
Snowy seat on the deck Jan 2010
Don't get me wrong, I love winter and snowy scenes as much as the next person but months on end of thigh deep snow is just too much to put up with especially when you absolutely have to do your best to get to work. Luckily, the day that the snow started last year I took ownership of my 4x4. I put it straight into 4x4 mode and it stayed that way until mid March. Even after that there were still days when I had to switch it back to 4x4 as the snow returned with a vengeance.

Today was a lovely crisp sunny autumn day though - one of my favourite times of year. The midges have all died until the spring, the views are spectacular because the leaves are mostly gone from the trees and the skies seem to be a very unique colour of blue. Because we slept late, we decided to do a short walk along the Tomintoul spur of the Speyside Way. The whole spur is 15 miles from Cragganmore to Tomintoul, but by driving a short way up and parking at Auldich, you can cut out a couple of miles of very tedious road walking. The route follows a track at the beginning and climbs steadily around the side of Cairnacay before dropping down into Glenlivet. We walked to Glenlivet and then turned and came back again the same way. It was a bit dubby at times and there was a chilly breeze but all in all it was a glorious day. For the first time since I bought them I wore my Craghoppers fleecy lined trousers. They were a bit warm for the walk up the hill but I was glad of them when we stopped for lunch so I can see that they will get more use as I'm going to try to keep up my walking for as long as I can weather permitting. The Tomintoul spur isn't a bit of the Speyside Way that I've done before and it gave a completely different view of Ben Rinnes - a hill which I've climbed many times.
Ben Rinnes from Cairnacay

On the way back to the car we wandered along the route of the old road and crossed the old bridge which definitely isn't long for this world!
Put politely - the bridge is bu**ered....
Glenlivet is one of my favourite places and I look forward to walking the whole Tomintoul spur soon.

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