Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Update from my last couple of weeks on them there hills.......
My last couple of weeks has seen me travelling through Highland Perthshire from Dalwhinnie over the hills around Rannoch Moor, down through Loch Rannoch, Glen Lyon, Loch Lyon, Glen Lochay, Lochearnhead, Glen A????, Glen Vorlich, Glen Dochart, Glen Almond and Glen ...........
I have had a blasting from cold, northerly winds and driving rain, having to escape from Loch ericht the day of Bertha with nothing dry, walking the length of Loch Rannoch looking for somewhere to hide. Meanwhile Rob was trying to bring me a bike and had a 280 mile detour as roads closed around him right, left and centre and he watched a fishing hut float down the Spey, and lots of livestock stuck on little islands.
I have met friends randomly like Laurie on the cycle path south of Dalwhinnie who was just cycling back home from Edinburgh (as one does) and Paul with mad dog Lennie who came to join me and move bikes on the traverse from Loch Rannoch to Glen Lyon. He has no idea just how good the Ghanaian chocolate with caramel and seasalt that he brought me was. My tastebuds are alive and well.
The girls have also been out, with company and support from Clare, Brenda, and Ali on the Dalwhinnie Hills and with Wendy on the hills around Loch Earnhead and a welcome night out at her home in Aberfoyle where a hot shower and a wood burning stove got rid of the chill I had been feeling for a few days.
Peregrine, Kestrel, owls and buzzards are all on the hunt and there have been a few grunts and barks from the deer. Along side the grouse and pheasant, bunnies and hares are a feature of the moorland around here.
As well as the development of hydro schemes and hill paths which have been a constant throughout, there is movement now in the big houses in the glens. Estate life is alive and well,
"the most money the estates have made since the kelp industry"
was how I heard one businessman put it when I was eavesdropping on a conversation in a bar in Glenfinnan. So the estates get grants to put in hydroschemes then get to sell the power back to the government, am I missing something?
It started with the march of the sheep, then the deer and the forestry, and now it's the march of the Beauly, Denny Line.. At least Applecross are using their local hydro scheme for local people and are planning to come off the grid. More of this please.
Rant over. For now.
There are yes signs and no thanks, saltires and union jacks, people are talking politics and I will be returning to rising passions and heated debate.
Out here the world is purple and I'm loving it.
Only 1 to go ..........................