Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Monday, 20 May 2013

Monday 20 May 2013 -TGO Challenge Day 11 - Ardwell to Huntly

Route: as planned apart from avoidance of 'Private' paths

See http:/www.topwalks.com/tgoc2013.html Day 11 for map

Distance: 28 km (Cum 282)

Ascent: 550 metres (Cum 9040)

Time taken: 8.2 hrs including 1.8 hrs stops

Weather: a light mist in the air all morning; dry but hazy and overcast later, with a cool  NW breeze

Challengers encountered: Ian Shiel, with Alan and Fran, at Huntly campsite

A day of mainly road walking, especially thanks to the owners of Mains of Aswanley, who don't want people on their land. That resulted in an hour along a main road. Ah well. 

There was a chill in the air as I set off past the old school into a cold easterly breeze,  with cloud carpeted hills and the trill of the curlew. The rural lane passed many fields of noisy sheep and there was moisture in the air from the ever lower rural smog. 

Waterproofs were deployed for an hour or so but by Haugh of Glass the wetness had subsided and a pleasant alfresco hot chocolate break by the River Deveron was supervised by a watchful heron.

After an unpleasant hour on the verges of the A920 road, it was a delight to lose the tarmac and venture up to the 375 metre summit of Clashmach Hill. Haze featured heavily in the view, but at least there was one. 

A lone speed walker heading for the summit was the only person (not in a car) I saw all day other than the two attentive ladies (pictured) I chatted to at length this morning. 

Huntly seems a pleasant little town with a top campsite that has attended to all my needs. I wasn't expecting to find my erstwhile vetter, Ian, here. He is returning Alan and Fran to Montrose after their successful completion of the Cape Wrath Trail. 

We all enjoyed a convivial evening at a local hostelry. Great to meet up with you, folks - a lovely surprise. 

Sent from Huntly

2 comments:

Alan R said...

What happened to the "right to roam" in Scotland?
Does it not apply to Every Landowner?

Phreerunner said...

I try to avoid conflict Alan. When I looked back on my planned route from the main road it looked as if it had been incorporated into the landowners garden. Often, mainly in the east, access is blocked by wire fences or the like. It's easier and less stressful to stick to minor roads, though I'm not doing that today!
Other than the wild camping issue the English system of rights of way is to my mind far superior to the Scottish free for all.