Saturday, February 27, 2010

Highland Park 35 year old whisky

Highland Park 35 year old whisky.

The legend that is Fraser Morrison from the Edrington Group gave a fantastic whisky tasting last night in Perth, Scotland.

I can't quite remember the last whisky, but the memory of the Highland Park will linger long!

Fraser at Whisky Tasting 26.02.10.


The legend Gordon Cluckie!

Old Gordon!

My good pal, Old Gordon Lang! What wisdom there is in that person!

Phil enjoying himself for a change!

Don't sit next to Grant Morris!
You've been warned!

George Mcfadzean and Keith!

Gordon and Jim!

Dunc and Evelyn!

Late in the night!

Very late in the night!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ben Starav from Beinn Suidhe

Ben Starav from Beinn Suidhe.

Photo of the fantastic Ben Starav from the graham of Beinn Suidhe. Taken on a walk starting from Victoria Bridge on the West Highland Way over the grahams of Beinn Suidhe and Meall Tairbh.

Ben Starav hills.

Loch Dochard and Meall nan Eun.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Strawberry Cottage near Loch Affric

Strawberry Cottage near Loch Affric.

Map by Bing Maps.

The remote Strawberry Cottage in Glen Affric is maintained by the An Teallach Mountaineering Club. It's on the other side of the river from Athnamulloch on the map above.

It is a wonderful base from which to explore the many munros in the area. Bookings are normally restricted to clubs affiliated to the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the British Mountaineering Council, however if you are an individual member of either, it is worth enquiring.

We spent an unforgettable day climbing An Socach, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and Mullach na Dheiragain, a hard day as any munroist will testify. We slept very soundly that night in the cosy Strawberry Cottage!

Strawberry Cottage Loch Affric.

Strawberry Cottage in Glen Affric.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spot the Raven on Stob Binnein

Spot the Raven on Stob Binnein!

Someone beat us to the top of the mountain!

Winter walking on Ben More Crianlarich

Winter walking on Ben More, Crianlarich.

A very special day, 20th February 2010, Winter walking on Ben More Crianlarich. What more do I need to say!

Stob Binnein from Ben More.

Looking West from Ben More Crianlarich.

Ice sculpture on Ben More.

Blue skies on Ben More!

Approaching summit Ben More, Crianlarich.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Walk Benachally Perthshire Scotland

Walk Benachally, Perthshire, Scotland.

Lovely, gentle walk today in North Perthshire, Scotland to the hill of Benachally. It constantly amazes me that in spite of the numbers of people walking in Perthshire, it's still possible to have a full days walking without meeting anyone!

Benachally and the surrounding area over to Deuchary Hill and Loch Ordie have a network of paths that could allow you to wander for weeks on end. Todays walk to Benachally takes in modern as well as ancient farming practices, from Hut circles and Field Systems to a horse powered Mill. Throw in a myriad of wildlife, some healthy exercise, topped with a bit of sunshine and you have the perfect day out!

Our walk today started from the small village of Butterstone. It's possible to park at the village hall, on the road to the New School at Butterstone. Follow a good road along the Buckny Burn until a right turn takes you past Riechip to Craigend. We climbed from here to the magnificent Monument just before the summit of the hill. It really is a fantastic viewpoint! Glenshee and Mount Blair, round to my home hills the Sidlaws, South to Birnam Hill, round to Schiehallion and back up to Ben Vrackie and Beinn a' Ghlo!

We took the return route using the small path heading South from near Craigend, past the Hut Circles and Field Systems, Leduckie farm and on to Butterstone. The perfect end to the day came when ten roe deer avoided us in single file with the youngster bringing up the rear! That really made me smile!

Field System near Benachally, Perthshire.

Empty Cottage on way to Benachally.

It's a pity that some cottages sit empty, particularly with the view from this one and the situation being perfect to attract the sunshine.

Deuchary Hill and Loch Ordie from Benachally.

Track to Benachally, North Perthshire.

Loch of Butterstone, and Loch of Lowes, Perthshire.

Map by Bing Maps.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walk Ben More Crianlarich Scotland

Walk Ben More, Crianlarich, Scotland.

Fabulous walk on Ben More, Crianlarich, Scotland, on 20th February 2010. The mountain commands Glen Dochart and makes for an intimidating climb from Ben More Farm. The hard work is forgotten however when the views from the summit blow you away!

Winter walking in Scotland when the sun is shining in a clear blue sky compares with anywhere in the world!

Ben Nevis from Ben More, Crianlarich.

Approaching the summit Ben More, Crianlarich.

Descending from Ben More, Crianlarich.

Stob Coire an Lochain from Stob Binnein

Stob Coire an Lochain from Stob Binnein.

What a fantastic days walking near Crianlarich, Scotland, on Ben More and Stob Binnein! Driving up from Perth this morning, we hadn't decided on which hills to climb today. Turning up Glen Dochart, the twin peaks of Ben More and Stob Binnein came into view and the decision was made instantly! The two peaks vie for attention and whilst Ben More is the daddy, Stob Binnein to me is the shaplier peak.

As we'd climbed the peaks previously from Balquidder and also Ben More's East ridge, we chose today the strength sapping 1000 metre haul up from Ben More farm. At the snow line at approximately 700 metres, the crampons came out and thereafter it is difficult to describe what a brilliant day was enjoyed! I hope the pictures do justice to what was an unforgettable day!

Winter walking on Stob Binnein.

View South East from Stob Binnein.

Map from Bing Maps.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Memorial to Hercules in Glen Loch

Memorial to Hercules in Glen Loch.

A tragedy occured on the 27th May 1993, when an Royal Air Force Hercules crashed in Glen Loch, Scotland, killing all on board.

The site to this day bears the scars of the crash, with the peat laid bare and the smell of fuel still pungent.

A fine memorial in this lonely spot pays tribute to the unfortunate crew. A sad and eerie spot.

Royal Air Force Hercules 27th May 1993.

Glen Loch Hercules crash site

Loch Avon Cairngorms National Park Scotland

Loch Avon, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

McFarlane O’ the Sproats o Burnie Boozie

McFarlane O’ the Sproats o Burnie Boozie.

Afore that I be tyraneesed as I this while hae been
I'd raither rin frae here tae Birse
Wi peas in baith my sheen
I'd raither dee for wint o breath
Than pine for wint o love
And it's aa because McFarlane married Susie.
Noo Susie's kankered faither and mine could never 'gree
And I fan I'd ging ower that gate
He'd hing his dog at me,
So I sent my friend McFarlane roond tae see fit he could dae,
McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie.

I dinna like McFarlane, I'm safe enough tae state
His lug would cast a shadow ower a sax fit gate
He's saft as ony gorblin and sliddery as a skate
McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie.

McFarlane spak nae word for me but plenty for himsel
He reesed the lassie's barley scones
Her kibbuk and her cail
Till her faither cried oot "Sprotty man, you should try yer luck yersel"
Tae McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie
Though McFarlane is the grimmest chiel
For twenty mile aroon
Though they buy his photograph tae fleg the rottens frae the toon
He kittled up his spunk at this
And spiered gin she'd come doon
Tae be mistress of the Sprots o Burnieboosie.

I dinna like McFarlane, I tell it's a fact
He's a nose for splittin hailstanes and humphy back
He's legs like gutteperka, ilka step his knees gang knack
McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie
He said he wis baith able, tae play at coup the ladle
Wi a ledder ower a treacle cask
And ca the churn forbye,
Anither o his winners wis sawdust mixed wi cinners
Was the spice for mettin hens at Burnieboosie
An educated ostrich frae the zoo at Timbuctoo
He had for scrattin up his neeps
So he hidna them tae pu'
I never hear the like o that come oot o ony mou'
But McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie.

I dinna like McFarlane, it's awfu but it's true
A pewter speen was tint in Jock McFarlane's mou'
He couldna weel be grimmer, taks his porridge wi a skimmer
McFarlane o the Sprots o Burnieboosie.

Oh a dirl o the teethache's nae particularly sweet
But love's the only pain on earth that ever gart me greet
It's just like kittley chilblains
Roon yer heart instead o your feet
It was aggravated by the sicht of Susie
Noo friends and kind philosophers
Ye've heard what me befell
Never lippen tae the middle man
But dae yer work yersel
Or I'll bet my hindmost sark that
Ye're a day ahint the market
As was I when I sent McFarlane roon tae Susie.

I dinna like McFarlane, I'm fairly aff o Jock
I dinna like McFarlane nor McFarlane's folk
May Susie be nae turtle, but brings the tangs or spurtle
Doon ower the heid o Jock o Burnieboosie

Monday, February 15, 2010

Steall Waterfall Glen Nevis Scotland

Steall Waterfall, Glen Nevis, Scotland.

A favourite short walk of mine is to Steall Waterfall at the head of Glen Nevis! The walk starts at the end of the road up Glen Nevis, where parking is fairly limited. A sign stating 'Danger of Death' shouldn't put you off, but care should be taken as the path winds along the side of the gorge through to the flat plain at Steall.

The waterfall varies considerably depending on rainfall obviously, but the West Coast of Scotland rarely lets us down on that score! An ideal picnic spot, the chaffinches are used to lots of sanwiches being shared! For those with a more daring disposition, the classic wire bridge challenges you to cross the fast flowing river!

The total walk is only four kilometres, but the wilderness of Glen Nevis may draw you further into the Glen!

Friendly Chaffinch at Steall.

Map by Bing Maps.

Steall Waterfall from Carn Dearg, Ben Nevis.

View to Steall, Glen Nevis.

Steall Glen Nevis

Wire Bridge at Steall, Glen Nevis.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Glendevon to Castle Campbell

Castle Campbell.

A gloomy Castle Campbell today 14th February 2010 as the mist hung low on the Ochils!

A super walk though, through from Glendevon to Castle Campbell following an old drove road for cattle heading to Falkirk Market. The Woodland Trust have planted more than 600,000 native trees to try and return the Glen to its original state.

Better planning would have had cars at each end of the walk, but returning by the same route was very pleasant with sunshine warming my back as I stepped into the gloomy valley. Saw a hen harrier disappear in the mist, and the plumage of the wildfowl on the water brightened the day.

I think the Tormaukin Inn should market the walk by providing return transport to the Inn from Castle Campbell. I certainly would!

Path above Castle Campbell.

Dollar Glen.

Waterfall in Dollar Glen.

Woodland Trust, Geordie's Wood.

Glenquey reservoir.