Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What to do on a bank holiday Monday? Answer: walk from Aboyne to Aberdeen. The warm sunny days had slipped away, so the vision of wearing shorts and t-shirt for the walk was no longer on. What to wear on a day when the weather forecast suggested a band of rain early morning that would clear the sky come evening along the coast but with a northly wind, stronger nearer you get to the coast? Well, when I woke at 5.15am it was a clear sky and frosty in Aboyne, -2c but with a quick scan of the radar image, a band of rain was steaming south. So, I chose my ventile ‘made to measure’ hilltrek walking trousers and the inner lining of my skiing jacket. Sure enough it started to rain just after crossing Aboyne bridge. My first leg of the trip was to walk to Potarch Bridge via the south deeside road, 6.6 miles according to google maps. By then the rain had past and it cloudy but with sunny spells, and it remained like that for the rest of the day. The Deeside Way, was the walk I was wanting to follow, the only snag is, that it does not exist between Aboyne and Banchory so I free walked it along the river bank to Invercranny before walking along the road to enter Banchory, a 6.9 mile leg.

Then I met up with a friend in Banchory and we started on the official Deeside Way path, the old Deeside Railway line walk. The train was in operation at Milton of Crathes and 6.5 miles from Banchory we arrived at Drumoak. Not far from the edges of Aberdeen, Peterculter being the first sign of Urbanisation. It was windy by now keeping it cool but feeling warm in the glimpses of the sun. Now I thought, my 4 month old ventile trousers may still be in need of some wearing in but no, they felt great the whole way. More than I can say for me feet. I chose my hiking boots but by Peterculter I opted for my trainers. Us hill walkers are used to soft hill tracks or soft peaty ground but the deeside way path is hard and tarred for good stretches. I met up with another friend for the last 7 miles from Peterculter to Duthie Park but the finishing line for me was the north seas at the beach esplanade. I think about a 32 mile walk in about 10 hours.