The Cateran Trail (in two parts)

This is a mamoth entry (sorry). I will try to make the text quite short.

I decided that I could do the Cateran trail in a three day weekend. I then decided to allow and extra day incase the short days caught me out too much. So I started on Thursday morning at the begining of October with another 40lb pack. The weather was not co operating so the camera was trying to take photos through a zip loc bag, not a great success.

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A carved stone just outside of Blairgowrie. (This was the best attempt- needless to say the bag idea did not last long).

The path starts off along the river and quickly gets into farm land. There was evidence of soft fruit production and potatoes, but I also found a very pretty field.

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There was quite a lot of farm land before getting onto a small section of moorland. The plants at the sides of the path gradualy changed from grasses and weeds to moorland plants such as heathers, blauberrys and alpine plants. I loved looking at all of them which was just as well considering I could not see any of the views from further afield.

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I particularly loved the grasses that looked like they were on fire. Unfortunatly I could not get the intensity to show up well on the camera. The whole path looked like it was blazing at times.

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Then very quickly it was back into farmland. The county is very much arable and rich. The paths were good as well, even though they felt a little hard going on my legs. The rain had been extreem and the paths were very wet with more of the characteristics of streams rather than solid ground.

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I would like to know what was under the mounds here. At some point I may look it up and know what was there. The mounds are accompanied by some settlement type earth works, so the site was clearly used over a good lenth of time.

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I loved this old ruin, and looking out of the window, from out of the ruin.

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As always I could not resist a picture of a stream in full flow.

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I got this picture by going the wrong way around a little lochin. I am quite pleased I did, but I had to spend several miles removing the pine needles from my hair and neck.

At the end of day two I camped in a small triangle of land just off the path. It was not the best site but it was getting on for dark and I did not want to try to find a site while it was really dark. So I stopped 2 miles short of the lunch hut that would in retrospect have been a perfect place for me to spend the night. Never mind, caution is often a good thing!

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The lunch hut, for me it was more of a breakfast (well ok, 2nd breakfast) hut. I had a good stop here, got dried out and fired up the stove. Life is so much better when fed and warm!

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The very spacious lunch hut. It had a nice visitors book in it also. That was fun to read through.

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This was the level of the view as I progressed over the sholder to the Spittal of Glenshee. This should have been one of the prettyest parts of the route. So much of the walk was spent in hard rain, light rain, fog etc, that I really could do this route again and feel like all bar the path was new to me.

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The mist assending and me decending made it possible to see out of a small window in the wether.

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On the other side of the vally having my get the waterproofs off stop. This was the first time that the rain had eased off well and blue sky was begining to apear. It was also the start of cattle country and many of the paths from here were very vauge and a little tricky to find. Even when I could find the path it was at times quite hard going especialy on the ankles.

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The view back up the glen.

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This is just up the hill above a rather charming village called Little Forter, complet with its own mini castle.

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I love the look of this loch, and I even considered camping here, but felt that I could get a few more miles in by keeping going. Again I made the same mistake and camped between here and the perfect spot. I need to be more confident in going for where I beleive there to be a good spot and dealing with it if I get it wrong. Caution is good, but I could have camped in a lovely spot with a little more confidence.

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The far end of this loch would have made the perfect campsite for the night. At least it was pretty so see in the dawn.

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This picture does not quite show the scale of the duck crossing just a head of me. There were around 70 mallads in this field and they decided to go for their morning wander as I came down towards them. They parted to let me pass and then shouted at each other quite a lot to come up with a plan for which way to go next.

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Morning mist and sun over Kirkton of Glenisla. When I got down into Kirkton of Glenisla, I did a phone check and found that Kit was already up north due to a little bit of confusion and crossed wires. I had planned for him to pick me up at 7pm, he had thought I needed picked up at 7am. As the day looked like it would be a beautiful one I could have continued on my walk, but we decided it would be better to have a lovely day together and I would finish the walk at a later date. We were right to do this, as we ended up having a special day.

Cateran trail, take 2.

Less than a month later I again found myself on the early morning trains and busses to get me back to Blairgowrie. This ment that I was starting in the same place as before. So I avoided the section from Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally and instead I cut accross to Aylth directly along the alternate route. Somehow I managed to pick an even wetter day than before and therefore got to try out my very new waterproofs.

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My pack was a lot lighter this day (only a day pack) and I made good progress along the paths. I loved all the trees having changed into their autumnul colours and seeing the amount of water about. There were sections that the water was well over ankle hight in every direction that I could see. Needless to say it did not take me long to decide that keeping my feet dry was imposible and therefore just to embrace soggy socks.

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This was a very fat and quite tame phesent just outside Kirkton of Glenisla (from the other side). I took more photos of this bird than anything else in the whole walk, I have no idea why. At least a few came out well, and this one is one I am pleased with.

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A river on the steps up to the main road.

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These last photos are me just playing with the camera as I waited for the time I had arranged to arrive to come by. I managed to complet my walk 1 and a half hours earyler than planned. So I had a lot of time to spare and keeping moving was the only way keep a little warmer. I did also have a bit of fun working on keeping the drain covers in Kirkton of Glenisla free of leaves.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. scatmania
    Nov 04, 2013 @ 00:12:04

    Looking seriously wet, out there. Still: the ducks look happy!

    Reply

  2. Liz
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 15:21:34

    It looks like a beautiful walk Fiona!!

    Liz

    Reply

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