The last week has been gloriously sunny in Aberdeenshire. I drove up from Glasgow to run on the Hill of Fare with the Cosmic Hillbashers. They turned out to be an extraordinarily friendly running club who were completely happy for a total stranger to turn up for a run. Starting from the Raemoir Hotel we followed good tracks that climbed gradually up to the top of the hill. We had wonderful views all around before descending down to the rather fancy hotel for a quick drink. After spending a couple of amazingly sunny days inside the Aberdeen Exhibition Centre listening it was time to do some running. Stopping to take photos in a Forestry Commission woodland I attracted a new friend in the shape of this horse who was convinced my camera bag must contain something edible.
After leaving Aberdeen I drove down to Banchory to spend the night with parents of a good friend. That was three nights ago. They’ve been so welcoming that I’ve really struggled to pack my bags and leave. One night very easily extended to two, and now three. It’s been brilliant fun exploring the area around Banchory. In terms of running trails my experiences have been quite mixed. There are lots of amazing Landrover tracks which are much more extensive than the OS maps suggest. I’d be quite happy not to explore them on foot again though! Next time I’ll be bringing a bike. I spent a hot day exhaustively exploring Clachnaben and the ridge to a Corbett called Mount Battock. I’m supposed to be discovering trails – so how did I end up cutting cross-country across charred heather and arriving back at the car with charcoal streaked legs? Hmm, I wonder why I won’t be recommending that particular route to anyone! On the other hand I have discovered lots of lovely paths weaving though beautiful woodland that are just perfect for running.
Unlike most people, I’m quite glad that the weather is set to get cooler. Running in the sun is hard work! This next week I’m looking forward to exploring further north as I head into distillery country and the Moray coast.