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Carnferg - Forest o Birse

Carnferg - Forest o Birse

Postby Gordon Ballantyne » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:33 pm

Date walked: 11/01/2019

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 486m

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With Mark away, on business in AD, thought I'd give Harvey an extra walk.
Settled on Carnferg up the water o Feugh in the Forest o Birse - in the land of my favorite landscape artist - Joseph Farquharson.
Parked up at the end o the road in ample space, whilst nearly running down a wifie walking a wheen o dogs. She'd just emerged up the brae fae the kirk on the other side of the road and I didn't see her !
GordonC had suggested ascending Cargferg by Glencat and returning by the Fungle road, which I thocht was a great idea - a natural circular route and a welcome change from our usual up/down routes.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Harvey guarding a wood ant nest.jpg
Harvey guarding a wood ant nest

We'd just passed Brackenstake and were descending into Glencat when GC spotted a Red Kite quartering the head of the glen - obviously looking for something to eat By the time Gordon got his camera out, it had drifted down the glen out of range.
Next GC spotted a rectangular stane at the side of the track. On inspection, it had the number 8 carved on its top. We conjectured that it was a milestone for a drover heading for Tarfside, which is approx 8 miles from this point.

The eight-mile stane in Glencat.jpg
The eight-mile stane in Glencat
The echt-mile stane.jpg
The top of the eight-mile stane

Harvey had to be shackled as we passed Glencat farm. However, the cattle were in the pen and the dogs in their kennels, so we passed with much barking from the collies. It was denner time, so the fermer wiz probably hae-in' his piece - so nae travellers welcome for these twa auld buddies. The kite made another appearance just past the farm, but as GordonC had holstered his camera, the performace was repeated, with no result, as the kite again drifted out o range. Not much to be gained from photographing a dot in the sky !
We pulled up the track onto the bealach and over the rickety gate by the steen wa. Just past this we met a gaily coloured cyclist coming down the hill. We bowed to his superior magnificence and allowed him priority.
The walk up to the top exposed our lack of hill time, but nonetheless, we continued until welcomed at the top by couple who had ascended from the Aboyne side. We exchanged pleasantries and deciphered the "Heavenly" plaque on the substantial pointy memorial cairn by the trig & its shelter. We cooried doon oot o the sharp breeze in the trig shelter as the early couple had snaffled the only lee side o the cairn. Harvey monitored our every movement in case we dropped even a crumb o wir piece. Eventually I gave in and gave him a few treats - the braw lad !
The couple obligingly took a picture of the full team, as usually it's one or the other.

G squared H at the Heavenly cairn o Carnferg.JPG
G squared H at the"Heavenly" cairn o Carnferg
Plaque on the Heavenly cairn.jpg
Plaque on the "Heavenly" cairn

Morven from Carnferg.jpg
Morven from Carnferg
Mount Keen from Carnferg.jpg
Mount Keen from Carnferg

Doon the hill we went towards the Fungle road and the magnificent bothy on the way, with it's built in tethering rings outside for dogs or ponies and a wee veranda. My - fit posh bothies aboot here !

Bothy on the Fungle road looking back to Carnferg.jpg
Fungle road bothy looking back to Carnferg

We descended alongside the G waves, past the Aboyne/Tarfside signpost and the deserted Castle o Birse.

No compass needed in Birse.jpg
No compass needed in Birse !

Birse Castle - restored 1901 added to 1930.jpg
Birse Castle - restored 1901, owned by Dunecht Estates

No sign of the peacocka we saw the last time, so they have either been eaten or penned up for the winter somewhere. GordonC noticed a date under one of the castle windows.
Through the binos it read 1930 with the initials AC in the middle. Couldn't find out who AC was, but the castle was added to at that time, so prob one of the Cowdrays.

1930 addition marked.jpg
The 1930 addition to Birse Castle marked below the window " 19 AC 30 " Fa's AC ?

Ballochan farm from Birse castle.jpg
Ballochan Farm from Birse Castle

A great day out on a cloudy but fair day touched by a little sun late in the day as we descended. Just braw !
Gordon Ballantyne
Mountain Walker
Posts: 193
Munros:281   Corbetts:89
Grahams:20   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:54   
Joined: Jan 30, 2011
Location: Westhill, Aberdeenshire

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