Monday, 15th. November, 2021:
After completing a dry stone walling course in Buxton over the weekend, I’d stayed with my sister in Morpeth on Sunday night, leaving early on Monday morning to head north. The drive beyond Perth was absolutely stunning – radiation fog trapped in the valleys was being burnt off by a warm sun which was also lighting up the autumn colours of the trees – and the world felt like a fine place as I pulled into the Linn of Dee car park at around 11.30.am. It didn’t take terribly long to walk through the couple of kilometres of forest to the north of the Dee and then the track alongside the Lui led to Derry Lodge very quickly. The forest above the lodge then opened out magnificently with a mix of mature Scots Pine, young trees and seedlings spaced out above a ground level storey of heather and grasses; walking through it was a delight. A small cairn by the main path soon marked the start of a narrow track up through the trees but, unfortunately, this turned rather rapidly into an undistinguished bog fest and I felt fortunate to emerge onto the higher slopes with dry feet. At the broad saddle between Meall an Lundain and Beinn Bhreac, however, the conditions underfoot improved and it was a simple stroll to the twin tops. Once by the main cairn on the eastern top, a cold wind discouraged too long a stay and, with a swift glance to Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm to the west and to the cloud covered slopes of Ben a’Bhuird to the east, I headed back down to the beautiful forest and a lengthy trek back down the glen. It had been three and a half hours well spent.
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