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Post-exam freedom - The Speyside Way

Post-exam freedom - The Speyside Way


Postby jenniferc6 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:33 am

Route description: Speyside Way

Date walked: 02/06/2011

Distance: 107 km

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After finally finishing my university exams and before starting work in July, I decided to head off to walk my first long distance route - The Speyside way. I had originally though about doing the Southern Upland Way but decided to stay closer to home and do a shorter route to ease myself into long distance walking. After making my plans and loading my camping gear into the car I headed off early on Monday morning to reach Craigellachie by 7am.
I was planning to catch the bus each morning to the start point of my walk and then walk back to my car and this proved to be a good idea since it saved my having to carry all my camping gear and food etc and total bus fares came to a very affordable £18.15 for the whole walk. The first day I walked from Buckie to Craigellachie. There were some excellent views all the way over the the Black Isle and the day started off sunny and clear.

After passing through Spey Bay and Fochabers, there was a steep road to walk along and I spotted a caravan which had fallen over the side. I also passed the point where the path has been washed away and this really shows how powerful the Spey is - I don't think I'll be joining the fishermen wading anytime soon!

There were a few passing showers in the afternoon but my first day's walking was really good with lots of variety from the coast, woodland, farmland and of course the river. I certainly enjoyed my fish supper after a long day of walking and then set up camp at Blacksboat station.

On day 2, I caught the bus from Marypark to Grantown and walked back to my car at Blacksboat station. The day started off drizzly but there was lots of sunny spells and I actually got a bit sunburnt on my arms. The Anagach woods and Cromdale station were probably the highlights of the day, as well as the good views of the surrounding hills and countryside. I also had a few encounters with some sheep and cows who had decided to explore the walking tracks through the fields to see whether the grass was greener on the other side! (Don't be put off walking this part if you're scared of animals since they soon went through the gap in the fence back to the field when they spotted you coming).

After staying at Aberlour campsite, I got a bus to Marypark to start day 3 of my walk from Blacksboat station to Craigellachie and then back to the car at Aberlour. I went past lots of distilleries and also smelt the shortbread from Walkers between Craigellachie and Aberlour so I couldn't resist buying some from Aberlour afterwards and I also got a bottle of Tamdhu as a souvenir.

I stayed at Ballindalloch station overnight then drove to Grantown in the morning to catch the bus to Aviemore for my final section of the walk from Aviemore to Grantown. It was a beautiful morning and I had some great views of the Cairngorms.

Things really started to warm up during the day and there was a wonderful smell from the trees passing through Abernethy forest because of the heat of the sun. This is an excellent section of the Way and rounded off what was a great introduction to long distance walking.
I am also planning to complete the Tonintoul spur in August when we're on holiday since there aren't many buses to/from Tomintoul so thought I would get a lift to finish this section.
User avatar
jenniferc6
Walker
 
Posts: 550
Munros:273   Corbetts:136
Grahams:29   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:9
Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Location: Lonmay, Aberdeenshire

Re: Post-exam freedom - The Speyside Way

Postby jenniferc6 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:46 am

Oops, here are some of the photos!
Attachments
100_1659.JPG
100_1630.JPG
100_1598.JPG
Tamdhu
100_1581.JPG
Ben Rinnes
100_1568.JPG
cromdale
100_1548.JPG
caravan
100_1541.JPG
Seals
100_1528.JPG
washed away path
User avatar
jenniferc6
Walker
 
Posts: 550
Munros:273   Corbetts:136
Grahams:29   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:9
Joined: Aug 29, 2010
Location: Lonmay, Aberdeenshire

2 people think this report is great.
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