It was a crackin' day when we arrived at the car park at Glen Lednock, and we quickly kitted up and set off along the track. My walking pals today were Malcolm and Caroline, who, while they are always walking the hills of the Borders, hadn't yet bagged a Munro, it was Malcolms suggestion that we head to Ben Chonzie as it probably the nearest to the Borders, and, according to the reports he'd read, was quite a straight forward climb.
This certainly seemed to be true, as the path gained steady height with one or two sections being a wee bit steeper. The surrounding countryside was stunning in the bright sun, there was a slight breeze which cooled us when we needed it most, but we were out for a good walk so we just took it easy on our way to the top, and stopped a few times for juice breaks and to take in the scenery.
The excellent path crosses Invergeldie Burn and follows a smaller burn for much of the way up, at just over 700mtrs we headed left, the path at this point is less distinct than before, and crosses a couple of boggy areas, these weren't too bad on our walk, but I could imagine they could be quite bad if the weather was a bit wetter!
We soon reached the fence which we were to follow to the summit, and it was a pleasant climb from here, some areas were almost like walking on a carpet, the grass was so soft and springy underfoot, even the area of boulders wasn't too bad, and we were soon at the top!
The views were fantastic! I use a "brick" (according to my daughter!) of a phone for my pics at the moment, so it didn't do the views justice, but we sat at the shelter and just took them in, we could see for MILES!!! Unfortunately Geography isn't my strong point so although I'm sure we see a few other Munros, I didn't know which ones they were, although I could pick out Scheihallion, my first Munro, and Ben Lawers (I think!).
We simply retraced our steps back to the car, it took us 3 and a half hours to reach the top, and 2 hrs to get back to the car, not bad going we thought!
"Sunshine and Raptors"?....well there was certainly plenty of sunshine, I'd forgotten to bring a hat and sunscreen....again, so I ended up with sunburn...again! At the summit, while taking in the views, Malcolm noticed a bird soaring high toward Carn Chois, we watched it for a bit and saw it was a Red Kite (a tick for me!), on our way down, after we left the fence and started on the boggy path bit, we watched another one (or the same one!) and it was here that Caroline spooked a Merlin, which we watched flying low across the burn and up towards the fence (another tick for me!), as we were sitting having ANOTHER juice break we first heard, then saw a Buzzard over on the side of Creag Tharsuinn, the final raptor being a Kestrel at the wooded area just before Coishavachan.
A great walk, great weather, great views, and plenty of birdlife (Ravens, Wheatears, and a young Red Grouse seen as well!) so overall a thouroughly enjoyable day, loved it!
Well done to Malcolm and Caroline on bagging their first Munro!
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