A Bear's Tale: Exposed, the real truth behind Gairich walk
by KeithS » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:12 pm
Route description: Gairich, Loch Quoich
Munros included on this walk: Gairich
Date walked: 09/10/2015
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 870m54 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Hello, woof and welcome. I would like to introduce myself. My name is Bear, although quite why has always baffled me as I am actually a dog. I am a cross breed, which I think is the politically correct term, as opposed to a mongrel which sounds so derogatory. I am half Japanese (Akita) and half German (Alsation). I live with my pack in a new kennel we have just bought. My pack consists of me and two adult humans who I refer to as The Fat Man and The Pushover, although I believe their friends and family call them Keith and Jane.
I am the head of the pack and the most important member. The Pushover completely adores me. She used to proudly show everyone my picture on her phone screen saver. That was until Sooooo Cute came on the scene last year and my picture was replaced. I know him as Jimmy but everyone else always calls him Sooooo Cute. I also adore him and we are best mates.
Soooo cute reading me a story by Keith S, on Flickr
The Fat Man knows his place as the runt of the pack although he is also very fond of me and looks up to me. I do have him well trained. At 7.15am and 4.45pm every day I go and sit by my bowl and he has learned that he has to feed me at these times (I have a very good sense of time as far as food is concerned). I do sometimes persuade The Pushover to live up to her name and give me extra scraps between meals but The Fat Man doesn't know about this (Editor's note: Oh yes he does). I have a pretty good grasp of the English language although I tend to be selective as to what I hear and respond to what suits me and just ignore the rest.
Life generally is pretty good. Our kennel has two bedrooms from which I am barred, (although I wouldn't want to go in anyway as The Fat Man snores) and a living room which I allow the humans to share with me, so long as they stay off my mat. The Fat Man has recently retired which seems to make him happy although I do not fully appreciate the concept of work. The consequence of this retirement is that he now has more time to do the important things in life, such as take me out for walks.
The reason I have decided to come onto this site and post this report is that I feel it is necessary to put my perspective on the above walk. I am very much used to walking, and even at my advanced age of 63yrs (aren't doggy years a strange concept?). I am quite capable of long walks, even including some inclines. This latest expedition however came as quite some shock to me. Was I consulted? No! Did I have a choice? No! The first I was made aware was when the camper was packed up and I was ushered inside. I usually have a clue that walkies may be a little more than a short walk round the park when a lot of extra paraphernalia is thrown into the vehicle as on this occasion.
The camper is a strange magical machine. It is a miniature home into which we go. The door is then shut and I go to my place under a table. I can't see anything but then there is noise and rocking and shaking and when this stops and the door is reopened we are somewhere else which could be anywhere. It is a mystery to me.
Magic camper and Gairich by Keith S, on Flickr
On this occasion The Pushover was left behind and The Fat Man and I set off. We were in the camper for several minutes, or days, or hours (I have a very poor concept of time as far as travel is concerned) when we arrived at a Pub called the Clachaig. As we walked across the car park a couple of nice young women approached me and called out “Aren't you gorgeous!” and for some reason asked The Fat Man if they could stroke me. Why ask him? Of course they can. I am used to this kind of attention, it happens all the time. Even men do it, although they tend to hold me around the ears and shake my head about which is a bit annoying but I do put up with it.
Inside the pub The Fat Man went to order some food. I gave the pretty Australian barmaid my special look which emphasises my gorgeousness and also makes it look as if I am underfed. She instantly fell madly in love with me and a short time later I was presented with a plate of the finest leftover sausages, cut to bite size portions, which I relished as The Fat Man had his meal (which he had to cut up himself). My look had worked a treat as usual.
The next day we headed off again, to where I knew not but we ended up by a large grey wall with water on one side where The Fat Man went through his usual rigmarole of setting up the camper so I guessed we might be there for a few days. We went for a nice walk by the road alongside the water for about an hour. This wasn't bad at all I thought.
The following morning we were up and getting busy quite early. I saw The Fat Man was putting stuff into his rucksack and noticed that he put some supplies and extra treats for me in there. He doesn't usually do that so I was a little suspicious. I also made my preparations. I got up, yawned and stretched. I gave my instruction for breakfast and was pleased to receive a particularly large portion. This should have raised alarm bells but I certainly wasn't complaining. We were now ready. He put his boots on and we set off along the top of the wall. I do enjoy a walk in a new location. There are so many exciting new smells to enjoy. There were even some I didn't recognise.
Gairich from Loch Quoich by Keith S, on Flickr
The beginning of the walk was most promising. It was fairly flat and there were plenty of brilliant muddy patches to race through. It is always fun to watch The Fat Man trying to negotiate round these and keep his feet dry. Why does he bother? I prefer to race straight through them. If I am very careful I can wait until he is balancing on a tuft of grass, surrounded by bog, and then run to the end of my lead and invariably catch him off balance and pull him into the mud. Serves him right for keeping me on a lead. He seems to think I would run off if we weren't connected together. Well, I would obviously, but I would return when I was ready, probably with some souvenir.
Gairich - the way ahead by Keith S, on Flickr
We got to some woods which are my favourite places as there are so many little furry woodland creatures with their individual smells for me to chase (within the confines of my lead of course) and to try to dig out of their holes. We didn't go into the woods, so I was unable to prove what Bears do there. Whilst on that subject I never understand why humans are so partial to dog poo. The Fat Man and The Pushover always collect mine in a little bag and carry it round with them. My own preference is for cow poo but each to their own. Instead of the woods however, we set off the other way which involved going up, up, and more up, and then more. How much up does he need?
As the ground levelled a bit my nose told me that a group of deer (four or five I would estimate, all female with a couple of youngsters) had crossed our path about half an hour earlier. A few minutes later The Fat Man got very excited and pointed at the ground and called out: “Look Bear, a deer print. There must be deer about here.” Genius! If he had asked me I could have told him how old they were, whether they were in season and what their last meal had been. Humans are very backward in so many respects.
Loch Quoich from Gairich by Keith S, on Flickr
We continued with some more up until the ground became quite level and The Fat Man sat on a rock and took off his rucksack. Thank goodness for that. We had reached the end of the walk. I sat down and was presented with some extra treat biscuits to celebrate another successful walk. I glanced ahead and did see that the way ahead was blocked by a steep bit of ground which disappeared up into the clouds and out of sight. I thought to myself that it could have been worse. At least he had seen sense and we would not be going up into the heavens. As I lay recovering from my exertions I looked around for the car to take us back home as usual. It was nowhere to be seen and realisation dawned that we would have to walk back down.
Gairich, end of walk - not by Keith S, on Flickr
We then prepared to return so I stretched again as The Fat Man put on his rucksack. I set off in the direction of down and was surprised to reach the end of my lead quickly and glancing back saw, to my horror, he was going the wrong way. He was heading towards the bit which disappeared into the clouds. No! He cannot be serious. That's not right, we don't know what is up there. . He had gone completely mad and we were ascending to heaven after all. The way got quite steep and rocky and there was even one point when he resorted to going doggy style (!) and using all fours, so much more sensible. Even so I was still much quicker than him. I had to keep waiting and encouraging him but we finally made it through the steep section as the world disappeared from view and we entered the clouds. It's all right for him, he has a coat which keeps out the water. I've got hair which traps it and gets me wet.
Anyway, after much huffing and puffing, from him not me, we arrived at a pile of stones which I assume had been put there for peeing on. For some reason he cajoled me into climbing to the top of the stones which I did, just to humour him. There was no more up which was a relief but I couldn't see very far. We then huddled behind the rocks and at least he gave me a special chewy treat which apparently is good for my teeth so I enjoyed that.
Gairich - no more up by Keith S, on Flickr
It was then back down again, the same way we had come up which was easy for me to navigate as I just followed our scent from the way up (or rather stink in the case of The Fat Man). I led the way to save him having to keep referring to his map and compass and we were soon back to the flat bit by the woods. I noticed that the mud carefully collected earlier had come off my legs so fortunately I was able to reapply it on the stretch leading back to the camper, although I don't think The Fat Man was too pleased.
We were then back across the wall and safely back in the camper where we were able to relax. I thoughtfully shook the mud from my fur all around the inside so we would have a reminder of our walk together. That didn't seem to impress The Fat Man as much as I thought it would. He can be so ungrateful at times.
So now you know. Dogs and humans have different perspectives on walks. Munro bagging is a very strange concept. I doubt I will be finishing them (although we did do two more the next day but that is another story). If I continue at my present rate I would be 5922 years old in doggy years before compleating and, even though I am feeling quite well at the moment, I don't know if I will still be around then. There are plenty of good smells about without having to aimlessly climb lumps of ground with an arbitrary height so I may stick to lower ground in future.
The Fat Man has told me that humans probably won't be interested in a dog's opinion on Munro bagging and won't bother to read this report. He is so convinced that no one will enjoy it that he has promised me an extra biscuit for every 'like' this report gets so I implore you to prove him wrong and click the button and get me extra treats.
2015-11-22_02-09-32 by Keith S, on Flickr
I will try to get some photos attached to this report but I will need some help with that, after all, I am only a dog!
Now with photos, still waiting for some more treats!
our_route.gpx Open full screen NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts
by Silverhill » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:43 pm
by peter tindal » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:48 pm
by Acpark74 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:05 pm
by Sgurr » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:28 pm
by KeithS » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:45 pm
Sgurr wrote:Isn't it about time that you got the Fat Man to introduce you to the concept of selfies?
It is me in the picture at the top.
I am the good looking one on the right by the way
by BobMcBob » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:37 pm
KeithS wrote: My pack consists of me and two adult humans who I refer to as The Fat Man and The Pushover,
That made me spit tea on my monitor
Superb, every bit of it.
by malky_c » Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:49 pm
by Rottiewalker » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:20 pm
by Huff_n_Puff » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:24 pm
by Graeme D » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:30 pm
by KatTai » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:08 pm
by KeithS » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:29 pm
I was very interested to read your report. I must admit to being a little surprised. I had always hoped you would have thought of Jane and me in terms such as Wonderful Mistress and Great Master so was a little upset to hear of your real thoughts or your general lack of respect for us.
I do however hope that your have not been put off Munro bagging and, despite your rather cruel comments, would be prepared to take you on future trips.
I will help you to put some pictures on the report but we may both require the assistance of a younger member of the family so they will arrive in due course.
I was rather shocked by your blatant plugging of your own report but I hope you notice that I have been honouring my promise which explains all the extra treats you have been receiving. A return to the pet shop may be necessary in order to replenish supplies.
Be a good boy.
The Fat Man (a.k.a. Keith)
by KeithS » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:45 pm
I've managed to put some pictures on now (with a little help)
The Fat Man
by Jaywizz » Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:25 pm