A lovely spring day, slightly overcast to start with and a light breeze, just enough to keep us cool on the way up.
GordonC parked his car at the exit of the track from Huntly's cave, as we planned a circuit over Carn Na Loinne. We walked down the road to Auchahannet and picked up the track that passes Knock of Achnahannet.
This track goes to the Comms mast on Tom Mor. Just as the track bends SW, We picked up an ATV track starting at the back of a mini-quarry on the north side of the main track.
It headed north for a wee bit then seemed to head off along the W side of Carn Na Loinne, so we headed straight up for the patches of burnt heather. The going was easier on these patches and as we breasted the top, arrived at the Trig point with a wee trench on the west side of it where we had our piece.
I tried not to look at the Fannery's to the east - the same ones we'd seen from Knock of Braemoray, but this time we were a wee bit closer !
Leaving the top we saw another ATV track heading off towards some shooting butts, so we followed it for a while. It eventually petered out about half way to the fence line, so we struck off over some rough ground towards the fence. We hopped over the fence to the other side where the shepherd had made a quad track whilst tending his sheep, which made it easy down to the track. At this point we met a couple o worthies doing the reciprocal of our route. We passed the time of day then continued to the main track. We passed some shooting butts parallel to the fence line, which had wire loops sticking up from each end. We speculated for a wee while on their function and came up with shooting arc limiters. I knew this was a problem for inexperienced shooters, as my father-in-law had been shot by an ajoining shooter who followed a bird too far round and gave him both barrels. He was picking shot out from all parts of his clothes and body for weeks afterwards, but survived to tell the tale !
GordonC spotted a chimney breast away up the track at Badahad, but there seemd to be some sort of modern- looking apparatus next to it with some sort of canopy beside it. The magnification on his binos wasn't enough to give us a clear view.. Anyway we headed through the gate on the track towards Huntly's cave.
Found the wee gorge marked by a Pine tree on the S side of the track. Struck NW up the mini- gorge and found a shallow cave, then spotted another candidate further up. GordonC had climbed up the E side of the gorge and spotted a cave virtually where I was standing, so I stepped up on a rock and looked in. Wondered if it was the same Lord Huntly that had hidden in this one as well as the one down by the main road near Derraid, where the rock routes are ? Maybe this was his summer holiday hideout !
Scrambled back down the gorge to the track and walked back to the car. As we started to have another piece, a 4x4 drew up opposite and unlocked the gate before driving through. GordonC wandered across as they re-padlocked the gate and asked them about what we'd seen at Badahan. Seems it was a device erected by a Wind Turbine company to measure wind data as preparation for installing another Fannery ! Groan - not more of them ! Anyway - mystery solved. They were heading off up the track we'd just come down to check on some forestry project.
We waved cheerio and headed off to the Fire station Cafe in Tomintoul for a mid-ser on the way home. A great day out with great views if you filtered the turbines out !
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