Had to give Thomas a lift down to Dundee for a college open day, so sussed out some "southern HUmps to tick off on the way back. Also had to get back to help my good lady with some visitors in the afternoon.
Found my way to Achnachree and although there was a fair bit of space in front of the entrance, I drove round the corner and found an un-gated track that allowed me to park off the road without getting bogged down.
( Didn't want to antagonise the estate as Harvey was with me.)
Walked round the corner to start on Deuchar Hill. Nice track all the way, firstly down from the road into a dell with a bonny lochan, then up round the corner past a gate.
A grass track branched off up the hill which appeared to cut out the big loop in the main track, but as usual, another wrong decision - should've taken the next one, as the first led round a knoll into a marshy area. However, as it didn't last very long - no harm done. Made it back onto the track higher up then up to the wood and across the top of the hill with only a short hop over to the the paltry cairn.
All the while we were marshalled by a pair of curlew. A wee bit blustery on top from a northerly direction.
Returned by a different short cut, which avoided most of the marshy stuff. Took a pic of the lochan in the neuk before walking back up to the road up a wee bit to Achnachree.
The way led round the back of the estate buildings on a fine tarmac'd road. Just past the big hoose, it degenerated into an normal estate track. Seemed to be quite a well-heeled outfit judging by the kids garden playthings and castle-style tree-house.
Kept H on his lead until I was sure there were no sheep near the track. We put up a pair a pheasant at the bottom of the Leytack and were serenaded by another pair of curlew, this time supported by a teuchat.
The shooting track was pretty steep for a vehicle.........
It was only a short stride across to the cairn from the main track.
We settle down behind the cairn for a piece and a grand panoramic view across Strathmore.
There was still a stiff breeze, so we did not tarry.
As usual, on the way down we found a better path back from the cairn to the track just a wee bit further on ! Anyway, scooted down to the car, alarming the curlew and teuchit again plus a wee flock of sheep that had come to drink at the wells by the side of the track.
Drove down round the corner and found a wee layby just beyond where the double track I intended to follow, started.
Went back up the road to the first gate. climbed over it then skulked along the fenceline to avoid disturbing a big flock of sheep. Succeeded pretty well and made my way along the fenceline and up by some rabbit burrows to join the track up on Shandford hill, which we followed through 2 gates and a mini-bealach on to Tullo.
Wandered round in a circle to find the highest top, but apart from a few exposed rocks, all the lumps looked higher from the other.
Inspected what I thought was a game bird rearing /release pen, but found out that it was a craw trap.
Shuffled off back down the grassy track to the car whithout disturbing the sheep again -phew !
On the way home we were held up by a humungus queue of traffic for about an hour on the A90. Eventually bypassed the incident via Marykirk. Will find out what it was in the paper tomorrow !
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