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Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty


Postby dogplodder » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:07 pm

Route description: Forres to Burghead

Date walked: 18/03/2020

Distance: 12 km

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Life under the threat of Corvid19 is very strange. We're already used to coronaviruses that give us sore throats, coughs and runny noses but this new one is different because it can kill, has reached the UK with alarming speed and threatens to overwhelm our already overstretched NHS. And It's invisible so we have to assume it's everywhere and no one is safe. Life as we know it has ground to a halt, apart from key workers who are working harder than ever, while the rest of us are told to stay home.

One of the things we're still allowed to do is walk the dog. This may change as things ramp up but as of now we're still allowed to get out in the fresh air, as long as we keep our distance. So with a forecast of sun in the east, Moira and I decided on part of the Moray Coast Trail, using two cars for social distancing and walking 2 metres apart.

Writing this up five days later, the advice now is to stay at home, not to travel and only to walk in your local area. So we wouldn't be doing this now. Maybe it's the last further afield walk we'll do for a long time.

Back to five days ago. We started at Findhorn, parking at the large car park by the sand dunes. Findhorn is an attractive fishing village, well worth a wander before starting on the coastal path to Burghead.

Findhorn
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Zoomed across Findhorn Bay to the spit of sand known as the Ee
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Findhorn from the Ee
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Ice house
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The Icehouse was built over 150 years ago and has multiple underground arched chambers that were used to store ice for packing salmon to travel to London. The vast chambers are now used to display all aspects of the net salmon fishing industry in the Moray Firth.

Information board near car park
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We didn't immediately look for the Moray Coast Trail as wanted to get on to the beach (our excuse being the dog wanted to get on to the beach!).

Findhorn beach looking west
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Findhorn beach looking east towards Burghead
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We saw a few other dog walkers but had it pretty much to ourselves and only saw groups of folk at the Roseisle car park.

It was blowy and exhilerating
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WW2 anti-tank defences
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The tide was going out so we could have walked all the way to Burghead by the beach but that didn't feel quite right if we were meant to be following the MCT. So after a while we went up on to the sand dunes, where we didn't immediately find the MCT but knew we were heading in the right direction.

On sand dunes
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Young pines growing on sand dunes
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A splash of colour
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A shower came as we passed the turbines, but didn't last long.

Turbines
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Are you coming?
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Practising 'social distancing'
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Burghead Bay
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At last we had proof we were on the right track!

MCT marker post
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Zoomed to Cromarty cliffs and Ben Wyvis
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We followed the perimeter fence of the RAF Kinloss base and thought about the fighter jets that went up on three days recently to intercept Russian planes heading for our air space. Do they think we're distracted and won't notice?

More remains from WW2
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As the track swung into Roseisle Forest we were met by towering stacks of timber, which by the sweet smell must have been recently harvested. I was ready to put Keira on the lead but we didn't see any work going on. All was quiet when we were there.

Roseisle Forest
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We were starting to feel a bit peckish and agreed that if the bird hide was empty we would stop there for lunch. We wouldn't be able to do that now as since then the RSPB has closed hides to the public for fear of spreading the virus.

The hide was empty and we got comfy seats overlooking bird feeders outside the window. On the feeders we saw coal tits, chaffinch and a woodpecker but the windows were too dirty for a decent photo. Our timing was perfect as there was a shower while we were in there.

Bird hide
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Greater Spotted Woodpecker (not my photo)
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From the hide it was a short distance to the large Roseisle car park which has toilets, but they were closed. From the number of families we saw there it looked like a lot of folk were taking their children off school ahead of the closure on Friday. We continued along the old Burma Road built by POWs and before we knew it had reached the caravan site on the edge of Burghead. From the caravan site we continued up to the headland, which was so windy it was difficult to keep the camera still.

Burghead headland - site of a Pictish fort
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Burghead harbour
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The site of the former coastguard lookout has been adapted for use as a visitor centre. It will take visitors through the history of the area from about 400AD to the present time. To adapt the lookout building which was built on the inner rampart of the Pictish fort, over 300 tons of rubble put there by the Picts some 1500 years ago was removed by hand.

Note the unsteady camera!
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Looking towards Hopeman
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Memorial to those lost at sea
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We were fortunate to have done this walk on such a beautiful day and were keen to come back to do the next stage some day soon. But we can't. Unnecessary travel is out. So along with everyone else we will have to be patient and wait until life has gone back to normal. The beauty of the hills, lochs and coastline will still be there when this virus has run its course and I guess we'll appreciate it all the more because for a while our freedom had been curtailed.

PS I did the bit from Forres to Findhorn on 30th October (photos added in post below).
Last edited by dogplodder on Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby shredder » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:29 pm

Interesting bit of coastline with all that history and as you say a beautiful day. :D
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby lowland » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:33 pm

Great to be able to look in on :) such a peaceful walk at at time like this. It confirms that the beauty and peace of our countryside remains unchanged
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:00 am

A few weeks ago I was making plans to walk the Moray Coast Trail - how things change!!

Couldn't decide whether to just do the Moray Coast or turn it into a circular to include The Dava Way and the Speyside Way (I've done the other two before but I like the idea of the circular route).

We used to holiday in Forres every year until I was age 16 and Findhorn was my favourite place so it was good to see some photos of the surrounding coastline - happy memories.
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby dogplodder » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:38 pm

shredder wrote:Interesting bit of coastline with all that history and as you say a beautiful day. :D


It's bursting in history! :thumbup:
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby dogplodder » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:43 pm

lowland wrote:Great to be able to look in on :) such a peaceful walk at at time like this. It confirms that the beauty and peace of our countryside remains unchanged


Things were at an earlier stage but even then we had that impending sense of doom and it was a relief to get away from the constant corona updates and enjoy the beauty. :)
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby dogplodder » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:33 pm

Gordie12 wrote:A few weeks ago I was making plans to walk the Moray Coast Trail - how things change!!

Couldn't decide whether to just do the Moray Coast or turn it into a circular to include The Dava Way and the Speyside Way (I've done the other two before but I like the idea of the circular route).

We used to holiday in Forres every year until I was age 16 and Findhorn was my favourite place so it was good to see some photos of the surrounding coastline - happy memories.


We've almost completed the Speyside Way and like you thought the Dava Way and Moray Coast Trail would make a good add on. Now we can only wait this out and dream... :shh:
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:43 pm

Sounds like this part of the world is going to be busy, it's on our hit list too. :D

Lovely photos, I like winter colours by the shore.
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby dogplodder » Fri Apr 10, 2020 4:06 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Sounds like this part of the world is going to be busy, it's on our hit list too. :D

Lovely photos, I like winter colours by the shore.


It was only three weeks ago but already feels a distant memory.

When will this ever end... :-|
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Re: Corona do your worst but you can't affect the beauty

Postby dogplodder » Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:25 pm

The walk from Findhorn to Burghead was on the eve of the first lockdown and just as things tighten up again I had the urge to do the bit we missed from Forres to Findhorn. So on 30th October Pete came with me as far as the Suenos Stone then moved the car to Findhorn before walking back to meet me.

It was that low autumn light with a darkening sky that led to a heavy rain shower as we reached Findhorn but that was fine as I got photos of the village when I was there in March.

By the river in Forres
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Clock tower
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Grant Park
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Suenos Stone
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On the road to Kinloss
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Strong wind and blurry birch on road to Findhorn
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Findhorn Bay from bird hide
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Then the heavens opened and we ran for the car.
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