Walking with Boobs

A 2-Day walk with Gill around the Hielan’ Ways

Carn an-t Suidhe and Suie Top
Carn an-t Suidhe and Suie Top

On Monday, Gill and I embarked on a 2-Day Hielan’ Ways exploration. Driving through the Cabrach (all strictly private here…) we set off at Aldivaloch, where I parked on top of a myriad of what looked like Hielan’ lipsticks.

Parking at Aldivalloch
Parking at Aldivalloch

Past ruins, over the bridge, up another abandoned house, what happened?, up, up, the track, to Dead Wife’s Hillock, was it Roy’s wife, no, its another story, need to recollect it, see the track, from Blackwater, to Suie, like the Song lines in Australia, a Ballad line maybe, down, down, heather right, heather left, down, to Blackwater, you could ford it, this time, not like last time, when in spade, left from here, another ballad line, on along, on, on, between sheep, to Cairnbrallan, a ruin, tea here, nice, cake, no cheese press, no more?, sheep now queuing,

along Blackwater

along the track, what for?, up again, on a bit, cross the burn, Allt-na-Craoibhe-cuilunn, see the crags, where it is born, through the heather, up, forming a line, another burn, Allt-na-Craoibhe-caroainn, up, up, up, all green, myriads of greens, on again, to the west, deep heather, Kneedeep on our right, see Suie lodge, down now, a gate, rusty, a burn, windy, along it, have a look, haha, funny, the tops, Carn na ruar/Top of Suie, the boobs, along, along the burn, the bothy, nice bothy, want to give it some TLC, take the number, of the fermer, it rains, another sandwich, more rain,

At Suie bothy
At Suie bothy

never mind, bridge, little path, along, then left a stile, along a fence, then right, along, left again, ballad lines, farm, Heiland loos, in the Braes, hitch?, lets visit, John and Sylvia, at the church, yes, tea, lovely, a biscuit, stories, many stories, about the coffins, the shielings, above Scallan, can they be found?, lets go, John offers a lift, nice, to Tomintoul, more stories on the way, a peat cutting, the hostel, warm, and dry, explore the village, the post office, the lady with the 100 year old stamp, postcards, whisky shop, wine, crisps, socks, just in case, strapline, wrestle with words, and crisps and wine, off to the pub, fish + chips, a beer, more words, wrestle with pen, ‘perceptions on exploration’, that’s it, good, something settled, good night.
Breakfast with cereals, and toast, tea and jam, off, along the old military road, past Crown Estate office, closed, cross road, at Glenmullie, up the woods, up, up, up the ballad line, made by the forestry commission, through heather, the phone mast, looking over the valley, east here, along the fence, through peat, soggy, squilch, squerch, along, along, down and up, Tom Trumper, over the wee ballad line, over, see Scallan, the seminary, for the catholic priests, where the faith survived, down, past ruin, over burn, to Scalan, what a place, so nice, so remote, so hard, Sandy, the last man here died only 7 years ago, his wee TV still in the bothy, egg and tea, on bench here, new loo?, Scalan, means turf roof, in Gaelic, booklet, for a £, up again, through gate, SW, squelchy path, burn, gate, up, past woods, the colours, so many purples, on greens, thistles, heather, foxglove,

purple and green

where is the spring?, where is the map?, a bird trap, picture, over to Ladderfoot, see a new line, can it be a ballad line, if it is new?, up, bridge, up, detour to wee reservoir, so green, so purple, up, up, up, through the glen, up, burn, we rest, up, up, the Ladder, up, past the coffins, past the drovers, past the timbers, up, up, here it is, the bealach, see Glenbuchat, the other side, look back to Glenlivet, what are these berries?, red, shaped like rasps, on the ground, down, through the heather, the peat, to another ballad line, one can view it from far, down left, down, down, burn, gate, up, up, past the serpentine’s head, the we lochan, down here, landscape looks like an army camouflage so patchy, greens, and browns, down, along, the lodge, Gill, gets in a different mood, the men, the guns, the eagles, the wealth, the absence, the arrogance, the money, right from here, through the woods, to the car. Tea at Glenkindie, back to Aldivalloch to the car, pick up a lipstick. Me a blue one, Gill a green one.

ballad lines

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