Water of Allachy to Tarfside
The disadvantage of pitching in the woods was that the flysheet was very wet both inside and outside in the morning. The morning sun didn’t reach me until I was nearly packed, so I had to wipe down the tent to get rid of as much moisture as I could.
I resumed my walk up the Water of Allachy with dappled sunshine through the trees. Again it was a delightful stroll. I reached the ford where I’d pencilled in a camp. Instead of passing by, I had a poke around, looking for camping spots for future reference. It was a really nice place to camp, but would have been wetter than my pitch by the pony hut.
The next task was a short climb to regain the Firnmounth Road. However, there was a short shower, so I hid under a tree before resuming my walk. While the track was clear, it was boggy in a few places as it climbed out of the forest. Beyond the tree line, the cold wind resumed its assault. Looking north, I could see various wintry showers making their way across the hills.
After a short pull up to Craigmanhandle, it was out on to the open moorland, with no shelter from the winds and showers. As a precaution, I put on my waterproofs. The path was easy to follow but very wet in places. On the summit of Tampie, I was treated to a squally snow shower.
Once over Tampie, the snow stopped and I started the descent to Tarfside. Initially it was quite steep, but soon the incline abated, making for a pleasant walk with some extensive views. I seemed to be surrounded by showers, but fortunately none touched me. At Shinfur, I was tempted to take a quick lunch stop, but the skies darkened and I pushed on.
I reached Tarfside by two o’clock. I decided to pitch my tent before visiting St Drostan’s. Like last year, I pitched down by the river to avoid the crowds. I wandered up to St Drostan’s for a bacon butty, cake and tea. I booked in for the evening meal.
On my way back out I bumped into James who was going to see Chrissie and her dog Tilly in her camper van which was parked in the layby near the green, so I tagged along. It was good to meet Chrissie at last. The evening meal was very convivial. Afterwards I wandered back to the tent and then to the Mason’s Arms for a bit of socialising.