A quick run up the glen with the bike loaded for an overnighter for the exercise really. I also wanted a quick look at Jock's road that runs down into Glen Clova, I want to do a coast to coast and have toyed with the idea of coming through this way, rather than the usual Ballater-Mount Keen route. Pretty rideable if dry I would say. I also wanted to see how it was riding the bike, set up for touring, with lights.
The ride through the glen up to the far end of Loch Callater is pretty scenic, again mainly land rover track but a lovely ride along the river with fine views. I was away by about lunchtime and as it was only about 12 Km to the far end of the loch I was in no particular rush, I had of course packed the stove so had the option of making a brew along the way, or at the spot overlooking Jock's road. My other passion is photography, and though most of my bikepacking/riding pics are taken with a point and shoot, I also like to use it as a “sketch pad” if you like, anything I really like I often return later with my landscape set up. So I spent a lot of time doodling with the camera too.
The weather was pretty cool, though the forecast was for it to get really cold later. I got to the end of the loch, by the old Lodge building after a couple of hours (I did say I was in no rush!) of picture taking and just enjoying being out on the hill again. I stopped at the lodge to take a few images of the loch, and as I have a thing for all things derelict, inc buildings, I went for a wander around the lodge building looking for close up studies to photograph. While wandering around the buildings I came across a bothy, Callater Stables.
I hadn't expected one up here so was quite surprised, though when I read the plate on the door the name rung a bit of a bell. When I got back I had a look on the MBA site and of course there it was. I took a few pics around the place and then headed of to the far end as I was running out of light, maybe an hour or so, and I wanted to get a quick look down the far end of the glen.
I even got some company when I got back to the bothy.
Apparently they are used to bring Stag off the hill during the culling season.
Callater Stable bothy.
Loch Callater again!
The bothy itself was pretty cold and cheerless given that there was no fire in it, great in summer/ spring etc but I was freezing sat in there while getting abrew on. That said, the bothy is pretty well set up with a few beds and lots of comfortable chairs. I shall certainly keep it in mind as a possible wet weather stop if the C2C route comes through here (I have no intention of doing it during the main midge season!). I had a brew and even made a quick meal as I waited for the sun to go down and the light to go. While I was cooking etc there were a few snow flurries went through so when I was ready to set off there was a thin but full covering of snow on the ground. The ride back was really nice, what with the snow and the full moon! I managed to ride most of the way back on low beam, I have to say I love night riding in the snow, not sure why, I just find it very , relaxing?
A short ride along the road got me back by about 19.00, a hot shower and gear sorted I settled down with a proper meal and a glass of Jura, now what better way to spend a day in the highlands?
As I have just bought Blogsy I was also posting to see how it goes for posting “on the hoof” as it were.
Seems fine this end, I guess publishing it now will tell if all is well the other. Pretty easy to use I must say.