The forecast this weekend was for torrential rain and it did eventually come, but in all honesty, I was expecting far, far worse. Anyway, with that forecast in mind, we decided to keep it local, and to get out and about really early.
Forvie fitted the bill perfectly and it’s been a short while since our last visit so it would make for a nice change of scenery. From the utter lack of people at Forvie, it would appear that most people had decided against venturing out.
Had I remembered that it was Tern mating season earlier, I doubt I would have opted for the Croozer. No other buggy would have coped and, even with the Croozer, we had our work cut out. Had we been able to stick to the beach route that we normally use things wouldn’t have been quite so bad. However, with nesting season upon us, you are forced to take a short-cut, cutting off a chunk of our normal route, that involves a considerable amount of time in the dunes.
At one point Leanne was pushing me while I pushed Harris! It certainly made for a good workout! I don’t know if it was the undulating terrain or the beautiful scenery but Harris decided not to fall asleep until the very end of the walk. As such, I opted to walk to Newburgh, along the handy path with connects Newburgh to Forvie, meeting up with Leanne (& the car) again at the far end of Newburgh.
A useful discovery was that the Croozer fitted assembled and upright, with the exception of the handlebar, into the back of our Alhambra. Handy to know that we can leave it assembled when moving between locations, providing there’s not much else in the back of our Seat Alhambra.
Within minutes of loading up the car with the Croozer and a newly awakened Harris, the skies opened up. Talk about perfect timing :o)
Update 21st July 2014: looks like the stock of The North Face Enduro 13 packs has gone already as the link no longer works. Hardly surprising they sold out at that bargain price!
A quick posting from me. Have just spotted The North Face Enduro 13 on sale at Blacks, down from an RRP of £65.00 to £45.00. An excellent pack for long distance/ultra runners with easy access to two rear mounted bottles and ample storage space.
Paul Giblin has done it again, with yet another article in the mainstream press. This time, it’s The Guardian’s ‘The Running Blog‘, with an article entitled ‘Highland flings: Paul Giblin And The West Highland Way Race’.
“The West Highland Way race represents an ultra-running challenge in the beauty of the Highlands, and for Paul Giblin it was one he embraced, by breaking the course record.”
I’ve yet to see dolphins other than in the far distance while visiting Spey Bay and Sunday’s visit didn’t do anything to rectify that! However, it has to be one of the most chilled places to visit, especially when the sun is beating down. Sitting on the pebbles, close to the shore, on this, Harris’s first visit to Spey Bay, I couldn’t believe just how many people ended up standing on the pebble dunes behind us, all looking for the elusive dolphins! Despite the numbers, it retained its tranquility, aided by the sound of the tide on the pebbles. Maybe next time I will finally see some dolphin action!
Spey Bay is also familiar to me as a location on the Speyside Way long-distance footpath, and I have run past it on numerous occasions while running the Speyside Way Race ultramarathon, part of the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series. It’s a welcome sight as the right turn taken at Spey Bay signals the final stretch of the race as runners then head on to their final destination in Buckie.
“Spey Bay is the largest shingle beach in Scotland. Constant erosion and deposition by the river creates a range of habitats from bare shingle to reed beds, freshwater marsh and brackish saltmarsh. Breeding birds, a rich flora and diverse invertebrate communities all make their home here.” (http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/spey-bay/)
“Spey Bay is a small settlement in Moray, Scotland. It is situated at the eastern side of the mouth of the River Spey on the coast of the Moray Firth between the village of Kingston on the western side of the Spey, and the fishing port of Buckie to the east.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spey_Bay)
Saturday afternoon was spent exploring the forests and beach at Roseisle on the Moray Coast. With the remnants of wartime coastal defences, miles of sandy beach and miles of forest trails, there was plenty to do and see. The parking area even contained purpose-built barbeques, lots of picnic tables and an excellent play area. Definitely one to return to.
The coastal defences include concrete anti-tank blocks and pillboxes.
“Due to coastal erosion and the movement of the sand, some of these defences have been lost or moved. For example, a few pillboxes have tipped over due to the movement of the sand.” (http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/activities/heritage/world-war-two-sites/roseisle-ww2-defences)
Located on the Burghead bay, between Findhorn and Burghead, Roseisle can be reached as follows:
- From Forres, travel through Kinloss past RAF Kinloss. Roseisle Forest beach is signposted left
- From Elgin, travel towards Inverness. Turn right towards Burghead and left at College of Roseisle. Continue along and the beach is signposted right
We spent the afternoon mostly on the bikes, with Harris riding up front in his WeeRide (occasionally attempting to take control of the steering!), cycling the numerous trails and following the ‘Burma Road’ as far as Burghead.
There are also a number of different route options for walks:
Millie Bothy: Easy, 1.7m/2.6km
“An easy stroll through this lovely coastal pineforest, taking in an old fishermen’s bothy and the sparkling Millie Burn.”
Ice House Trail: Easy, 1.3m/2.0km
“A gentle meander through the forest to the Bessie Burn for great views of the Moray Firth.”
Wildlife Walk Trail: Easy, 2.7m/4.2km
“An easy circuit that takes in forest and foreshore, with a chance to spot seals, red squirrels and woodland birds.”