It was announced today that this has been the coldest/snowiest winter in Scotland since 1962 to 1963. I remember that one as I didn’t get to school for three weeks; that was the time it took for us to dig ourselves out as we lived a mile off the ‘main road’. The family had recently bought a freezer but by the end of the three weeks the bread had run out and I recall living on tattie scones.
This year has been great in the west. We have had snow but not nearly the same volume as experienced by many people. I had a photo from Hilary the other day as she dug the car out for the nth time this year. We have been able to get about and it has been mainly dry! What a treat!
Paul & I have maybe not made the best use of the winter. We have both had quite a lot of work and my various injuries have kept us from doing big hills. However, the knee seems to be fine with the ‘tuberousity’ growing well but not giving any problem unless I try to kneel. The hip is still a bit sore after some forms of exercise but I have been able to cycle along the road for about an hour. Hopefully I will be able to do more on the bike soon.
Running has been our main form of exercise and in the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to explore some different places. I have been able to record some scenes as my phone is small and takes photos! It is also a good excuse to slow down a bit!
Kilmun Arboretum has a wide variety of trees and some lovely paths. It is steep though and about five minutes after leaving the car my lungs are bursting! Eventually things level out and the track cuts across Puck’s Glen where there are more open views.
Paul decided to go for a long run at the end of February so I dropped him at Bishop’s Glen and he ran the forest tracks to Ardyne. I drove round to Ardyne and had a lovely run up (well that bit was hard work!) past the Chinese Ponds to the mast in the forest and then back along the forest track to meet him. The paths were hard as they were still frozen but there was no ice. If they had not been frozen they would have been liquid mud.
I then decided that I would like to see the oil tankers that are ‘parked’ up Loch Striven. Paul had a sore knee so I was on my own. I planned a six kilometre run around the tracks on the Glenstriven estate as well. Yes, there are five tankers in the middle of the loch. The estate was lovely to run round and it felt quite alpine with the sun and snow-covered steep hills. There are numerous pheasants as they feed them so the run was punctuated by squawks as they scattered in front of me. Arran was stunning with a full blanket of snow.
The main drawback at the moment is the level of the snow; it is down to about 100m so we have to think carefully about where to run. For example the Kilmun track is covered with snow and it is quite icy as many people have walked along it. The Glen Massan paths and track are OK as they are low. Benmore Gardens has quite a covering on most of the paths. It is the same at Bishop’s Glen where some of the ice on the track up from the Kilbride car park has not melted since before Christmas. If the track has been regularly driven on – especially by forest trucks – it is very soft and extremely hard work (and that’s just cleaning the shoes afterwards!). However it’s been great to be able to go out whenever I want to - retirement is fun!
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