RAMBLE REPORTS 2010
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Christmas Lunch at Daviot on Tuesday 14th December
thirty members gathered at ‘The Dairy at Daviot’ for our Christmas
lunch. Welcomed by our host we were directed to the very pleasant
conservatory area. Although a rather limited menu, the food was good
and the service excellent. Doug very generously paid for all our
drinks. Margaret L. had organised a raffle and after our meal the
tickets were drawn and many excellent prizes distributed. The raffle
raised £75. It was a very sociable occasion much enjoyed by
Canal Ramble, Inverness to Clachnaharry
Basin car park was our starting point for the ramble.
for the scooters to be unloaded, our attention was captivated by the
two (perhaps three) otters enjoying a morning romp in the mirror-calm
off along the west bank of the canal, we enjoyed clear views of the
Ord Hill to our right.
Clachnaharry, the wonderful, mild, windless weather enabled us to enjoy
wonderful panorama - the Beauly Firth and the distant mountains to the
The weather was so
several locals and friendly dogs were out enjoying the time of day.
with regret that we prepared for our return to base.
the canal via a lock, we emerged
onto the tow path on the eastern bank of the canal.
detour along a narrow path, we were disappointed to find the gate into
Merkinch Local Nature Reserve unsuitable for our scooters to pass
Turning the scooters
tricky and help
was required by the stronger members to execute an about turn in order
the retreat back onto the tow path.
crossing we were warned that a train was due and the gate would have to
Once we were all safely
track, some of us waited to watch the train passing.
return to Muirtown
park, some of
us drove to The Co-op nearby for refreshments in their café.
concluding - “A good time was had by all”, and a
You to all those who
plan and organise the rambles.
started from Glenmore Visitor Centre with 22 of us heading towards the
Ryvoan and Lochan Uaine, the Green Lochan. After
several days of wet and windy weather the forecast
As we set off it seemed
were going to have
a fine early autumnal day to visit one of the most attractive and
areas of the Cairngorms.
pleasantly surprised by the path which led to the Pass.
had not been there for several years and as
I remembered it the path was rough and stony. It
was now smooth and ideal both for walking and for
As we meandered along I
also that there
seemed to be more vegetation, the pines of the ancient Caledonian
partly obscured by scrub birch which lined the path.
narrowed Miranda, one of the Forest Rangers who accompanied us,
as well as being a drove road for herding cattle to Southern markets,
played an important role in supplying timber to the shipbuilding
Close to where we now
dam would be constructed.
sufficient water had accumulated, the sluice would be opened and young
would float the logs downstream to Loch Morlich. I
envisaged them surfing on rough pine logs
with dire consequences should they slip. The
process was repeated out of Loch Morlich to the Spey
and then on to
Spey Bay to be taken by boat to Aberdeen. No
30-ton lorries in those days!
our sandwiches at the Green Lochan the breeze turned cooler and the
the upper corries became enshrouded in mist. With
spots of rain on the wind we made a quick return to
Centre, not just to escape the weather but to celebrate
tea and cake.
A day early perhaps but
pleasant way to complete a fine ramble.
met briefly at Munro’s Garden centre and then on to the car
pretty church, having past the main entrance to Rosehaugh which would
those that were unable to come would be a good easy walk/scooter on
a day out.
We headed off along a
road to reach the track into the estate.
It was a
good path with the
shelter of trees, and the muddy patch had dried up a great deal so no
‘stuck in the mud’. Along
way an old
house was being renovated which gave us some practise in reversing and
But that obstacle
continued unhindered through woodland on both sides with a gap with
views on the left towards Munlochy and the Cromarty Firth.
reached the site of the old house and
stopped for lunch.
There were some lovely
views even though the weather was cloudy and windy.
gave us some information on the old
house and its history and passed round a book of its story.
The land was acquired by
Mackenzie in the 1660’s but the first substantial house was
in 1790 by
Roderick Mackenzie. This was described as “a modern edifice,
built and commodious, costing
£3000-£4000!” by Rev. J
Smith vicar of
In 1864 the land and
bought by James Fletcher who greatly improved and reclaimed areas
draining Loch Scadden above Avoch an area of 3300 acres.
son James Douglas inherited and employed
Wm.Flockhart to extend the house, he encased it and added many bays to
original, using only the finest materials. It passed to his widow and
died in 1953 it was sold to an insurance co, and the house was
1959, when they sold the contents it was the largest sale ever seen on
A sad end but there is
of buildings on the estate now restored and rented out as holiday lets.
headed back the
same way - an
interesting and enjoyable day.
Trust Canal Cruise 16th
next to the boat and we were met by a very friendly and most helpful
the Seagull Trust.
We were also waved
off like royalty by Margaret L and Elspeth causing a good giggle inside
and maintained a slow pace meandering along the canal taking in the
along the way.
The weather stayed
bright and this made for some stunning reflections on the canal from
surrounding trees and greenery.
and received excellent hospitality from the crew with tea and coffee
more adventurous went to see the wheelhouse in action and the remainder
group just enjoyed the leisurely pace of the cruise.
down the canal for about an hour, passing a variety of boats including
The boat was then
around and we headed back along the same route.
crew handed around some souvenirs that were reasonably priced and many
group purchased a selection of their wares. We were very happy to
was moored we all took part in a group photo for the Seagull Trust as
all travelled from far and wide within the highlands.
then went to the Floral Hall for coffee
and when we arrived it seemed the whole group had the same idea. Every
table was full, the majority of them with
Highland Disabled Ramblers members.
4 August 2010
met at the large and accessible Links Car Park, and started out along
front with glorious
views to the north.
We passed the harbour and crossed the pedestrian bridge over the Nairn
into the Caravan Park which leads to East Beach Car Park.
the path behind the dunes towards Culbin
Sands, which HDR
helped to survey with
one of the Highland Council Rangers on one of our first rambles, in
The sandy path runs
shrubs for the first half of the route and is just wide enough for a
As well as a large
wild flowers, we passed bushes loaded with ripe wild raspberries and
promise of a good blackberry harvest later.
to admire the more open view near to the Ministers Pool, and moved on
Kingsteps Car Park for a picnic lunch; not a good spot for a picnic one
have thought, but it was possible to position ourselves so that we had
lunch we joined the suburban road back to Nairn, passing Meadow Lea and
housing estates and turning right on to a footpath immediately after
Dunbar Golf Club, which led us to the west bank of the river Nairn. We
crossed the river by footbridge,
back at the Links just after 2 pm. The
decision was taken that the vans would leave the car park at 3 pm,
members to enjoy refreshments at the Beach Café, which was
the many families enjoying a day at the seaside.
four members and friends with 9 scooters joined the ramble. We
thank Elspeth for auditing and leading the
ramble, which was planned by Yvonne and Lenny. We
also thank van drivers Martin and Alan and marshals who
road and bridge crossings.
goodwill and dedication helped to make this a successful and varied
very pleasant weather.
– Tuesday 20th
gathering at Beauly Gallery we travelled up Strathfarrar and parked on
Ten scooters, but 21 of
total, then set off in hot sunshine, heading further up the valley road. The
road was fully tarred, wide and
undulating making it very easy going for all. Trees,
moors and mountains surrounded us all the way, with
the river now and then.
lunchtime we had reached the Dam on the River Farrar (although not
seen), and spread out for a well earned rest and picnic.
valley had opened out here with views
towards Loch Beannacharan, and Sgurr na Muice and Beinn na Muice peaks.
dragonflies of this area were amazing, the largest I have seen. However
– the weather deteriorated
quick dash back to the cars was in order. What a disappointing end to a
walk but with tea and cake to look forward to back at the Beauly
always advised to bring sunscreen, hats, waterproofs and midge
protection – on
this ramble we used them all!
thank the Strathfarrar Estate for allowing us access to this lovely
area and to
the two van drivers, Sue and Eddie for all their hard work on the day.
we are at last, my report on a very enjoyable day on yet another
at the S.N.H. Offices beside the old Craig Dunain hospital in
Martin and Eddie doing a van shuttle to bring the scooters to the start.
cars with walkers and helpers turned up on a pleasant Monday at the SNH
park to convoy to the start of the ramble along part of the 'Great Glen
met by GGW ranger
'Bruce' who led us
on a very interesting walk, pointing out the various plants and trees,
reservoirs built by the patients of Craig Dunain back in the early days
1920s, which were used as fire extinguishers.
were brilliant. Seeing the old hospital from a different angle I'm sure
many folks who may have known the beautiful old building which to me
like a Castle built during the 1745 rising.
the path ran
up one steep part, we had to
negotiate a rather tricky turn through a gate that was on a bend on the
needed full power to be used by the various scooters with some tricky
We all managed, what
many wild birds, with a Willow warbler regularly chirping away,
although try as
I might did not see it!
for our 'picnic' on an old drove road, with some lovely trees giving
the slight sun, still hearing the warbler
who must have wondered what we were all doing in
his area. With
thoughts of Rob Roy running
mind, we made our way back to the cars after, yes another great Ramble!
Eighe ramble -
23 June 2010
good turnout for this ramble with all scooters booked and plenty
The Reserve manager Eoghain Maclean met us at the car park and welcomed
the reserve. He led us round the ‘All Abilities
its excellent surface
and gradient, stopping to explain some of the management issues and
highlighting the wildlife around us. Some of us stopped at the
posts’, powered by turning a handle, to hear about the
birds found in the pinewoods.
gained height, we were treated to open views up to Beinn Eighe itself.
stopped for our picnic at an ideal vantage point but could see clouds
above us. After lunch Eoghain
towards Kinlochewe village to complete a circuit back to the car park.
treated to a few showers which did not dampen our enthusiasm for the
chance to look round the Visitor Centre with its excellent displays
heading home. Some folk, I think, stopped at the cafe in Achnasheen for
thanks to Eoghain for his warm welcome, to Margaret L. for arranging
and to Martin and Eddie for driving the vans. Also thanks to our other
Ramble and AGM on 5th
and friends assembled in the car park at Drumnadrochit before driving
up to the
High School to park. Martin led our walk above the village, passing
woods and fields, the grass verges blooming with wild flowers. On
the way he drew our attention to the great
variety of trees, in particular some very large, old conifers. As we
through a residential area, we could admire the well kept gardens of
to Martin for finding yet another good ramble in the Drum area, and for
pointing out many points of interest we would otherwise have missed.
One of the
great benefits of these outings is the conversation, or simply the
enjoyment of the surroundings. Thank you also to Peggie who, with
back at the school, we headed to the Church of Scotland Hall, where we
our lunch. No need to bring cakes here – the wonderful array
home baking was
there again. Many thanks to Maureen and her team.
our Annual General Meeting followed, chaired by Sheelagh. Our president
McGrigor was unable to attend this year due to family commitments.
Margaret A. have stood down from the committee for health reasons. We
both well. Margaret was presented with a photo collage of her HDR
recognition of her excellent service since the very start of HDR. We
were pleased to welcome three new members
to the committee – Janet M., Terry and Don.
discussed finances and fundraising. The meeting agreed to raise the
membership fees to £15 (single) and £20 (family) .
also plenty time to chat and catch up with members’ news.
of Garten – Tuesday 18th
second ramble of the season and it was the second one which provided us
warm sunny day. After meeting up at the new community hall with its
facilities, we went in convoy down the Kinchurdy Road to unload the
Our route took us parallel to the Strathspey Steam Railway line, which
occasionally glimpse through the trees (sadly no trains passed), before
turned right through the forest, following good wide tracks and ended
up on the
banks of Loch Vaa for our picnic.
across the water, the view of the snow-capped Cairngorms was
above the tree-lined far shore of the Loch. It was hard to imagine that
trunk road passed only about 50 yards beyond the far shore. We were
excellent talk on the history of forestry on the Seafield Estate by the
forester, who explained that this area largely escaped the vast timber
harvesting programme of WW2.
good attendance on the ramble, and our thanks go to Susan
the ramble, and to all our volunteer drivers, marshals, and all
It was a great day out, as Wallace and Grommit would say!
certainly had a good start to the HDR Season with the ramble at Brahan
The day started with the meeting of members at the Fraser Auction Mart
at Dingwall and we set off in convoy to the Brahan Estate where the
allocated, and off we all went at a leisurely pace. The sky was blue,
shone and after the terrible winter which we have had it was wonderful
that spring had actually arrived, albeit with a cool breeze. Wildlife
enthusiast among us were treated to
herons, moorhens, coots, swans nesting, a skein of geese overhead, the
a tawny owl, pheasants strutting and a beautiful view of red kites.
arboretum that we were supposed to have negotiated had been so badly
the winter snow as to make the pathway unsuitable for the scooters, so
around another way where Martin pointed out some interesting plants and
We had a short stop by the loch, where we watched the waterfowl and
a strange phenomenon of lots of dead toads, which no-one seemed to be
of the scooters had a bit of a mishap, but the rider, apart from
slight loss of dignity, was none the worse for his spill.
had another short rest for refreshment by the River Conon and those who
packed a lunch ate there, while others had lunch when we returned to
Auction Mart. Altogether a wonderful day was had by all. Roll-on the
– Boat of Garten!.
talk on New Zealand
second winter meeting of
the year on 24th February dawned with blizzard-like conditions. A
number of members had confirmed their
intention to come to the meeting and as the morning went on,
snow ceased so we decided to go ahead as only a few had advised that they were
going to be able to make it.
So a small
number of us gathered at the Mission Room in North
to partake of soup and sandwiches provided by the good ladies of the
lunch Martin showed us his pictures of
his trip to New
and was able to answer our questions about the trees and
was really interesting and the pictures
He concluded the 'film
with those taken at
We will ask Martin to
give the show again as those who could not come missed a treat.
new volunteer Kenny came
and we made him feel welcome.
had provided name badges for every member - a great effort. Thank
Quiz – 20th
was a very good
turnout for this event, the first opportunity many folk had had to get
after the confinements of snow and ice. After an excellent lunch and
chat, we divided into about 6 teams for the quiz. Peggie had prepared a
ranging test of our knowledge, from history and geography to biology
All was taken in a light hearted vein and greatly enjoyed.
thanks to Peggie for her excellent
preparation and organisation of the quiz.
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