Monday, 1 June 2009

Glen Derry Redux

It was all a bit last minute but, nearly a year to the day since the last time, me and The Boy headed to Braemar for a wee overnighter. We stopped off at Braemar Mountain Sports, stocked up on Honey Stingers and hit the road again. It's a nice wee drive up the glen wi' some splendid views.

Passing the Aktomobile at Inverey, we turned into the Linn o' Dee car park in no time at all. Packs on, it was a long, hot walk up to Derry Lodge but we passed the time talking about Geography no less :o)

There were a few folk about but we'd got the Ignorant Bastards out the way less than 10 minutes from the car park and everybody else was all happy and smiley.

I counted 11 tents dotted about the lodge but our pitch from last year was free so we bagged it again.

Tea, brews, banter and a wander up to the wee metal bridge followed. We hung about there for a bit and then walked back down on the opposite side of the river, spotting a deer, the only one we saw the whole trip.

It was all very relaxing until The Boy turned his ankle less than 20 feet from the tents. A short period of parental panic followed. I was running thru' various scenarios including how to explain to the MRT why it was that my child was wearing glorified trainers out here in the wilderness. Happily, a platy of cold water wrapped round it seemed to work and the swelling wisnae too bad.

We turned in late and slept late. No rush. Breakfast was taken on the riverbank, in warm sunshine. Magic :o)

The walk back was a tad on the hot side to say the least but it was enjoyable in a slightly masochistic way. Sad to say, it was way too hot for me to even consider a burger from The Hungry Highlander but a can of cold Irn Bru and some of The Boy's Chips'n'cheese hit the spot.

We were home less than 2 hours later and my beloved, bless her, had organised a wee barbie for our homecoming. What a crackin' weekend :o)


Martin Rye said...

Good stuff. Looks like the weather got better once I left Scotland. Glad you had the sun.

AktoMan said...

I hope the Lad's leg is better, and that it didn't spoil his enjoyment. It really was a good weekend.

Big Kev said...

@Martin - Aye, the good weather never goes amiss. It's a shame you only missed it by a matter of days.

@Aktodude - he was a bit sore but had a good time regardless. Never complained once even tho' he must've been hurting on the walk back to the car. The thought of the chippie kept him going :o)

scott said...

You should be adding "Lucky Bastards" to your tag cloud, never mind ignorant ones, what with the weather you got.


Looks like a proper camping trip.

And three cheers for the restorative powers of chips and cheese!

Joe Newton said...

Looks like a nice night away BG.

I often worry about turning my ankle in plimsolls while my Norwegian friends laugh at me in their sturdy boots but so far it's been a lot of Norwegians complaining about hot/heavy feet while I gambol along!

Big Kev said...

@Scott - Just for you :o)
Glen Derry's just chock full of nice wee spots to put up a tent, The Boy loves it. A few families around as well which was good to see. That was my first encounter with chips'n'cheese btw. I was more than a wee bit impressed :o)

@Holdfast - I gave him the choice of boots or the Terroc 330's and he went for the "trainers". He liked them a lot despite the wee slip :o) He's fine now btw.

scott said...

Lol - hopefully yon new category will see plenty more entries during the summer.

The Lade Inn at Kilmahog just outside Callander does good chips & cheese as well. And they let dugs in the bar. And there's a real ale shop next door.

Just thought I'd spread the word!


PTC said...


Tha ankle turing bit brings back too many memories though. It's like breaking your pinky, enough to bring a grown man to tears.

Gordon Mackay said...

Hey there! Loving your blog!

The area around Braemar is lovely. I've been down there twice, unfortunately devoid of a tent :( (the Callater Lodge is very nice too).

We went down to Glen Loth camping a couple of weeks ago, being from Caithness it's a little bit down the road, just past Helmsdale... a lovely place on an unmaintained (but alright) road that goes to Kildonan... I think the glen has been uninhabited since the Highland Clearances.

After reading your blog for the past week I can't wait to get out again!

Big Kev said...

Hey Gordon. Welcome & thanks for the kind words :o)

Aye, Braemar's a fair hike from where you are. It's well worth your while bringing a tent next time.

I confess I had to Google Glen Loth. My knowledge of the far North is woeful :o(

Check out the links to other blogs and the links therein. There are loads of great ones out there and they're a friendly and knowledgeable bunch :o)

Gordon Mackay said...

Hi Kev. You're welcome.

Definitely will be taking a tent next time. The g/f and I have been building up a fair ole stockpile of kit over the past few months... and are constantly looking for places to go now; although there are plenty of places up here, Royal Deeside looks particularly appealing!

I only heard of Glen Loth a couple of months ago, and I've lived up here all my life, it, like most nice spots in Scotland are places that on the route to a Tesco or Asda and therefore are only visited by walkers, deer stalkers and lost people :D

I'll have a look at those other blogs in the time when writing PHP becomes a PITA.

Thanks again!

Andrew stevens said...

Hi Big Kev,

My names Andrew Stevens and I'm a 3rd year student at Northumbria University. I travelled up to Glen Derry in early July, weather was beautiful also.

I'm carrying my dissertation out on the Derry Burn and the change in suspended sediemtn yields as i move down river. i was wondering if you would be able to help me?

When i was in the upland catchment of the Derry Burn i noticed some new forestry practices had been carried out, i say new although i don't have a clue how long they have been there. do you know anything about the forestry practices? such as how long they have been there?

I'm heading back up to the glen Derry in late January 2010 to carry out some work on the river at higher flow (hopefully).

Do you know how to get in touch with the park ranger? i've been looking into it and i'm not sure if the ranger is commissioned by the national park or it is publically funded, the information i've found seems a bit sketchy for this area of the Cairngorms.

i'll look forward to your reply.

Andrew Stevens