This weekend was spent camping with our friends Robbie and Mary in Ballater, which is located in the Cainrgorms national park here in Scotland.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I have not been camping since I slept in a tent with some friends when I was 16, and that was in the height of summer. Let’s just say Scotland at the end of August is slightly chilly. Thank god for thermals and handknits!
Luckily, Robbie and Mary had all the equipment required, so Pete and I basically had to show up and pitch the tent. and we were good to go!
We took the bus out from Aberdeen on Saturday morning, which got me thinking that I really am being a bit lazy living up here! I tend to spend the weekends indoors doing, well – nothing, when I could quite easily hop on a bus and go on a daytrip to somewhere nice instead! Note to self!
Having pitched our tent and gone for some food, we decided to go for a walk somewhere, along one of the paths that was marked out on the tourist map placed in the city. I wanted something fairly easy and non-strenuous, so naturally, we decided to take the “steep and rocky” path up the highest place nearby!
As a bonus, on the way down I found loads and loads of blueberries and lingonberries that were growing wild! Apparently it’s not that common to pick these here, but I certainly enjoyed them! Unfortunately I didn’t have anything I could carry them in, so could only pick and eat a few there and then, but probably just as well – I would have probably still been up there otherwise!
Hiking over and done with, we rewarded ourselves by sitting by our tents, drinking cider and eating
more or less healthy treats, whilst just generally catching up on what’s happened since last time we met and discussing random things. Robbie, for example, does not understand the point of the singer Pitbull, and we discovered Millie (Robbie and Mary’s dog) has a certain fondness for homemade cinnamon swirls.
We finished the evening with an Indian meal that was maybe a bit overpriced, and lacking in service (having to ask for water 5 times was pushing it a bit) but we were all pretty tipsy by then so it didn’t matter. Good times were had.
I found camping ok, maybe a bit on the cold side, but that is just a reminder that we really should have done this earlier in the year! It’s definitely something we want to do again (especially if Robbie and Mary can lend us the gear again) and we are already talking about maybe going on a slightly longer trip to the lake district next year, where we plan to be joined by more friends – I’m looking at you Sarah!
But even if we don’t manage to go camping again this year, I have reminded myself that there really is no reason why I cant get off my backside on a weekend, and take a bus somewhere to explore my surroundings a bit more.
So what did you all get up to this weekend?