On Wednesday we got up bright and early, Katherine put on her suncream (she burns very easily and so wasn’t taking any chances) and we all got sprayed with our tick repellent (not fun, that stuff smells!) and then off we set on an adventure! This time we headed to one of our favourite places, the beautiful Loch Muick near Ballater in Aberdeenshire which has a circular path right around the loch. The drive up there was pretty good too with buzzards, kestrels a hen harrier and a hare all being spotted on the way!
The car park at the loch was surprisingly busy but it is a big place and we guessed many people there were heading up Lochnagar as there didn’t seem to be enough people going around the loch for the number of cars there in the car park! They have a toilet area for us dogs to use too at the top of the car park, it’s handy as there are no bins there at all as it is well out of the way, it is a take your rubbish home with you place! And fortunately most people do take their rubbish home with them which is nice as litter ruins many beautiful places. Katherine has another little trick though, she has a special little bag that goes on our walking belt for putting poop in so it doesn’t really matter when we go for walks where there are no poop bins! As long as we behaved ourselves we were allowed to stay off the lead so we got to run backwards and forwards loads of times! The rule was we had to stay on the path though with the water so close that wasn’t easy as we kept following other paths down to the water’s edge! But we WERE on a path...just not the one Katherine wanted us on! Our route took us first along the shadowy side of the loch where it was still pretty icy. The sun hadn’t reached that part to warm it up, though there were still some sunny bits where we couldn’t resist posing for a few photos with the snowy mountain tops in the background!
Okay, so we were bribed to stay still for these photos with some very nice K9 freeze-dried lamb treats, first time we have tried them and they are very nice! They had to be for us to stand on this rock to get our photo taken as we were very keen to get to the other end of the loch!
After getting a few photos taken we continued on along the path and came across the remains of an avalanche!
It was partway across the path and still pretty solid so it will be a while before all that frozen snow melts away! But it was no real barrier and other walkers had already trodden a nice path around the avalanche. We knew that there had been avalanches there but hadn’t really thought we’d find the remains of one on the path! Wouldn’t have liked to have been in the path of that!
We got more excited the further along the path we got and in the end we ran ahead leaving Katherine far behind us because at the far end of Loch Muick is a beach! Yup, a nice sandy beach!
And where there is a beach there is opportunity for SWIMMING! Though swimming was delayed at first as one of us (Millie) decided to be silly and go back for Katherine who was taking forever, but she went the wrong way and started bounding up the hillside! She ended up very confused and a little bit lost, and when she tried to make her way back down she fell in a ditch but eventually she rejoined us looking very happy to have found us again!
Once she was back, we could get on with our swimming in the clear blue waters of the Loch! We had two toys with us – the Tumble Bumper and the Heli-Flight as we get a toy each to play with. It was great fun playing in the water and chasing our toys, though we both preferred the tumble bumper as it was much easier to see in the water than the heli-flight. But a toy in the water is a toy to fetch so we each played with our toys and then we swapped round so we both had a go with both of the toys.
We didn't want to leave the beach and stop swimming, but eventually we had to continue on our way around the Loch. This time though we were on the sunny side, planned that way as it meant we could dry off in the sunshine after our swim. There were others enjoying the warm sunshine on this side of the Loch too, some little common lizards!
They will have recently come out of their winter hibernation and we spotted several of them basking in the sunshine, our first Scottish reptile sightings this year! Hopefully they won't be the last though! We're looking forward to going out trying to spot the other two reptiles native to our local area...
Millie, Fly and Katherine T x
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