19th January 2019

A walk round Fyrish in the snow (7.5 miles)

We have had the mildest winter with temperatures at Christmas getting into double figures. However this has changed and it is now Baltic. There has even been quite a lot of snow.

I have been a bit discontented. School is a frenzy to keep up with changes. I’m too old. There is just so much to do in life.

Anne and Mairi went shopping to Inverness. So, I went for a walk, one I haven’t done in years – right round Fyrish. I left the house just after 9.00.

I went down to Contullich Farm. This is the old farm building which was burned down by some horrible youths a couple of summers ago.

Then I went up the field, there is a track. You get a different view of the house.

The sun was just coming up over the Black Isle.

At the top of the field you cut into this lovely wood.

I used to take Hugh up here as a wee boy. We used to make things out of twigs and leaves. I called them marvelous things when he wanted to know what they were. So he told his mum he had been making ‘mardelous hings’. Just in the trees there is where we made the ‘mardelous hings’.

Once through this wee wood you come to a gate leading up to the tracks that go all around Fyrish.

A horrible sub-station for all the power generated by wind farms has been built. It is pretty awful.

And there is a lot of logging going on.

Once you get away from all that the forest is still lovely.

I kept walking till 10.20 and then stopped for something to eat. No Pepsi Max today, in this cold. I took an ancient thermos flask that only holds one mugful. I bought it in ‘Lennie Wills’ shop in Dornoch almost 46 years ago. It was never the best at keeping things hot as it was so small but my coffee was piping hot. It was actually nice to use it. I probably haven’t used it for almost the 46 years!

The day was getting brighter and I wasn’t feeling cold at all.

An old man drinking from an old cup.

There is something magical about snow.

This is the track going right that takes you by the ‘Big Burn’ to the junction in the track between Meann Chnoc and Fyrish. The road does climb steeply from here.

And once you start to get clear of the trees you see Meann Chnoc. The snow was getting deeper.

I took the track that heads to Cnoc Ceislein, but bore right at the junction to it. I met a younger fellow, his woman and their dog here. They were heading the same direction and were tanking along. I couldn’t keep up, not that I wanted to, but just kept plodding behind them. I couldn’t understand how they were going so fast as she was on the hefty side. After quarter of a mile or so they stopped panting and puffing and had a rest. I kept plodding past and never encountered them again. The tortoise and the hare comes to mind.

The snow had been drifting and it was deeper than my wellies in places.

Cnoc Ceislein, I haven’t been up it in years.

Looking to Fyrish, you can just make out the monument.

The zoom lens makes out the monument.

This looks out to the Cromarty Firth. The plume of smoke is from Invergordon Distillery.

I made a bit of a navigational error missing the correct track as it was covered with the deep snow and also fallen trees. I wasn’t on the right track but used my Garmin Etrex 20 to get me down to the track behind Fyrish.

I went round the other side of Cnoc Duchaire to get home.

Looking down to Ardross. You can just make out the castle.

Zooming in you can see on the left the work being done at Ardross Mains Farm to convert it to a distillery!

Above Baddans and using the zoom lens you can make out the old croft house; I walked to it yesterday afternoon after school.

This track to the left on the way down takes you out to Baddans.

The gate out the forest about a mile from the house. Its down the tarred road all the way to home.

I arrived home around 12.20. I really enjoyed this walk.