Thursday 4th January 2024

Down the Averon River (8.8 miles).

Today was set to be a lovely day for the start of January so Charlie and I decided to go for a walk. Charlie came down to our house for 10.00. Now here was confusion. He had asked, by Text, did I want to go for a walk in the morning or afternoon? I thought this meant he wanted a shortish walk just taking the morning or afternoon. He arrived with food for the day! A bit of poor father-son communication. So I hastily made up a picnic. He kindly gave me a sausage roll and a Mars Bar. We managed to leave about 10.10.

We were wanting to see all the bridges over the Averon that were washed away by the floods on October 31st. We started by heading up the Boath Road.

1 mile up the road above the Fyrish car park we went into the forest just a short distance and had a wee picnic sitting on a fallen tree.

This picture is of rain drops hanging on the birch tree branches. It looked a lot better to the eye than the photo shows.

Looking to Beinn Tharsuinn.

At about 2.2 miles up the road there is a track that cuts down to the Averon and we took it. Down a bit is this deer watch tower. It had this little warning ‘Danger Do Not Climb’ sign which, of course, we ignored.

It was quite a high tower.

And we kept walking, or squelching, down to the Averon. Wellies are fantastic for this time of year.

The writing on that sign is impossible to read in the picture but this fishing beat is called ‘March’. Why?

Further down was this frozen wee loch.

Then you come to a track on the right that would take you past a burned out ruined cottage. We could have come down this way. But, this lovely fields suddenly appear.

A little waterfall on the other side of the Averon.

This is one of the first signs of the flood. I have often had a picnic in this wee hut, but not today!. It has been ripped off its anchors.

Looking back at the fields.

This is the first bridge torn away by the floods. That section should be going over to the concrete base in the river.

That is another section, made of steel, a few hundred yards down river.

And that is the way ahead. We could have kept close to the Averon but that track is almost impassible now, it is so overgrown, so we turned right when we got up here and took the first track to the left. That takes you in the same direction. It is all so beautiful in these woods.

We came back to the track we could have followed and just a little bit on took a sharp left down to the Minister’s fishing beat. There used to be another bridge over the Averon, here.

That is a section of the ex-bridge, again made of steel, washed downstream.

The bridge crossed at this point here and took you down the lovely walkway across the river down to Raven’s Rock. Sadly you can no longer do this. That is the remains of one of the supports for the bridge. I do hope the estate repairs them.

We went into the fishing hut and ate our picnics. It was about 12.20. A picnic is a joy when you are out for a walk.

We then headed down to raven’s Rock. It is a beautiful spot.

The track climbs up from Raven’s Rock and half way up you branch left to take you down to Aggie’s Bridge or the once upon a time Aggie’s Bridge. It is gone. That in the middle of the river is the rock the concrete pillar supporting the bridge was on. It is completely turned over by more than 90°. It must have been terrifying to be here that night. This bridge was made of really substantial universal steel beams. The end of one is showing across the river just to the right of the overturned support. The other can be seen when the river is lower, but not today. It is on this side down from the bridge. So you can’t get across to that nice wee hut. There is a lovely walk on the other side which goes to just below Raven’s Rock.

There is another field in the middle of the forest just here and a wee lonely cottage by itself. I can remember when it was just a ruin.

Looking back to the ex-Aggie’s Bridge.

So we came along to Newbridge and walked up to the top of the main road. There is a hidden path that goes into the forest at the top on the left. It takes you back down to the Averon. It is very steep.

From it you look over to where some people have lived in a yurt for a few years. They seem to have built a large timber house now.

It is weird up here. You can look down on both sides. On one the Averon is flowing in one direction and on the other the opposite. It almost seems impossible. The Averon loops round on itself.

It takes you out to another fishing beat.

But we followed the track down the Averon. That is Highland Cattle in the field across the river.

Here there has been a landslip. It happens quite often at this part when there has been heavy rain.

That rock looks pretty unstable. I hope no one is below it when it starts to go.

Further down the track heads up to an electric substation. Before reaching there we took a wee path through forest. It comes out to this meadow (in summer). This is to be covered by a battery storage station! I could cry. I hate the environmental developers. Here is a bit of Scotland that I have walked on for years and it is to be desecrated. The wee ordinary person has no say. They do consultation but that’s all it is. They never implement the findings of consultations. That is what happened in Scotland with gay marriage, if such a thing exists! I thought by definition marriage was between a man and a woman. The consultation gave returns that were very much not in favour of changing the legislation. But here we are.

The hill showing is Fyrish.

As you go along the track at the edge of the wood you come to a tree with a cross on it. I don’t know why.

At the gate out the wood is where the curling pond once was.

We walked up the fields to get home. Soon they will be ploughed and then you will have to go on the road. But that means Spring is on its way.

Just great to be out for a walk with Charlie.