Sunday, April 11, 2010

St Fillans Hike, Purple Dragons + Sun, sun, sun.

Saturday - St Fillans Hike

Al and I woke up yesterday morning to blue skies and decided to abandon decorating and head out for a hike. We drove to St Fillans and did a lovely loop that we have run a couple of times with the club. It is quite a steep climb from the loch shore, but is mostly on good tracks so you can go at a steady plod. When we got out of the car at St Fillans I realised how warm it was - I knew it was dry and sunny but the loch was like glasss and it was summer like weather.

There is a house right next to this view point just above the car park and the views are, as you can see, to die for. Even more envious making is they have this gorgeous deck with a hot tub on it. What I would give to buy that house - beautiful old red brick and that view!

Anyhoo we set off at about 12.30pm and climbed steadily upwards fro about 30 mins when we emerged from the tree line. My stomach was growling loudly so we found a big rock to lean against and ate our picnic lunch. It was so nice to be able to sit and relax and look out at the view with no midges and without having to cower behind a rock to get out of the wind - it was like being abroad and it was just lovely. All last niggling feelings that we should still be decorating evaporated as I let the sun soak into my skin and look over the loch to Ben Vorlich still snow capped. I love Ben Vorlich. There is a good path most of the way up and you run up it at a good speed (well some bits are too steep to run but you can get a good stride on) It is just at the top that there gets a bit more scree and that makes for some fun decending. It is only about 30 mins max from our house and it made for great training for The Ben Nevis Race. It is not as high but replicates some of the scree and definitely the path sections where you can run fast but pounds the legs. The best bit is, that if it is sunny you can come straight off the mountain and wade into the loch to cool yourself down - lush!

Emerging from the tree line.

Ben Vorlich in the distance (It is not as clear as I hoped, but nevermind)

Lazing against a boulder after lunch.

After a lazy lunch in the sun we carried on plodding upwards. I was really slow after lunch and was thinking what the heck is wrong and then realised I needed to take off my long sleeved top and drink water as I plodded up as I was feeling a bit hot and thirsty. T-shirt and 500ml of water later going up was considerably easier but still so warm. It is so rarely so still. I love it when we do have nice weather at this time of year as it can be still without being eaten alive by midges. We reached the saddle and then the path headed steadily down wards to the river. I had remembered the river can be a bit tricky to cross and so had brought my trekking poles for that reason, Boy was I glad - due to recent snow and thus snow melt alot of the stepping stones just weren't useable. We headed upstream a bit to a point where we thought it would be ok. Al went first and just as i was saying that he doesn't have much luck with crossing rivers his feet slipped off either side of the boulder he was on and he went in over his ankles! Woops! Oh how I laughed. Honestly everytime we go trekking he has a river incident. The last one that i did not laugh at until he had gotten over it was on GR5 in France. We had camped on one side of a river and had to cross it in the morning. I can't remember exactly what happened, but I think we needed to throw our bags onto the other side and jump hard to get across. For reasons I will never understand Al decided to throw my bag (no way was I going to get 20kg across the river- strong legs maybe but my arms are just not up to that!) with his bag still on his back. Needless to say in slow mo' he overbalanced and went into the river. To this day I do not know how he did the cat like motion that allowed him to grab back at shore and keep him upright enough to prevent his bag going under. Oh my god. He said my face was a picture of concern and determination not to howl out laughing. To add insult to injury I realised just after we had got over that I had left my glasses at the camp spot and as it was a real push for me to make it across, he went back and got them. My God he is a good hubby! Anyway, by the time he returned he was able to see the funny side and I was able to let out a nervous giggle! I think that set the tone for the day actually because it ended in an awful electrical storm with hail and monsoon type rain. We did not camp that night and booked into a wee hotel we found with rooms in a wee village we had to go through!
Anyway back to yesterday. As my balance isn't the best any more I opted to take my socks and shoes off , roll up my trousers and wade through. I was glad to have my poles to keep me steady, but it was actually really refreshing. My feet dried by simply padding about on the dry rocks and then we were once more on our way.

The walk took a bit longer than we had thought but just as my tum was getting a bit tired I put my support on and it really made a difference. I was beginning to wonder if it did actually do any supporting but it definitely provided the support I needed to let me enjoy the last 30 - 40 mins of the hike. Taking off our lazy lunch and time spent trying to get across the river we were hiking for a good 3 hours. I was well chuffed, but was definitely tired when we got home and was very grateful of Al getting me some dinner.

Another river, but thankfully a bridge crosses this one.

It was a bit more undulating on the way back than I remembered.

Just about to reach the tree line again to drop back down to St Fillans.


Today my friend Emily, her wee 3 yr old Harry and my God son Finlay (6months) came for a visit. It was so lovely to see them and it was fab that it was such a nice day as we could sit out in the garden and watch Harry play with his bucket, spade and watering can set I had got him for his birthday. Emily explained to Harry that I was having a little baby like Finlay and that is why I have a tummy like mummy had. She then asked him if he thought I was going to have a girl or a boy and he thought about this for a while and said I was going to have a dragon!!!!! Ha ha ha!!! She then asked what colour would the dragon be, to which he replied: "purple". Priceless!!! Oh how we laughed.

Exercise Plans

No Pilates today, but I think my 3 hour hike yesterday more than made up for that. I'm heading to mum's gym tomorrow and then Al and I are going for a 2 night stay in the Clacaigh Inn in Glencoe for my Birthday (Tuesday/Wednesday). Here's hoping the good weather continues and we can get out for a couple of hikes.

Right I'm awa' to bed for what I'm sure will be another night of restless sleep and trips to the loo!

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