What a bloody good day. An absolutely excellent day. I went hiking up to a shieling searching for rock carvings. Whilst cataloguing some other carvings the other day, at the bottom of a freezing, sunless valley I kept gazing up glumly to see this shieling bathed in gorgeous sunshine while I was freezing my rocks off in a windy gully. That, I thought, that is where I’ll find carvings. So basically today I went up to find a carving or carvings and hopefully one or two which lined up exactly on the rock below but I wasn’t quite prepared for the variety of carvings there. It was such a good day I even found the carving I was looking for, perfectly aligned, plus a whole lot of other strange stuff too (which will obviously get a write up in my rock-carving blog).
Some days start off badly and others like today, excellently. The dog jumped into the boot without me having to lift her in, not even a mini fart escaped her hairy cheeks for the whole trip, the kids went off to school without a hitch so that by 8.50 I was already leaving the car behind me and hiking up the track.
As I crossed the river where they’re shoring up the banks with huge excavators and thousands of tons of rock and even more of cement probably the construction workers even waved and/or said hello and stopped rolling lorry-sized boulders about so I could pass. Then the miserable woman with the goats wasn’t about yet and her dogs though one was unleashed, just gave a cursory gruff woof or two, or three as we passed. From then on, as usual, it was just me and the dog and a couple of chamois, a roe deer and birds a various. Wilda was even happier and got a feed off a dead red deer stag. She came out (literally) looking like something out of discovery channel. It was a bit smelly and a way off the path so didn’t investigate but I imagine a hunter missed the mark perhaps.
Despite a summer of no hiking, and no serious barefoot, I thought I’d give it a go today. I must say, the path which winds up to the shieling through rhododendrons and stunted alder has some amazing views and a weird atmosphere to it but the ground was like vertical tundra, frozen solid for most of the way so me ikkle tootsies got a bit chilly and slippery so apart from a wee bit didn’t try coming down barefoot.The shieling too is really odd, it looks like it should be lower down, step through the houses and onto a bus sort of odd. Obviously it is well used in the summer and a couple of the houses are well done up and habitable. Goat droppings everywhere and carvings dotted here and there amongst the houses. Just through a gap between two houses and you come out onto a most inspiring expanse of flat rock overlooking the valley below. Sitting there gazing at the view it was very obviously very quiet. Something we’re no longer really used to , even where we live there’s still background noise of some sort but there total, ear smashing silence. Wonderful.