|The ruined fortress of Invermark Castle, |
a 16th century outpost against cattle rustlers.
We only made it to the Falls of Unich. There was a fierce headwind. The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) had described the probable experience to be: "Considerable buffeting developing on higher areas and by afternoon, where exposed, any mobility difficult. Severe wind chill."
There was a lot of wind but, perhaps, the most likely cause of our failure to complete the circuit was our faffing around. "Faffing" is a great Cumbrian term for "dithering". It's when you've got important things to do (like get on with a well-planned hill walk) and you get distracted by everything else under the sun. Truthfully, there are often very good reasons here.
In our case, en route to the trailhead, we came upon a very strange animal in a field. Of course we had to stop. It looked like a cow - but it was not the usual colour. I had a suspicion it was "otherworldly". Perhaps from the rumoured "green" moon, that revolves around an earth-like planet just several light years away?
|It stood remarkably still,|
likely hoping we would not notice it.
Did the very peculiar "cow" we had seen come from this craft?
Yes, I think so.
|The "craft" and scorched heather on the Hill of Rowan|
- proof of frequent visitations by extra-terrestrial cows!
|The birds knew too!|
We did eventually arrive at the Invermark trail head, with half the day now behind us. Clearly it was going to be difficult to complete the planned circuit before the sun set behind the mountains.
The hike began very much as a journey through time. Invermark Castle, in the topmost image, was probably built around 1526 to guard the pass between Glen Esk and Deeside. It has long been in ruins, with some of the material being used to build the Loch Lee Parish Church and manse.
Not far along the track from the castle, are the ruins of a late 16th century church. It is believed that a church was first founded here by St. Drostan, one of the twelve companions who sailed with St. Columba from Ireland to Scotland around 563 AD.
|Built in the 1500s, but a place of worship for 1400 years.|
|Joan stands where the chancel would have been positioned.|
|Loch Lee: "A wild, but not large lake." - Queen Victoria.|
|Craig Maskeldie (l) and Bruntwood Craig.|
|A closer look at Bruntwood Craig.|
|And with all this hillwalking...|
simply "shadows" of former selves! :)
As the sun fell lower in the skies, it was clear that it would not be possible to complete the circuit on this day.
|Bridge over the Water of Lee.|
|The Falls of Unich.|
...the perfect place for a late lunch and to simply absorb each moment of time. As always, it was difficult to leave this spot. There was that familiar and delicious sense of solitude. The only sound was the planet itself - the blowing wind and rushing water.
On the return, the cold wind was still blowing, but from behind. We would travel almost all of the anticipated kilometres, but on a much easier route. We would also, thankfully, get back to the car before dark...despite the initial faffing around.
|What had been a fierce headwind,|
was now a tailwind - and very chilly.
There is, indeed, a lot of history...and mystery...in the Angus Glens.
|The sun setting behind Invermark Castle.|
Total km: 14.6
Total ascent : 349 m
Lunch menu by the falls: pita and hummus, apples, and granola bar
Scones with butter and jam: none (again)
Calories burned by Duncan: 772 (Which means we could have had scones with butter and jam!)
Ruins seen: 2 (1 castle and 1 church)
Extraterrestrial "cows" positively identified: 1