Yesterday I set off for one of my favourite Scottish walks – an 8-mile circuit of Lock Muick, near Ballater in Aberdeenshire. This grand loch is part of the Balmoral Estate and is located at the foot of Lochnagar, one of Scotland’s finest mountains and the inspiration for Prince Charles’s children’s book ‘The Old Man of Lochnagar’. I’ve scaled this mountain a few times and it is quite spectacular, popular with both hikers and rock climbers.
My trek around the loch involved both business and pleasure as I finally got round to the serious task of breaking in my gorgeous new purple boots. Since I purchased them a few weeks ago, I have gazed on them admiringly, as more glamorous women would on their Jimmy Choos. They have been fondled and photographed but, until yesterday, their action had been confined to my shag pile. However, my old boots are now losing the will to walk – bits are falling off and the soles are worn down – so the new ones had to be put to the test before I tackle the West Highland Way Challenge for Breakthrough Breast Cancer next month. So it was with some intrepidation that I laced up for the walk – partly because breaking in new boots can lead to that dreaded affliction, sair feet, but also because I feared they might get dirty.
The Loch Muick circuit takes in some fine views and a variety of wildlife can be found there, including red squirrels, red deer, eagles, bats, oyster catchers, salmon and trout. As I bent down to adjust my laces, I saw some tadpoles.
So how did my new boots shape up? Result! They are as comfy as they are colourful and, as luck would have it, the ‘bog factor’ was low so they remain fairly pristine….for now.
If you would like to donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Wendy-Smith2015/
For more information on The Challenge visit http://www.breakthrough.org.uk/support-us/find-event/west-highland-way-challenge