MY WALK TO THE MALT WHISKY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Who says that we seniors just have to sit at home and do nothing? While in Scotland this summer, I joined my sister's seniors' walking club on a seven mile hike on part of the Speyside Way from Aberlour to Dufftown, the malt whisky capital of Scotland, and indeed the world. The oldest walker was 86! As the walk was a one way affair, a chartered bus picked us up at my old High School in Buckie on the Moray Forth Coast, and we enjoyed a scenic 22 mile ride inland to Aberlour (famous for Walker's Shortbread, as well as for malt whisky.)
Had we had the time and energy to do it, we could have started the Speyside Way walk (one of Scotland's many official long distance hiking or cycling routes) at the route's official beginning (or end depending on your perspective) right there in Buckie ! However, walking 66 miles all the way to Aviemore for a day's outing was out of the question for us!
The bus dropped us off at 11 am in the car park beside the Speyside Way Visitor Centre in Aberlour, and where the famous Mash Tun Pub is located. Here is the group getting ready to set off, with one of our fearless leaders dressed in green leading the way with her walking pole.
The route follows an old railway line, but we walked through a local park before arriving at the start of the trail.
For much of the way, the River Spey,Scotland's fastest flowing river, was never far away.
Because the trail uses an old railway track, we passed many steep embankments like this one.
We also walked through some dark tunnels, and were glad to see the light at the end!
Part of the joy of walking for me, is the fact that I often stumble upon some interesting scenes from the past like this one. Was this an old railway cottage belonging to the stationmaster, or was it a building from which the the signalman did his work? I don't know.
For those walking anywhere on the Speyside Way without guides, the route is well signposted along the way.
And there are many benches like this one for those who wish to stop for a rest or a snack.
These old platforms which would have served a different purpose in days gone by, created the ideal spot for us to stop for lunch, which we all brought with us in our backpacks.
Being the ever curious person that I am, I looked over the side of the bridge while we were stopped for lunch, and saw this amazing larch tree growing from an abutment of the bridge.
As with any walk, we had to have our eyes open for dangers along the way. Some dangers like this one come with warning signs, and it is important to take heed of them.
Others like this mass of stinging nettles depend upon our knowledge of and respect for nature. I harbor many painful memories of falling headfirst into these nasty things when I was a child, so know well always to keep clear of them!
At almost the end our walk we passed the Balvenie Distillery – one of seven in Dufftown. As we locals love to say:
Rome was built on seven hills
Dufftown's built on seven stills
At 2:15 pm we arrived at the train station in Dufftown – the end of our walk for the day, and our rendezvous point for transportation back to Buckie.
This early twentieth century mailbox is just one of the many delights to be seen at the station.
On a certain schedule in the summer, and on certain holidays throughout the year, you can take a train ride for eleven miles to Keith on Scotland's most northern Heritage Railway.
You can also enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Sidings Cafe situated in two former 1950s red Railway Carriages. On another occasion, I did enjoy lunch here, but that is a story for another day!
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Try and get out once a week for a short walk, can be from your office, home or anywhere really and walk for a few blocks or a few minutes looking for things to get shots of.
Try and get a few shots not just one
You can look for anything in general or decide on one subject you want to get shots off.
Try to limit yourself to a set distance or time from the starting location, say 5 Blocks, 5 Minutes walk or whatever and see what you can find in that short distance
make a point of looking around and up and see what you can find to get shots of that otherwise you may miss
Do a post with the shots you get on a Wednesday and tag it with #wednesdaywalk, also if you happen to join it this week please leave a link to your post in a comment on this post and I will try and visit them all.
I am not strict on these rules and hence why they are called guidelines and not rules
While each contests lasts 7 days
On the following days I will announce my personal top 10 and reward every winner equally with 1 SBD. With 10 SBD a day, 7 days a week, this is about 300 SBD per month in total prize money.
People can submit any day they want as the contests are automatically renewed.
Please note that this is all my original work and a similar post can be found here on Weku