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Pub Lunch & Culbin Forest Wok
Sun 5th Jan 2014
organised by Highland Scotland

Car Count : 6
[ show pre-run info ]




Sunday 5th January 2014

The day broke with full blue sky and sunshine splitting the slabs - well almost!  Frankie and I were up early, copies of the 2014 Calendar printed out and the Ipad with Steve's photos from Thailand laid out ready to go.

We jumped in the car and headed off for the rendezvous with gallons of time to spare. We even stopped off to buy some shortbread.  Just about to arrive at DFS when all hell broke loose!  "I've forgotten my ring" yells Frankie.  Well you can't have a young lady running around Culbin Forest half naked, at least not before the watershed anyway.  So a quick u-turn and back to Feabuie. 

Needless to say we were late - and nobody is ever going to believe otherwise. But once I get my wifi camera sorted out there will be proof!

At the DFS carpark we encountered our first surprise of the day, and what a great surprise it was too.  Wendy had added "two persons" to the attendees list and we hadn't given it a lot of thought.  It turned out to be the Hi-5s firstfoots - Richard and Maureen all the way up from Grampian!

Hugs and kisses exchanged and off we sprinted to the East (no, not North Richard) towards Culbin where we expected the Als and Phil to be waiting patiently for us.

We drove into the carpark with no-one in sight.  Surely I hadn't given them the wrong instructions?  Frankie was just dialing their number on the mobile when into the carpark they sauntered - 15 minutes late!

More hugs and kisses all round then off we set on our 1.5 mile hike through the forest towards the sea.  Some of the party getting slightly nervous as we left the signposted pathways and headed off-road down narrower and narrower tracks which eventually became no more than a barely discernable trail through the heather..  The forest was in all it's splendour.  No wind and the sunshine filtering through the canopy.  Fortunately no screaming kids running loose to disturb the beautiful silence.

Just short of the beach we came across our warm-up for "Hill 99".  You could tell that some of us, and me in particular, were suffering from over indulgence on the turkey stakes!  "Hill No5" was no more than a bit of a mole hill really but the sweat was starting to weep by the time we got to the top.  Unfortunately Wendy gave up at the halfway stage and ended up crawling to the top.  The ever gallant gents rushed to her aid as can be seen from the photos!

After about a 40 minute walk we arrived by the shore.  Yet another spectacular view of the beautiful country we are fortunate enough to call home (or we will be after September).

A brief stop for a photoshoot and to catch our breath and off we go again this time heading back west along the shore line for about half a mile before taking one of the (too) many forest tracks heading straight towards our ultimate destination - the terrifying ascent of "Hill 99"!

This really sorted out the men from the boys - with some of us taking the longer but less direct route to the top.  Most went for the direct ascent to the top of the hill.  From here there is a further 60 foot high observation platform which gives incredible views for as far as you could hope to see.  Everyone made it to the top although there was a bit of wheezing going on once we got there. Time for another photostop and a bit more time to take in the stunning panorama all round.  Quite a trek to get here but one which I hope everyone agrees was worth the effort.

Now by this time on a normal run we would probably have stopped at least twice for coffee and bacon butties.  This was where Frankie and I presented the second surprise of the day - the rucksack which I had been lugging all the way from the carpark didn't contain the climbing ropes and crampons after all!  When the crew got back down onto terra firma they found several flasks of coffee / tea, crisps and biscuits - but sorry no bacon butties!

Fed and watered we decided that we just about had enough time to get back to the cars and arrive at the Newton on time for a change.  Wrong again.  Frankie and I had done a dry run of most of the route a few days earlier.  The only bit we hadn't walked was the final half mile or so back to the carpark.  Well guess what?  This is where we took a wrong turn and ended up on a path leading away from where we were heading.  Oh well - only an extra half mile to walk back!

We arrived back at the carpark just about the time we were supposed to arrive at the Newton - hopefully they know us better by now than to expect us to turn up on time!?!?  Luckily there was no-one between the pathway and the ladies toilets - they would have been killed in the stampede!

We arrived at the Newton to be met by Ali, minus Mandy, who was joining us for lunch and the final discussions about our 2014 programme of events.  This was when the third surprise of the day dawned - Frankie & Brian,(well more Brian than Frankie - well actually Frankie is taking none of the blame whatsoever), anyway, the copies of the calendar, the Ipad and the last minutes had been left on the breakfast bar back at home.  Thanks be that we have Muriel to keep us right with a spare copy to hand!!

Lunch was duly ordered and arrived somewhere around September - Wendy's haddock took at least until mid October to finish but we managed to get to the end of the year with what look like another very interesting and exciting series of events on the cards for the Hi-5s in 2014. We even managed to get the date, venue and menu sorted out for our Xmas bash 2014 - and rooms provisionally booked - names on a postcard asap please.

Having spent the evening writing this lot out whilst Frankie uploaded the day's photos, we've decided it's time to head off to bed as we have our first day back at the coalface in the morning.  The remainder of the 2014 events will be posted on the website in the next week or so.

Thanks again to everyone who made the effort to turn up.  Frankie and I really enjoyed our first run out of 2014 - as always great company and a lot of fun.  And of course a very special thank you to Richard and Maureen for taking the trouble to travel up to join us - and for taking all the banter from the Hi-5s!

See you all soon - Next outing is Rollerbowl on Saturday 18th January - get your names down on the list NOW!

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Your Comments
5th Jan 2014 21:44 :: Frankie
A great first run out for the year. Tops down and more fresh air than you could poke a stick at! Great company as always, added to by a surprise visit from Richard and Mo from Grampian.

Brian's just about recovered from carting the coffee shop all round Culbin :-)

5th Jan 2014 22:54 :: Brian - part of FAB
Sorry guys just hit the save button and found out how much waffle I'd just written....anyone else want to offer to do it in fewer words?????

6th Jan 2014 09:35 :: wendy
Great day guys really enjoyed it, no Brian you done a good job on the report, by the way I used to have a girl work for me who was always late but I think yours and Frankie's excuses' are better see you at the rollerbowl 

6th Jan 2014 12:32 :: Richard
Happy New Year Hi-5s...what a fantastic day and warm welcome form our cousins in the north as always...well done Brian on the teas and coffees and a FAB report covering the day's adventures...hope to see you all again soon

6th Jan 2014 16:24 :: Liathach
Sand is exhausting to walk on!  Well done for even trying to walk uphill in it.

6th Jan 2014 21:25 :: Douglas & Muriel
I somehow doubt that the reduced carbohydrate plan will last but what a fine start to 2014. Well done all it was great. PS That\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s not a report Brian, it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s a book!

6th Jan 2014 23:13 :: John Grisham
You think that is a book?????

Now it's a book with pictures!!!!

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