OK so we're getting really fancy now with this blog. The map above shows where Gail and I went exploring this afternoon. Somewhere new, along Cowie Water, just a couple of miles inland from Stonehaven, and it turned out to be the nicest possible walk. Let me tell you about some of the highlights (numbers as marked on the map).
1. A really good boggy stretch near the start. Gail skirted around the edge but I galloped straight through the best bit. Unlike owners of Chelsea tractors, we have no need for spray on mud round here.
2. At the bottom of the valley, in the woods, down by the stream, sheltered from the strong wind, the path covered in rotting leaves - so nice and soft on the paws. We walked besides clear water tumbling fast over rocks, with plenty of easy access points for a paddle and a refreshing drink.
3. Up a bit and a lovely view over the gentle Mearns landscape. All rusty browns and greens, the colours subdued in the northern winter half-light. The dark mass of Fetteresso Forest glowered in the distance.
4. An unexpected encounter with some pigs. One was pale, the other two nearly black, all three had surprisingly furry coats, like aspiring Highland 'coos'. A bit it stupid though, pigs, they all came running up to the fence and seemed to think I'd be able to understand the ugly honking sounds they made. I just stood there and humoured them.
5. Well OK this bit didn't count as a highlight for me. But Gail seems to think it a good thing if she gets to dunk me in some freezing cold stream at the end of a walk and wash the muck off my underside before I'm put back in the car.
P.S. In my opinion it's a shame I'm never allowed back home all muddy. My street cred round Devanha Gardens would surely go up a notch or two if people could see that I'm not a 'townie' all the time!