Our friend had a birthday, a round birthday and being young at heart (and fit), invited a convivial group of people for a gentle hike around Loch Trool . Last time we visited the area was to celebrate his wife’s round birthday, also in October. As we neared the park a light rain began to fall, having driven down in sunshine that seemed just a little unreasonable. But the grey, gun-metal skies were brightened by the fattest, most colourful rainbow I have ever seen.

Gathering in the car park the sun reappeared as we set off in high spirits. October has been dry so the going was good. Birch leaves golden in the afternoon sun, berried bushes shone like jewels. Blackberries asking to be eaten, fat and heavy on the twisted canes. Gradually the groups dispersed as those who like to get round as quickly as the could rushed ahead. For the rest we strolled, taking in the scenery, conversing, stooping to look at bright orange fungi, lush green mosses, stands of pine and mighty oaks. Battles were fought here, (Outlander probably filmed here), countless feet have passed this way. And you really do have to pause to drink in the scenery as the loch stretches in front.

Not a taxing walk, (“my mum could do it” quips my friend), yes, until you get to that last hill before the car park; when the promise of food is so near and yet that hill is so steep – even if it is tarmac by this time! 🙂 “What took you so long?” queries my walking companion’s husband. We look stunned, when did he pass us? Last seen entering the bushes – yes, they are all of that age… So while we had walked and waited and worried, he had passed us miles back. “Men” we both mutter under our breath. Every one back, boots changed and off to the House O Hill  for a birthday feast. What a feast –  Happy Birthday Ian!

How do you like to celebrate significant birthdays?

 

 

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