Sunday, June 27, 2010


If you have no idea how to pronounce the word "bennachie", go ask the Scots. You will be surprized what it sounds like, but then again, every word pronounced in Scotland is a bit different than what I am used to hearing in South Africa.  On Wikipedia it says that it is pronounced as /bɛnəˈxiː/ (ben-ə-khee), or something like that. No matter how it is pronounced, it is probably one of the best spots to view Aberdeenshire from the "air" without having to climb in an aeroplane. The walk to the highest point called Oxen Craig (518m) is a pleasant one which starts off meandering through a bit of forest until you hit the open part with vegetation which reminded me a lot of the fine bush you find on Table Mountain. There are just no cliffs, but this is Scotland and everything seems to be a bit saver here than back home. Even the muggers are absent, but I still felt awkward leaving the car behind.

When we left the starting point it was quite warm, but getting closer to the top it seemed that bad weather was approaching. When we went back again I realized that the "bad weather" was disappearing again. So anyone climbing without taking the necessary jacket or jersey might get a little surprize when they get to the top. Even though it was a bit cloudy the view was still clear enough to get a good impression of what the surrounding area looks like. It is strange, but in South Africa I can easily determine where north and south is, but as soon as I get north of the equator it seems like I lose all my bearings. At the top of Oxen Craig is a sign indicating the directions and some of the more obvious landmarks. I was surprized to see where north was, but fortunately this was not an adventure walk and following the footpath was easy enough to guide us to the top and back. Anyway, my "chum" that was with me knows the paths like the back of his hand and I was never worried that we might get lost. He told me his mother apparently climbs this hill every day, so if we got lost we only had to survive until the next day I guess...and wait for "mom" to come and fetch us.

I again used the opportunity to take some pictures. I am getting good at handling the SLR camera, but I probably now need to work on spotting good subjects to photograph. Milly and Casey, the two dogs that were walking with us seemed to end up in every picture that I took. I don't believe in "photoshopping" my photos, so I basically had to take each picture a couple of times until my "picture spoilers" had disappeared from the scene. But they get so excited being there, they are all over the place...and all over my photos. I cannot really blame them, one tends to get renewed energy when you walk up there. This is experiencing the beauty of Scotland first hand. What a beautiful place.

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