Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Well Well Well

As the sun was beating down last Wednesday and Mrs Wife's parents were visiting Dungroanin' for the first time, it seemed like a good idea to take a walk up Glenesk to the Queen's Well.

It was a wonderful drive up the Glen, where my family lived for five of my teenage years, with the unseasonably warm sunshine allowing the scenery to look its best.

Upon arrival at Invermark, at the top of Glenesk, we decided to head straight for the Queen's Well, which is roughly 2.5 miles from the car park.

The only problem was that I was a tad hazy on the direction to take, as I hadn't visited the well since I was at primary school, and that wasn't yesterday.

So, our little party, accompanied by the in-laws' Scotty dog Islay, set out past Invermark Castle. Which, after five minutes of walking, I was fairly sure was the wrong path. Nevertheless, we kept on going, eventually arriving at the head of Loch Lee with its now dilapidated cemetery.

Having caught our breath and taken in the view, we returned to Invermark, having taken around an hour for the round trip.

Then, having found the correct path towards the Queen's Well, we set off again.

They say that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun - well, we're all Scottish, but we certainly felt the heat as we continued ever onwards towards the Queen's Well - never quite sure that we were on the right road this second time around, as you can't see the well until you are less than half a mile from it.

But eventually, hot and weary, we reached our goal. The Queen's Well was built to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria in 1861, the year of Prince Albert's death. Apparently the Queen stopped at the well for a drink, which she reportedly found "most refreshing", and a 6m high stone crown was erected in her honour.

So, after spending about 10 minutes taking photos of the well, we headed back to the car, having hiked 7 miles in the baking heat.

Which I think more than compensates for the fact that I didn't play football at all last week.

As you can see from the photograph on the right, neither me nor Mrs Wife died during the lengthy walk - in fact, I would say that we look quite perky for having undertaken such a lengthy walk in the sun.

Islay struggled a bit more though - it must be tough being a foot high and having a thick black coat in that heat.


Erica said...

Both of you are soooo adorably cute, and look about like you're 17 years-old.

Groanin' Jock said...

I'm willing to accept the adorably cute part, but unfortunately it's a decade since Mrs Wife and I were both 17.

Anonymous said...

... great photos, man..... I've been in that exact spot about fifty times!..

... and you did good with the Wifey!.... she's a cutie.....


Groanin' Jock said...

You should know as well as anyone Eric that Scottish women are the cutest.

BobG said...

Interesting looking place.

Ralphd00d said...

Here's a strange question, considering I have never been to Scotland ... was the water still drinkable? I mean, heck, yer all hot from the walk, some damn cool water would have done just fine about that time...

Chickie Carmarthen said...

Dang GJ, you're just a young pup!

Mirk said...

Peewee peewee... ah the call of the hills.

You both look remarkably fresh after all that walking didn't even break into a sweet... a glow in the case of Mrs Groanin.

I hope you remained sheep tic free after being out in the wilds. As I predicted with the mild winter the frost has not killed them off with their nasty Lyme's disease. Our dog has had three in the past week thankfully we have not acquired any while walking the hills but we always check!!

Groanin' Jock said...

Bob - Yeah, it was a good walk. The Queen's Well is at the bottom of Mount Keen, the only Munro in Angus (a Munro is a Scottish mountain over 3,000ft tall) and on a lengthy footpath to Banchory, so we only really scratched the surface of the walk.

Ralph - The water itself looked clear and fresh, but there was some suspicious looking green stuff growing around the edges of the well, so we passed on the drink.

Chickie - Nah, that's just my youthful good looks shining through....

Mirk - After a couple of weeks of intense football playing, my fitness is steadily improving, hence me looking fit as a fiddle in the photo. We didn't attract any tics, I don't think Islay did either, but she has already had two this year. Again, it must suck being a foot high and covered in thick black hair.