Sunday, April 21, 2013

Loch Leven

The plans for today had been changed several times so it was news to the walkers that we were travelling to Loch Leven in the minibus. We ususally do a circular but this was a one way walk so Bob and Margaret kindly took their car so that the minibus driver could be driven to the start of the walk to pick up the minibus. Got that?
Anyway, we parked up at Loch Leven Larder and began the walk in the rain. Unfortunately we were very exposed at the start with no trees to protect us from the rain or the wind. But we progressed at a good rate even with wet trousers and cauld knees. Once we reached the path through the woods we were sheltered and dried off pretty quickly. With Carsehall Bog between us and the Loch, we didn't get much sight of the water at this point but we did get fabulous views of the hills which still have little pockets of snow atop. The Bishop Hill was amazing - you can just make it out behind the walkers.
We kept looking for gliders as the Scottish National Gliding Centre is nearby at Portmoak, but a wee glider would have been buffeted around up there today.
Joe spoke to a chap at the beginning of Black Wood. It was he, and presumably a squad,  who created the meandering path through the woods and was able to tell that thousands of people now use this trail for walking and cycling. He is naturally pleased and proud of this achievement and appreciated seeing our group of 15 walkers enjoying our exercise. We passed many walkers and families on their bikes having fun in complete safety which was lovely to see. A little closer to the loch now we were able to see various species of bird life for which the loch is famous. We also made use of the bird hide which had been bequeathed by a gentleman with a love for the outdoors and wildlife. What a wonderful gift.
 We only managed to recognise swans and mallard ducks but this is a fantastic spot to watch birdlife in every season. See RSPB Vane Farm website. We kept looking for red squirrel as we continued along the trail, but no sightings there either. We did see a heron however  which stood long enough to be photographed. Near the end of the walk was a gentle rise which took us to Findatie carpark. We had advised the owners of the cafe of our fondness for scones and so there were plenty to choose from and a lovely cup of coffee as well. 4.5 miles and no peching.  Another successful outing.