They say it’s your birthday

IMG_5650Birthday greetings from Scotland. It’s a wild windy drizzly day today and thank goodness it’s one of the few days on the hike where we had the choice to opt out early. Which we have. Kicking back in our gorgeous b&b with our feet up and some hot packs after a half day walk – positively luxurious. Getting ready for an afternoon whisky and dinner at the Clackann Inn, adding something new to the list of fantastic food we’ve been served so far. 2015 has been pronounced the year of food and drink in Scotland and they have both been superb.

IMG_5614We got through the last two big days – each was 28km of walking – though there’s no way I can say it was easy. The first day in particular we were up on the wild moors, with nothing in sight but grass, hills, rocks, a few sheep, and windfarms. Very dramatic and you’d think it would be easy to see where you’re going – but the waymarks are small brown posts, widely spaced, occasionally knocked over by cows and at times veIMG_5618ry very hard to spot. Navigation is ordered by some system that I haven’t quite got the hang of yet, so there is a bit of wandering around trying to find the way. All good so far, but fingers crossed we never find ourselves in a mist.

However – just when you think it’s all too hard or too cold or too wet and muddy, the sun breaks out and everything changes and the next thing you’re IMG_5624strolling through a glade of oak trees and bluebells and it’s like being in some fabulous English fairy tale, or in Hobbitown. Or you come out next to a loch, or by a beautiful stream, or a stone-walled field full of sheep, or a breathtaking outlook where you can see for miles in every direction. And it’s all fantastic.

I thought the last two days were challenging, but in IMG_3565fact the most challenging days are coming up. Hopefully a half day rest will restore us to full energy and send away those niggling aches and sore bits.

I looked over at Andi as we were walking this morning – she was rugged up against the cold, wearing all her waterproofs, gloves, scarf, beanie, the lot – water IMG_3546dripping off her nose and running down her face. Not a word of complaint. I’m sure she’d rather be somewhere else, but she is her loving, adventurous self, throwing her whole being into whatever she’s doing. No matter how hard the going gets we are good with each other and I’m so appreciative of that. What a gal. What an adventure.

Love Jesse xxx


About Jesse Blackadder

Living at the easternmost tip of Australia on the caldera of an extinct volcano, Jesse Blackadder is a novelist, freelance writer and Doctor of Creative Arts. She is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and very cold places and has published three adult novels and three novels for children.
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13 Responses to They say it’s your birthday

  1. Melissa Godbeer says:

    HEY Jesse are you swinging by Findhorn on your travels?,

  2. James says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!! Photos stunning. I shivered a bit reading your blog, not least from the memory of waking up in Bangalow freezing 2 days ago and going out to find ice – yes, ice! – on the car! xxxx

  3. Sounds so pretty and glad the developers that are messing with some lovely places havent discovered this one yet.

  4. jennifer Regan says:

    Hi Jesse – the trip looks fantastic and I am very inspired to walk Scotland very soon…..enjoy!

  5. Beautiful and wild. I’m loving these tales about your Scottish adventure. Happy Birthday.

  6. madelineshaw says:

    Love the avenue photo! Mx

  7. Thank you for the truly beautiful pics of your walk, Jesse… It really does inspire even those of us previously uninspired (me… :-o), as do your words of gratitude towards your loved one. Your honesty and gratitude are as beautiful as the terrain you pass through, lovely Jesse. Thank you for letting us accompany you on your journey…

    Many blessings for joyous travel to you and Andi. 🙂
    Linnie xxx

  8. Sue Fick says:

    I’m so glad you’re having a good time. I just walked 9ks today and my feet were sore! I’m very impressed by your efforts.

  9. Julie Edwards says:

    Looks amazing , great photos keep them coming and enjoy , stay warm you too xx

  10. Diana Wolfe says:

    Hi Jesse, Happy birthday!. I’m so glad to have found this blog so I can travel with you (from the comfort of my lounge LOL) Happy trails xxx

  11. kmjgardiner says:

    Happy birthday! Looks and sounds amazing. More power to your legs and feet.

  12. Di Jones says:

    The picture of the path by the bluebells looks like a Monet painting. Such an adventure to enjoy.

  13. Downsie says:

    So beautiful…………makes me reflect how different the Australian landscape is…….equally as beautiful but there is something very special that touches you when in Scotland. Must be my Scottish heritage as well. Happy Birthday ! Wonderful travel stories Jesse………feel like I am there.

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