2014 got off to a great start for us with a 3 week holiday to the Western Cape of South Africa. What a fantastic country - dramatic coastlines, crashing surf, beautiful, lush wine regions and wonderful mountains......a great way to spend a birthday - can't wait to return!
So back to the cold winds and rain of a Scottish February, and a whole heap of admin to do, though I've managed a couple of days on the hills since my return.
The weather held perfectly for a quick tramp to the snowy summit of Beinn Ime with blue sky and sunshine all the way. Lots of people about, enjoying a respite from the high winds that have become a feature of this month's weather.
A few days later I took myself down to Loch Trool in Galloway for a walk on Lamachan Hill - pleasant but very wet underfoot. Tortuous going on the lower slopes with a biting wind ripping across the summit plateau. In contrast to the Arrochar Alps, I met nothing or no-one except a startled hind.
I was meant to be back in Galloway on Saturday with a group from Glasgow Life but such was the forecast that we headed instead to the Ochils for a circuit of Ben Cleuch above Tillicoultry. A good choice as it turned out, for we had a pleasant few hours on the hill and returned home dry and only mildly windswept!-