Nigg, Tollohill and Dee

From Friday afternoon the forecast showed a rare full 3 days of sun ahead; time to get in the saddle and reblance my recent run/hike/bike ratio. Recent fb shots of dolphins back at the harbour, and the start of the Nigg Bay industrial encroachment marking the beginning of the end for the bay, tilt me South.

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Don’t see an dolphins, but plenty boats. I’ll need to have a whirl on one of the harbour tours one day. It’d be pretty good if I was one of the lucky ones that have the dolphins swimming alongside

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Eider enjoying the sun

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Serene, but out of shot the Saturday swarm is enjoying the beach, the first ‘tap-aff’ of the year is spotted, the common pink urban whale

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I hear noises of a dolphin watching building being built in Greyhope bay, anything that encourages an appreciation of nature has to be good, hopefully goes ahead

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Over the golf course I can see paragliders hanging in the coastal breeze. I wonder if they’re putting off a putt or two

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Fore!

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It’s quite mesmerising the silent ease with which they hang in the blue sky. A video captures it better

You’d have to be confident in your stringy manipulations not to get caught in the cables and towers here

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Onwards

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Jack in the hedge beginning to sprout, I’ll need to find more locations this year to pick some

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Climbing up Kincorth Hill

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By crossing into a field you can get a good alignment of these. The exact alignment as it turns out, requires leaning through a bush if one doesn’t want to enter a field of cows. Dog walkers on the hill must wonder what type of crazyness I’m up to

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Entering Tollohill looking back

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Lots of shade within

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It’d be great to swoop through these rocky alcoves but too busy today

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I do find a few trialy climbs out of steep pits that then teeter on the edge of pools

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Sticking to the regular trails (seems like there’s a few new paths being tyred through the undergrowth here and there) I find the rocks below the Prince Albert monument

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After advising a few lost walkers which way to the car park, time for a seat and a snack

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Quick pop in past one of the pools

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A wee tunnel through a rock

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Trying to frame this I climb up a tree to get the alignment, a bit wobbly but a reasonable effort

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The fastest part of the day’s ride is always the descent back down off Tollohill, always glad of disks at the bottom. Takes a minute to suffer the frantic Saturday traffic then back along the Dee

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Apparently there used to be a mill/ factory right on the riverside back in the old days. At this time of the year can get a glimpse before they’re reburied under foliage

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Beside Inchgarth the air is thick with scent from these blossoms

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Back into the leafy suburbs of the West end

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Heading back along Craigton road stop for a nosey at an old ruin

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A trail heads into some trees and fields, deer stir amongst the grass

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A dog off the lead scatters them

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In the trees here more ruins

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There’s quite a lot of wall whether a large steading or walled garden unknown

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Gnarled tree lined lane heading East

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Trees fight old walls for supremacy of the wasteland

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In half a mind to visit Walker dam before sunset, hoping to catch a glimpse of it’s current wildlife superstar before it migrates, I get sidetracked. The campus of The James Hutton institute (formerly Macaulay) has few interesting bots n bobs. An old dovecot

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And a deep pool

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Guarded by some unusual trees, remnants of Craigiebuckler house estate arboretum from the 1800s (this one’s a Camperdown Elm)

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A shufty on google finds this informative brochure http://www.hutton.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/Hutton-Craigiebuckler-arboretum-guide.pdf .

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With the light fading I sprint onwards one final stop at Walker dam.. Success; albeit quite hard to see now the sun’s setting. I’ve been past here often, but my first sighting of the harlequin duck that’s been in this area for a few years, when not abroad. With Johnston gardens recent draining, this has been it’s preferred haunt. Bird watchers over in Norway have seen the same bird over there, it’s expected to migrate in the next month. It’s an amazingly pretty and colourful beasty

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There’s an amazing sunset fading but in the city hard to get a clear skyline, but get a glimpse across Hazlehead park

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On the other side a chipper, with a lock-up-able iron railing, result, so fish supper it is. The box doesn’t fit in my minimalist salomon  rucksack, but fortunately can stash it under my shell – works great as a glowing warm stash against the chilly night breeze

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