Free at last

 I guess the title sounds overly dramatic, but – trust me – in the context of the last year it does reflect my feelings when I walked through the forest of Glen Tanar. 

The walk, about 4-hour long, at various stages resembled many walks I’d done in Moray. There was a stretch along the edge of a meadow, a forest track (for most the walk) and some tackling of a rough path through heather, grass and soft ground. Outwardly there was nothing new. 

However, having lived for a year (nearly to the date) in Aberdeen I genuinely enjoyed the peace and quietness of the place, free from the constant noise of the road and air traffic, and people screaming and shouting in the streets. I genuinely enjoyed the fresh air, the smell of pine resin, moss and whatever else that makes up the smell of the forest, instead of the stale smell of vehicles’ exhausts. I genuinely enjoyed the freshness of the colours around me, so vibrant in contrast with the dirty grey of the city. Of course, the splendid weather greatly enhanced this whole experience. 

Pole the Dog seemed to share my feelings. Approaching his 12th year, he often looks a bit tired after a relatively short walk in the city. Here he regained the spring in his legs and for most of the walk, he briskly trudged a few metres ahead of me, checking often if I followed his lead. No dallying behind me, like what was mostly the case in the city. 

It was really good to have a proper walk on a day off far from the hubbub of the city. There was only one downside to this escapade: a 2-hour long round trip by car. Well, as the old saying goes: no pain, no gain. 

Walk details: connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4521832115