I mentioned yesterday that Jonathan’s friend Ryan bought a Land Rover Defender this weekend. The car he found was located in Newcastle England, so it was quite the road trip to pick it up. Jonathan and Luke decided to go along for the ride, which meant Jillian, Debbie and I were left without husbands for the day. What are a group of 3 housewives to do with a Saturday all to themselves? Get facials? Go shopping? Have a Gilmore Girls marathon? Play mahjong for 8 hours straight? Nope; we decided instead to hike 9 miles.
Since most of our hiking excursions take place west of Aberdeen, we were in the mood for something different and headed instead to the northeast for a
coastal hike. Yes, northern Scotland is full of photogenic hills which offer
breathtaking views, but the coast isn’t exactly lacking in the beauty
We decided on the Forvie Sands trail which is quite a trek
through grassy sand dunes, golden beaches, and coastal cliffs. Add in a few
seal sightings and it was quite a lovely field trip. Since Jillian had walked
this path before, she was our trusty navigator.
We started our hike at a visitor
center, hoping to get a potty break before starting our walk. No luck however,
since in winter, the Visitor center is closed on the weekends. Why it would be
open during the week and closed on the weekends is a bit of a mystery to me,
but I digress... (We are here. This is Britain.)
learned our lesson in the unavailable bathroom department, so we go on hikes
fully equipped to use the open air bathroom that mother nature provides for us.
TMI? It’s not the going in nature that bugs me as much as the fact that it is
really stinkin' cold and windy and not a pleasant thing at all to drop your pants
on a North Sea beach front. TMI? Just
sayin’; Forvie Sands Visitor Center, please reconsider your closed on weekends
policy. Let’s move on...
The first half of the hike had us winding through sand
dunes. Since it was a sunny day, there were quite a few people on the trail,
including a mischievous setter who thought it was humorous to snatch up one of
my mittens while I was re-tying my boot. I had to then run after him, hoping
that I didn’t trip on my untied shoelaces in the process. Alls well that ends well,
and I got my mitten back, which makes this a funny story. Otherwise it would
have been tragic to lose a mitten on a bitterly cold winter day.
behind the dunes, we came up on a majestic cliff, where I insisted we all stop
for a photo op. I’m sad I didn’t get a photo of the three of us, but I made
sure to get one of each pair combination.
I daydreamed about what a great secluded
beach this would be to lay out on before remembering that I was wearing a ski
Still, since this was the most sun we had seen all week, we were
enjoying just feeling it shine on our faces.
However, since it was about 1:00
pm at this point, we knew we had to hurry up our walk since the sun would be sinking
below the horizon in a mere two and a half hours. Not wanting to be left to
fend for ourselves in the wilderness, we picked up the pace quite a bit. Afterall,
we still had to make a detour to eat our lunches and look for seals.
sun setting in our eyes, it was hard for us to tell large rocks and birds from
the mammals we were trying to spot. We asked some other walkers where the seals
were and they quickly pointed some out to us. If you look very closely at this
picture, you can see a tiny speck in the central left hand area, and that’s a
Here it is blown up:
They kept bobbing in and out of the water which was fun to watch, but
hard to catch on film. After oohing and
aahing over the seals for a good ten minutes we really had to head back to the
car. By our estimations we had an hour and half left to walk and only 2 hours
of sunlight. We put our powerwalking faces on and headed back.
I don’t think I’ve
ever walked that fast in my life and yet people kept lapping us. We had to keep
retreating to the side of the trail to let dog walkers casually pass us by. It
was hard on my self-esteem but kept my little short legs pumping as if my
warmth depended on it.
We finally spotted the closed visitor center in the distance
and all breathed a sigh of relief. After all, our husbands were currently on a
road trip to England and wouldn’t be able to come a rescue us from the
wilderness. And it would be really embarrassing if we had to call mountain
rescue to save us from the beach....
Fortunately we made it back to the car and
to Aberdeen with little incident. We even managed to have dinner ready for the
boys when they got home. Just kidding- Jillian managed to have dinner ready for
the boys when they got home. Because she is apparently the absolute best wife
on earth. I would have just handed
Jonathan a frozen pizza before putting myself to bed at 8 pm. Instead we were
all treated to fajitas and a fun night of good food, Defender comparisons, and
college football. Thanks for dinner and the navigating Jillian! You are not
only a great wife but an awesome friend as well!