runners gathered on Saturday morning at the Cally car park near
Dunkeld. With precise timing, a week's unbroken sunshine had
changed to grey skies and mist, confirming my reputation as a
bringer of bad weather. We set off northwards on a good forest
road towards the Glack. It seemed to be a popular walking area
as we passed a number of people, in particular, a group of about
ten walkers with assorted dogs. Phil recognised some of the tracks
and paths in the area, having done the Deuchary Hill race a few
We passed a couple of lochans, right beside the path, then skirted
between the edge of the forest and open moorland towards Loch Ordie.
Fortunately the front runners had stopped by a very well made stone
bridge in the track. They had already passed the inconspicuous
gate in the deer fence which led to the Deuchary Hill path. There
was quite a long climb through forest before we came to a small
lochan tucked into a fault near the top of the hill. The last part
of the climb was a grassy scramble to the trig point at the summit.
It was cold and misty on top so we just had to imagine the magnificent
views we would have seen on a clear day.
We went back down to the forest road and continued to Loch Ordie.
On the way we passed the large group of walkers and dogs. By the
south side of the loch we stopped at a row of fishing cottages
for lunch. We found a very convenient boathouse to shelter from
the mizzle. Suitably refreshed, we continued round the loch side,
passing the walkers and dogs once again. They must have wondered
if it was worth our while running. We turned southwards past Riemore
Lodge and Grewshill, running through a mixture of open moorland
and forest. As we progressed the road gradually improved until
it became proper tarmac. We eventually came to the hub of Butterstone,
signified by a red phone box and a bus stop.
We ran along the main road for a few hundred yards then turned
southwards for Butterstone Loch. There was an excellent track round
the south side of the loch, rather like an old railway track. The
damp weather seemed to have brought out plenty of fishermen in
their boats. We continued on the road round the south side of the
Loch of the Lowes. Unfortunately it was too misty to see the ospreys
which had recently arrived at their nest. By now it had started
to rain properly so we had to dress up a bit more.
We left the loch side and headed south west on the well-marked
Fungarth Trail. The wee yellow man pointed the way for us through
woods, across fields and past the golf course. By one gate the
ladies found a pink umbrella to shelter under while they waited
for everyone else to catch up. I had told everyone that the run
was 16 miles long. Somewhat embarrassingly Ian told me that his
GPS had measured 17 miles and was still counting! We crossed the
main road again and returned through the forest to the car park.
The day was rounded off with a trip to Katie's Kitchen in Birnam,
recommended by Juliette, for tea and cakes. In spite of the weather,
everyone seemed to enjoy the run. After we were safely home, the
sun came out again the next day.
Post script: A spell check of this story has changed the title
to “The Debauchery Daunder” - take your pick!