At the start of the week, Caroline left to return to England and generously gave us all Christmas presents. Eloise tore through them in no time at all. Thank you very much Caroline.
After Eloise’s nap, she tuned in to watch her hero in the afternoon.
Tuesday morning was spent cleaning the house. In a couple of days time, the property manager is conducting their first property inspection, via Whatsapp. We better quickly find a way to reattach the roof that Eloise and Lachnado have blown off.
In the afternoon, the boys watched Chelsea and Liverpool hand the title to Manchester City in January. It also happened that “Stamford Bridge has become the first English Premier League stadium to use safe standing, 27 years after standing was banned in the top flight”.
This morning was one of those beautiful clear crisp days. Eloise was happy to see frost on the back lawn which provided a satisfying crunch.
We have not been for a hike for a while and today was sunny, so wanted to make the most of it. We decided on The Whangie walk, a 2 hour, 180m climb. Expecting some ice we thought it would be relatively flat and was only a two out of five on the boot hiking rating. It was going to be a cold one, Google suggested it felt like -6°C, some snow would be nice. After Eloise and Sophie had their first go at ice scraping, we were off.
Definitely a day for Grandpa DAVE’s possum socks. Lachlan was rugged up, showing off his teeth. With great effort, we managed to stomp Eloise into the hiking carrier. Her stirrups are now at full length, she is able to provide Dad with an extra kick.
Laughing with/ at Eloise in the car park was not getting us any warmer, time to get this show on the road.
We probably should have paid closer attention to the map…
The start of the walk was a wee icy, not too bad. There was a nice track with stunning views.
After the first two stages of the walk, there was a steep icy climb which was a bit more than we bargained for. Lachlan was getting hungry and Eloise had lost feeling in her hands but kept refusing her mittens. We headed back down to the car where Sophie fed Lachlan and Eloise thawed out.
Liam quickly reascended at Scott Jenssen speed all the way to the top of The Whangie** until he reached the summit marker.
It was seriously windy at the top with plenty of ice. Too windy to deploy Darryl. After a quick drink, it was time to descend down the steep icy hill, a bit slower this time. It was strangely therapeutic smashing the ice.
A bit lower, Liam released Darryl into his natural habitat. You can see how much the autopilot and mini props were fighting the Scottish breeze.
**On the way down at slightly below warp speed Liam thought to himself, hang on a second, where was this so-called Whangie?
“The Whangie is a bizarre rock-feature in the Kilpatrick Hills, and has wonderful views towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies“.
When we got home and started writing this blog post. We realised instead of traversing around Auchineden Hill to The Whangie, Liam had taken a beeline straight to the top of it. Not entirely sure what the rating of that
walk climb was but Liam had forgotten the ice-axe and crampons. On a side note, crampons look pretty cool. Would be silly not to get a pair of those.
It only took roughly an hour to climb to the top and down again with a series of somewhat controlled slides. We will have to return in summer to see The Whangie. When Liam arrived, Lachlan had just woken up and everyone was ready for lunch at the Beech Tree Inn near the bottom of Dumgoyne Hill. We eventually made it in after checking out the animals and Eloise walking back and forth over the ice in the car park. Where does she get it from?
In the evening we had to re-clean the house as the Eloise and Lachnado tornadoes seem to tear through almost hourly these days. Eloise made sure that Lachlan did not escape while we were cleaning. Sawing off his leg did not work so she built a wall and made Lachlan pay for it.
There is no stopping Lachlan these days… Unless you build a pillow wall, one of Eloise’s more gentle approaches, she gets frustrated at Lachlan nomming all her toys.
In other news: If seeing us is somehow not a big enough drawcard, Sophie found “10 reasons why you should visit Scotland in 2022”.