Few speeding along the M90 between Kinross and Perth might realise that only four miles to their west, the only sound and the fastest thing to move is the Water Of May as it rushes below the wee clachan of Path of Condie.
Early February can be a bit of a mixed bag weather-wise, but today was just a perfect day to be out and about — and this is a lovely, unspoiled corner of Perthshire.
The river’s waters were ice cold and — after a week of heavy rain — flowing fast and deep.
It was only after walking two or three miles around Condie Estate forest that I was made painfully aware of this.
Below the ruined homesteads of Easter and Wester Clow, the track crosses the burn over a concrete ford. I discover it under a foot of water! There was nothing for it but to take the boots off and grit my teeth.
Robert Burns maybe didn’t walk this track, but it appears he did visit the Path of Condie; etching his name on a window pane of the school.
Making a fine circuit, from here I follow the quiet hill road down to Pathstruie to cross again the Water of May. This time, I’m glad to say, by a proper stone bridge!
Then it was up over the steep hairpin bends on to the Dunning Road and back to the start.
Winter may still have a bit to run yet, but with snowdrops flowering by the roadside the promise of spring is certainly in the air.
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