To Banchory on the Deeside cycleway

We stayed in Banchory last night and I’m typing this from a very comfortable hotel bedroom. For a little while now we’ve been wanting to extend our cycle ride on the Deeside cycleway but felt that Aberdeen to Crathes and back was about our limit given we’ve got small kids and the Bakfiets. If wanted to go further we’d need to stay overnight. So about a month ago we booked a hotel in Banchory and made plans to cycle to Banchory on the Saturday, spend the night here, then cycle back to Aberdeen on the Sunday.

When you book in advance though you can’t predict the weather or other unknown factors and we all woke up yesterday morning feeling sick. Elizabeth has had a cold all week and vomited on the Friday night. I woke up with a headache, burning throat, and generally feeling under the weather. Ben also felt unwell. Only Daniel felt fine. But we couldn’t cancel our trip and we were all looking forward to it so off we went anyway.

I didn’t feel as energetic as the last time so we took it slowly and enjoyed the surroundings. It was also really hot and muggy. One of the things I love about a cool climate is that I get to wear tights everyday and because of this I haven’t shaved my legs for months. My husband loves me hairy legs and all and so I don’t really see the need to do it and I just can’t be bothered. It was so hot yesterday though that I had to take my tights off and bare my hairy legs – shock, horror!

Here’s a pic of the kids in the bike – one on the iPad, the other having a nap, and both picking their noses by the looks of it.

IMG_1806_2

Ben also had some cargo as you can see in this next photo and we spent much of the ride in the vein of the Four Yorkshire Men discussing who had it the hardest.

IMG_1813

This dress of mine is more than 20 years old. I don’t remember it being quite as tight as this so it must have shrunk while hanging in my wardrobe πŸ™‚

IMG_1811_2

Some of the sights:

IMG_1832

IMG_1828

IMG_1818

IMG_1816

IMG_1819

Rachel declaiming:

IMG_1820

We cycled past lots of productive agricultural land including this field of wheat or oats or barley. I can’t tell the difference. Does anyone know? There were lots of fields like this and they never seem to have any sort of irrigation there. They must get enough water from the sky.
IMG_1831

IMG_1835

I love getting somewhere under my own steam. There’s something satisfying about that and also about enjoying the sounds and smells of the countryside which is something you don’t get sitting inside a car. However while I’m happy to struggle during the travel part, I like my creature comforts at the other end. So we booked a room at the fabulous Banchory Lodge. It’s right on the river and I can look outside our bedroom right now and see the River Dee. The Deeside cycleway pretty much cycles right to the lodge. Here’s a view of the Lodge from the outside:

IMG_1836

Some pics of the River Dee outside the hotel:

IMG_1847

IMG_1837

IMG_1838

The nearby Falls of Feugh:
IMG_1848