Dava Way- Grantown to the Halfway Hut.
On a rather cold winter’s looking morning I set of from Grantown to walk the full length of the Dava Way with a planned overnight stop at the Halfway Hut.
The weather was’nt looking all that great, and on the journey to Grantown- there was snow on the road between Tormore Distillery and Advie, but getting nearer Grantown the weather seemed to improve and the snow now only was confined to the higher slopes of the surrounding hills.
My original intentions for these days off were to walk and camp over the Ben Alder Hills from Corrour Station but this last blast of winter had forced me to change all this and the idea was born to do a low level gentle backpack instead.
After i passed Castle Grant I was fairly getting into my stride and heading towards Huntly’s Cave I noticed something furry jump onto the track less than two meters in front of me, just as quickly as it took to focus on what it was- a Red Squirel with a pine cone in it’s mouth, it darted off up the nearest tree. Five minutes later I saw a deer.
Onto the Dava Moor- I was lucky with the weather as the sun was shining and no snow on the ground, but I did get caught three times on the Moor in snow/hail showers which lasted no longer than ten minutes each time.
As I crossed the Moor, I got closer to the Knock of Braemoray- a small hill which I have yet to climb. I did think to myself as I was getting nearer to the Halfway Hut that I could ditch my gear there and make a quick ascent of the hill, but just as I got to the Hut, weather conditions started to change and the snow showers started becoming frequent.
Once inside the Hut I started unpacking my gear, getting my stove set up for a well deserved brew. I had no intentions in carrying on any further this day and this small basic shelter was to be my home for the night.
Inside the Hut there are basic benches, a table and even lights which are powered by solar power! There is a visitors book and a wealth of information pinned to the walls with various posters and laminated leaflets.
Day Two- The Halfway Hut to Forres
I awoke to a snowy scene next morning- my first thoughts were get the stove and brew going, as I started packing up and putting all my warm clothes on! I enjoyed my stay at the Halfway Hut and it was nice to waken to a dusting of snow on the land.
I set off at a decent early time and stopped of for this pic with Jess.
Jess belonged to Mrs Macdonald of Bogeney. All sorts of parcels were ordered by post from Grantown, and as the train approached- the driver would blast the whistle which alerted Jess the Collie who, as the train slowed to a walking pace, raced to the track and collected the parcel as it was thrown out of the cab.
The rest of the walk to Forres was an easy one- the snow disappeared and it got warmer as i got nearer the cost. I never met a single person on the way until i got past Dunphail where I met a couple of day walkers and a man walking his dog.
Overall it was a good walk and Im thinking of doing a costal walk soon from Narin through Culbin and towards Lossiemouth on the Moray Costal Trail.