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Return to the Land of the RSC - Day Four (& Five).

Day Four.

Due to other commitments, day four of my trip would be a shorter one – more like half a day. So I returned to where I left off yesterday – around about Dunnideer, and of course the all-encompassing Bennachie.

Old Rayne — Images

<b>Old Rayne</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Old Rayne</b>Posted by ruskus

I headed off early, so much so that by the time I got to OLD RAYNE it was really still too dark to get a good view of anything. The light today wouldn’t get that much better as the day went on. After sitting there for a while, looking at my map(s) by the light inside the car, managing to block up a passing place, I finally left the warmth of the car and took the short stroll over the muddy field to the circle. One upright left, and a collection of big stones making up the recumbent and flankers, which sadly lay about. Finally this week, the weather turned wet and gloomy, not allowing any views over to those surrounding great hills, and I felt no urge to stay here much longer today.

New Craig — Images

<b>New Craig</b>Posted by ruskus<b>New Craig</b>Posted by ruskus

My inadequate little hire car dived through an increasing amount of puddles, as I sped over towards Daviot, first stopping off at NEW CRAIG, and a short hop over the gate and up to the impressive stones stuck in the wall. The recumbent and flankers look as imposing close up as they did from driving along the road towards them. I really like the remains of this RSC, and I’m really glad I saw New Craig this time. I had forgotten them (how?!), on a visit to Loanhead of Daviot years before.

Loanhead of Daviot — Images

<b>Loanhead of Daviot</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Loanhead of Daviot</b>Posted by ruskus

For some reason I remembered the walk through the wood up to LOANHEAD OF DAVIOT, as being a bit of a trek – it’s literally only about 30 seconds! Anyway, I headed off to the circle, as another visitor followed a little way behind. An elderly cyclist appeared just behind me at the circle –he said he lived quite nearby and had never visited the circle until today. Whether I scared him off, or he was just fed up by the weather or underwhelmed I don’t know, but (luckily) he left almost immediately. I feel horribly selfish when I arrive at any site, but really I just vant(sic) to be alone. Loanhead is a good as I remember it to be. It’s easy to be dismissive of this show site, and take it for granted just because it is so easy to get to.

Hillhead Of Barra — Images

<b>Hillhead Of Barra</b>Posted by ruskus

Thought I’d go a bit more north, aiming for Kirkton of Bourtie, and ended up spotting HILLHEAD OF BARRA. I pulled in next to HAWK LAW, seeing various stones scattered about amongst the trees (though stupidly took no photos?).

Kirkton of Bourtie — Images

<b>Kirkton of Bourtie</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Kirkton of Bourtie</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Kirkton of Bourtie</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Kirkton of Bourtie</b>Posted by ruskus

Shortly afterwards I came upon KIRKTON OF BOURTIE. Again the low cloud and rain offered no views, but the circle glistened nicely in the wet, and had my full attention. It was a slightly more together version of Old Rayne, which I had left a few hours ago. Again, these are big stones, set a bit higher up than the field on a rise. Spent as long here as I could – partly as the weather was starting to clear a bit – but then drove on.

South Ythsie — Images

<b>South Ythsie</b>Posted by ruskus<b>South Ythsie</b>Posted by ruskus<b>South Ythsie</b>Posted by ruskus

I was unable to gain access to SHEILDON, sitting up on its hill, and so carried on further to SOUTH YTHSIE. A nice easy site to reach (signposted all the way), and a neat little circle of six even and equal stones, raised up on a small mound. It has got a four-poster vibe about it.

Balquhain — Images

<b>Balquhain</b>Posted by ruskus

Time was running out on me now, as I headed back through Inverurie. I had one last site to visit – Easter Aquhorthies. Well, actually I skipped past BALQUHAIN, and stopped for a picture or two. I regret not wandering down the hill to it, as it looked like it was quite easily accessible today. But as I say, time pressed on.

Easter Aquhorthies — Images

<b>Easter Aquhorthies</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Easter Aquhorthies</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Easter Aquhorthies</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Easter Aquhorthies</b>Posted by ruskus

EASTER AQUHORTHIES was the first stone circle I ever visited over 20 years ago. Where it ‘all’ started. I thought I’d round off this wonderful trip to Aberdeenshire with a visit here. By now the clouds had passed, and the sun was coming out. Perfect omen. This circle felt like ‘coming home’ in a weird way. When I got into the circle I was suddenly only then aware of a banging/ringing noise seemingly coming from somewhere in the valley – one of the nearby farms? I sounded exactly like a heartbeat. It wasn’t easily placed as to what it was, and as I became totally distracted by this, something in me imagined that the noise was magical; that it was coming from the earth. It felt so right. Last time I was here the weather was appalling and visibility was zilch, so it was a bit of a shock for me to see that Mither Tap looked so close, peering over the hill.

A beautiful way to finish.

Day Five.

..Ah, yes…..

Binghill — Images

<b>Binghill</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Binghill</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Binghill</b>Posted by ruskus<b>Binghill</b>Posted by ruskus

I had a few hours before I had to pick my wife up and we were to head to the airport, and then home. I had considered a quick trip to Tyrebagger on the way to Dyce, but instead I found myself in the vicinity of BINGHILL, which had caught my curiosity for some reason. Like others, I parked at the start of the row of houses back on the street, and walked back up to the corner, where the track headed off in the woods. By the first few properties there were lots of people around, and one homeowner awkwardly asked me what I was doing. Looking for the stone circle I replied casually – “oh” (no real opinion expressed). Anyway, the circle was surprisingly not as far in as I thought, and easily spotted. I really enjoyed this one – the stones glowing green/grey against the brown floor. Also it was more complete than I’d expected. The recumbent is a great little quadrilateral, reminding me of a block of charcoal, with its side ridges. Very different from other RSCs I’d seen, and a nice one to end on (Tyrebagger would have to wait until next time).
Posted by ruskus
23rd December 2018ce
Edited 23rd December 2018ce

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