With predictions of an early snowfall followed by promises of an Indian Summer, no-one knew quite what to expect of the weather for the Crieff and Strathearn Drovers’ Tryst this year. But Saturday came and went fairly dry and fingers were crossed for my walk. Sunday dawned, grey and damp but nothing wet was falling from the sky at least. My trusty backmarker and I made our way to the Crieff Visitor Centre to meet our walkers and what a lovely bunch they were!
An immediate ease settled on the group and we all chatted away happily as we waited for everyone to arrive. Then off we set. We met our last two walkers in Muthill and headed through the village and out along the bug road.
As we trailed through the woods many of us started to peel off some layers and by the time we broke from the cover of the trees the sun was splitting the sky. I kid you not. It was properly, actually sunny! Along the farm track and onto the old railway track, we stopped to take pictures of the stunning views and enjoy the beautiful feel of the sun on our faces. It was still very wet underfoot but we were all well prepared for that so we hardly noticed as the group mingled back and forwards chatting and getting to know each other.
Under the bridge and heading out to the river the wind got up a bit and clouds came over but it stayed dry and the cool was welcome. The only near disaster was that some of the plants we had reccied only two weeks previously had almost disappeared! My plucky apprentice (and backmarker) managed to hunt down some Yarrow though and, having nearly given up on the St John’s Wort, I gave a big cheer as we discovered some further along the track. Time was getting on and we knew there was coffee and cake waiting for us back at the Hall so we headed up for an easy trek back to the village on a quiet back road.
What a pleasant surprise we found at the Hall! The Muthill Paths and Walking Group had laid on quite a spread! Mountains of tasty rolls were devoured, tea and coffee flowed and a wonderful range of home baking was sampled by a very appreciative bunch of Medicinal Meanderers. A happy, warm glow spread round the room. Eventually, everyone made their farewells and went on their way offering compliments and thanks all round.
Tables were cleared, cups and saucers washed and this pleasantly puggled Herbalist and her wilting backmarker headed home. It was wonderful to part of such a great festival and to have the support of the generous and lovely people from the walking group. Heartfelt thanks to everyone for making it a truly magical day.