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Kilted yoga

One of the prettiest beaches in Angus - Lunan Bay

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One of the prettiest beaches in Angus - Lunan Bay

Scotland you are spoiling us! We have had this May and June so many prefect days for an outdoor adventure! If this weather continues, no one will ever believe us that it rains here most of the year. We have been so spoiled  with this glorious weather and it’s not even summer yet.

It was still May when we packed our photography gear and headed out to Lunan Bay. It was sunny and warm and almost zero wind. Simply amazing. Ironically, while we were filming our yoga sequence I got a notification from the Met Office issuing a heavy rain warning in the central and west part of Scotland.We never got a drop of rain tho. ⚠️

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Lunan Bay is probably one of the prettiest beaches in Angus. It offers you a magnificent sweep of sand, with a cave and arch at its northern end. Beyond all the sand dunes you can see ruins of the Red Castle, proudly overlooking the bay. It is hardly surprising that in 2000 Lunan Bay was voted the best beach in Scotland. It’s a good place to visit after a heavy storm go find some hidden gems as the beach is famed for its good sources of agates and other gemstones. It’s one of those places that unless you are local, you wouldn’t have known of.

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We arrived to the area before 9am but the sun was already strong. By noon the ground got so heated the condensation created a faint smudge of steamy smoke hovering just above the ground and into the water.  We had a great day of recording some yoga footage, with a simple sequence from Finlay’s book, playing with Coops and soaking in the beauty of this amazing place.

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Yoga on the beach is a fantastic idea. You can try poses without fear of face planting because let’s face it, the landing is pretty soft! 

I also had an opportunity to play with Finlay’s camera, Canon EOS 600D . It’s not the newest model but pretty amazing and sharp. It’s an entry-level model so perfect for anyone wanting to take their iPhone photography to the next level. Those pictures were done with a 70-300mm lens, it’s a telephoto focal length lens so helps you to capture the detail of distant subjects and gives you that lovely blurry background (with a little help of well adjusted low F stop). This is what I came up with today.

I use Nikon myself so it was a great to play with Canon and explore all the functions it has to offer. I have been chatting a lot with my photography pals Siobhan and Kirsty about Canon, they both are professional photographers and using full frame Canons. So this is a wee treat.

Now, acro... well this was another adventure! After a few hours on the beach we decided to move up and explore the ruins of the castle. The Red Castle of Lunan is a ruined fortified house on the coast of Angus. The earliest structure on the site was built for King William the Lion in the late twelfth century to repel Viking invasions to Lunan Bay. It was rebuilt several times and pretty much used until 1770 but in the last few centuries in went into a gradual decline so all we can see now are the ruins. 

We set our camp, secured Cooper and off we went to film our acro...however the uneven ground, a whole group of tourist that appeared out of nowhere and walked on us and Cooper chewing on the lead meant that I dismantled myself off the very first pose, landed on Finlay, practically gave myself a concussion and almost broke my pinkie finger (although not sure how I managed that). We just really like a good dose of drama! I am pretty sure the whole Angus could hear us laughing, cursing and laughing more (just imagine the facial responses of those poor, confused tourists). 

We had no food today but our friends recommended finishing our day with a naughty and very vegetarian lunch and the Lunan Bay Diner. Vegan burgers with halloumi cheese AND baked beans - yummy!! Even Cooper enjoyed it. 😂

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Notes from the wonderland: Ben Vrackie adventures with the Kilted Yogi

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Notes from the wonderland: Ben Vrackie adventures with the Kilted Yogi

This week’s adventure was a fine walk up my favourite Ben Vrackie, the ‘speckled mountain`. The translation comes from a time when white quartz rocks were scattered across its slopes, which isn’t the case anymore but still reminds one of the most badass views I have ever seen.

It probably is one of the well known and much loved hills, not too high, not to tough and forms a scenic addition to the vibrant resort town of Pitlochry in Scottish Highlands.

It’s a Corbett as it’s just over 2,500ft high and measures 2,760ft. We literally had all four season in a space of 5-10minutes and at some point were almost swept off by wind, horizontal snow, rain and hailstorm. However, as you know in Scotland you just need to wait 5min and the weather changes! Waiting was worth it as when the sky cleared we could see all the way up Beinn a Ghlo range to the north and the sweep of Strathtay and Strathtummel to the west, including my other favourite Schiehallion. Below we could see the elegant Pitlochry with its stunning Atholl Palace Hotel, and further Glen Tilt and Blair Atholl.

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We started from a small car park at Moulin, close to the path taking us up. It can get quickly full at weekends and busy times of the year so be sure to arrive early. The whole walk takes normally between 3-4h but obviously we were longer as we were recording our vlog, and chasing Cooper who stole my bra! 

The path is very well maintained by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust. I always like to check who maintains the paths and what group of rangers is assigned to the area we are in. I think their work is often unnoticed and unappreciated. So, next time when you decide to leave your trash behind, just stop for a deep breath and think about all those people carrying about our beautiful landscapes! Also, as a side note - do you know how long it takes a banana skin to decompose? Google it! While you are waiting for those bananas to break down, you would have enough time to apply and receive a passport! Impressive, right? The skin can be potentially toxic to some animals that aren’t accustomed to those tropical fruits so take it back with you.

Back to hillwalking tho, once you start your hike up, just trust the path! It’s very well-constructed and offers a delightful walk across the heather moorland. If you are early enough you may spot red deer as well as shy mountain hare and lots of wild mice (Cooper’s favourite to chase!). 

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If you are going up, make sure your are dressed for the weather! ( note that kilt is optional lol) Scottish hills may be tiny in comparison to the Alpes but should never be underestimated, people die here every year (a bit of light and positive comment always helps, eh?). You can see from the video how quickly the weather changed from a really sunny and warm day to storm and vice versa. On your way to Pitlochry you will pass Perth and a splendid and well equipped outdoor adventure store - Tiso. This is definitely a good stop if you haven’t got everything you need.

You always need a map, compass and it’s really good to take with you a copy of the iternary from Walk Highland’s webpage, it’s very informative and gives you all the info you need.

In the video I mention simple energy balls that Debbie and I make at our wellbeing retreats. I will post the recipe shortly. 

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Finally, I have been thinking about doing those super liberating, shameless taps aff pictures forever now. I will explain you my reason in another blog. HOVEWER, the little I knew that it’s never going to be so easy with a sighthound present on the scene! Just watch it yourself !

make sure you subscribe to Finlay’s channel as this is where all the future blogs are going to be and you don’t want to miss more opportunities to laugh. 

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