BLUEFOLDS. Derek & Angela
Over the years, we have visited Bluefolds in almost every month of the year. When, many years ago, in July 2006, our walking holiday abroad was cancelled at short notice, we found Bluefolds Highland Holiday Cottages on the internet, so we could walk the Scottish Hills instead. We made the reservation and when we arrived at Bluefolds we realised we had found a special place which made a great base for our “Level Two” enjoyment bucket list, ( a level two pleasure is one which when doing it you don’t think you are enjoying yourself, however when reflecting on the achievement you realise how much fun and the sense of fulfillment you have actually had) . Now, all these years later, after so many visits, we sit at the cottages and can see in the distance, a lot of the hills in the Cairngorms and surrounding Highlands Derek & I have climbed.
We also enjoy the thrill of fishing, in particular the River A’an, which is a tributary of the mighty Spey, it was on this river that I caught my very first salmon and froze it in the freezer of Glenlivet Cottage, which was smaller than the fish. When we took it out to travel home, it was U shaped !! It stayed that way in our freezer at home until we enjoyed a treat for Christmas.
Another passion of ours, is “visiting the bothy refuges found along our walks” which developed from the enjoyment we found in the Scottish Highlands.
This has given us many memorable tales to share with the family and friends for example, on the high plateau just before the final push to the summit, we were prepared for all eventualities in full mountain gear carrying crampons and ice axes (just in case) to the top of a snow capped Bynack More on our way to the Fords of A’an (Avon) Refuge – a mountain shelter – we once came across a young Italian couple touring scotland with a tandem fully loaded with panniers front and back – he was carefully riding, she was picking her way through the boulders and across the slippery surface, walking behind. They were on their way from Braemar to Aviemore and had camped overnight on the plateau because the hut was full.
Bluefolds is visited by a wide variety of wildlife, either close up in the case of visiting birds, or nearby in the fields and hillsides surrounding the cottages .
Deer can often be seen on the hillsides all around the cottages and sometimes even on the lawns outside (tell tale tracks can be found if you know what to look for, ask Chris or Sue for help), a plethora of birds flitting about the small rowan tree in front of Dronach cottage, Red Squirrels, Stoats with Brown and Mountain Hare sprinting across the grass, Partridge and Pheasants which seem to appear from nowhere, to name but a few. We got up one morning to see a pheasant sitting quietly outside the patio doors looking in at us, as if waiting for its breakfast.
Then there are the sheep. They meander up and down the field in front of the cottages, using the fence as a scratching post and putting their heads through the wire to eat the grass which obviously looks lusher on our side. Chris says that when they get “stuck” in the fences around the cottages, he has now mastered how to release them without suffering the brunt of their stress.
Once during one of our early visits, we came back from a day standing waist deep in the river A’an fishing (well trailing a line in the water without joy), to find a large sheep on its back in the field in front of the cottages with all four feet in the air. It was not moving. It looked very dead.
As it happened Elizabeth Oliver (a previous owner of Bluefolds) came up the track a little later to deliver something to one of the cottages. We asked her advice about the sheep and what we should do.
She surprised us and seemed to immediately don a wonder woman cape and jump into action. She leapt over the fence (yes really!) deftly heaved the “dead” sheep on to its side and hauled it to its feet. After a few minutes on wobbly legs, it meekly trotted off to join its mates.
We looked on in stunned amazement. Sheep, apparently, once on their backs, cannot right themselves especially when pregnant and definitely would have died if it wasn’t gotten back on it’s feet. Who knew?
For us, Bluefolds is special – there are breath-taking views as far as the eye can see, it is peaceful, cosy with its log burners and ALWAYS delivers a memorable visit. It never fails to please – and we can’t wait till next time.
ANGELA AND DEREK MARSHALL