Morrocco Media's Monday Micro-Adventures in Perthshire: Week 1
I have grown-up and lived in Perthshire most of my life, however, I'm not convinced I've really explored my home. So, I've decided to spend every Monday for the next year (and possibly beyond) having micro-adventures in my own backyard. I'm going to go biking, running, walking, ski touring and even doing normal touristy-type activities to explore the cultural, historical and heritage interests here in Perthshire. My plan is to take my wee Sony Actioncam and capture the adventures on film and I'll make a highlight edit at the end of the year.
I'm going to film it on the Actioncam because I want to go lightweight, capture the raw experience and not spend too much time setting up 'shots', which I would normally do. I don't want the filming to interfere too much in the adventures and just capture a flavour of what I get up to. The Actioncam is good enough to get some quality footage. It shoots in 4K, has built-in image stabilisation, produces OK images and can be used in multiple ways - the ideal tool for the job.
As well as exploring my own backyard I'm doing these mini adventures to help with my selective mutism. I get very anxious when talking, so I'm going to talk to the camera and post my conversations online. I get nervous talking to camera, so this will hopefully help with making me a more confident talker - who knows, maybe one day I'll be presenting Countryfile. I have to post them online, because I need to know that there is an audience watching, even if it's just one person that sees the videos. The other reason is that it will help with keeping fit, but also gets me out of the house for longer than an hour. My wife and boys go over to my parents-in-law on a Monday, so rather than sitting in the office on my own I'll get out and do something interesting with my time and promote a part of the World I love.
On Monday the 4th of September, 2017 I went for my first micro-adventure. I was over in Abernyte for a meeting, so after the meeting I decided to go and explore the Sidlaw Hills. I had grown up on a farm called Buttergask for the first 5 years of my life. Buttergask was at the foot of the Sidlaws and I remember going up King's Seat with my dad, so I thought I would go back and explore the hills I hadn't been up since I was 5. I went up Dunsinane hill first, which is the site of historic hill forts and featured in Shakespear's Macbeth. It only took 20 minutes to run up the steep hill from the car park, but the views are definitely worth it (when it's not misty and raining, whicg it did for most of my run!). You see the whole of the Strathmore Valley and the Grampians beyond, down the Garse of Gowrie to Dundee and over the Tay to Fife.
I then proceeded to traverse along the top of the ridge, over the summits of Black Hill and north east to King's Seat. There is no real clear path along the ridge, but there are frequent sheep paths, which all link up and help make the traverse less of a heather-hopping exercise. It was good to get out and head along these hills again 36 years after the first time. They are accessible from both Dundee and Perth, and only a 20-minute drive from both. They are good for walking, running and mountainbiking. The paths are definitely good enough to make up a good cross country loop and there are a few cheeky descents to make it interesting. The only thing is that dogs are not allowed due to the sheep.
I learnt a lot from my first outing. The neutral colour and 4K 60mbps quality settings on the Actioncam are not great, so they've been changed to vivid and 100, respectively, for my next adventure. The built-in microphone doesn't work with the case on, so I'll have to use my lapel microphone if I want to record any chat. I also learned I've missed big days out in the hills - I do really enjoy it! Next week I'm off to explore Alyth (getting the car MOT'd there, so no choice!).