I couldn’t tell if the bells were getting louder, the songs they ring I finally recognize

1130. Ting, Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz my phone chimed and then vibrated across the bedside table as a text came through and it woke me up. 1130? I haven’t slept that late in a lifetime. I mean, the hardcore mix of toast and tea near midnight isn’t renowned for it’s morning destroying qualities via carbohydrate hangover, and yet I slept like a Farley’s Rusk under the couch. That is, undetected and undisturbed for a surprisingly long time. The girls are visiting elsewhere for the weekend you see, so my schedule is all to hell.

The text was from Elaina (That Blonde Woman), who was heading to the Kilpatricks, and was I coming along? Not wrapped in a duvet I wasn’t, but some hasty dressing and packing, some rolls brought from the shop by Elaina when she jumped off the train, and a mere 90 minutes later I was ready to leave.
A nice day up there, warm with a cool breeze. The lambs are all wee and cute and very white, surely the only time a sheep doesn’t look like an old dog blanket on legs. We should encourage them to maintain this level of cuteness throughout their lives, it would improve their reputation as well as making the countryside a much nicer place for folk to drive through on their way to the shops.

We sat at the seaside at 1000ft and had a break. We had dark water lapping on the shore, squawking geese flying around and a now stronger and cooler breeze turning the tips of the waves white. That’s seaside-y enough for me.
The newly constructed trails are settling a little, they’re tamping down and consolidating the rock they’ve used to build them, with a clay-like material, it’s a better surface to walk on and to look at, so things appear to be now hovering around 75% on the disasterometer.
Greenland Reservoir has been drained for some works, the “Deep Excavation” doesn’t scare me as it’s really just a gentle slope to where they’ve taken away the bridge over the overflow channel. Seeing the near-empty reservoir was interesting, the original shape of the land is visible at the back, and as two burns run into the bowl shape, you can see why they dammed it here.

We took many detours and askewances (Is that a word? I like it) over our 18km, and one thing became clear, the ground is drying out. All the regular mudpits are shinking fast, the regular slime-chute down to the tree as seen below was now a nice wee dirt track. And consequently, joy of joys, it is indeed time for my Salomon XA’s again, this is where their meagre grip excells and today was their first outing in months.

It felt like proper summer up there. Although it was hazy, the sun was often strong and sunblock was applied.
Nice day. Especially when you consider that I would have quite happily stayed at home and watched the telly all day (I’m having a “not driving” weekend) without the timely promting.
Hurrah for anybody getting off their arses this weekend in any capacity.

13 thoughts on “I couldn’t tell if the bells were getting louder, the songs they ring I finally recognize

  1. We managed a three hour stroll along the River Wye to Monsal Head after the Backpackers’ lightweight-fest. It was another good day to be out (we’re being spoilt lately :) – the limestone dales make a nice change from dramatic hill and moor once in a while, and the wild flowers were really getting going.

    You’re right about the ground drying out – I’ve been out in unlined trail shoes the last couple of weekends and come back dry even without wearing the Rocky Goretex Socks (of which more elsewhere…. :(

  2. Like mattc I had a trip to the “lightweight gear show”. Wonder if he was as disappointed as I was? Despite the build up in TGO only 3 gear stalls were there, Bob Cartwright’s, Alpkit & Ultralight Outdoors. I thought Outdoor Warehouse were going, too (that said, I regularly see their gear in the shop when waiting for trains home) Generally it was all a bit of a let down but I did the decent thing & supported those who’d bothered by acquiring a few bits & pieces that I didn’t really need. Nice to get your hands on stuff only available on-line & having seen the NeoAirs, I’ll be sticking to self-inflaters for a while longer….
    The tent exhibition was a little better but no Big Agnes on display? Saunders had 4, Terra Nova had a good display of all their latest lightweight models (that lightened Voyager is in danger of taking over from my Nallo as preferred 2 man but the new “tall Laser” reminds me of a portable shower cubicle!) Ultralite Outdoor had a rake of Golite & Lightwave stuff on show & Vaude had several on display, including the Power Odyssee (sic) which unexpectedly impressed as a bomb-proof looking 3 pole, semi-geodesic for 2, weighing 2050/2460gm (410 gm-worth of pegs?). If I recover my fitness enough to cope with the weight I need for longer, high winter camps, I’ll be taking a serious look for £300. The only downside seems, as ever with Vaude, is the smallish porch.
    Don’t be too premature about the ground drying out guys – I’m out this week so it’s bound to rain. Sorry!

  3. My brother and I camped out at Lily Loch on Fridy night.The mist was like pea soup on Saturday morning,we sat for a while but it didn’t look like clearing so we retraced our steps and headed home.By the time we got to Overtoun House the weather was gorgeous.Doh !

  4. “Hurrah for anybody getting off their arses this weekend in any capacity.”

    That hurrah isn’t for me then! Been firmly on my arse all weekend. Even missed a trip to the gear shop with the boys. There was an all-night sale to celebrate 25 years. Great opportunity for beer and banter and all I could muster was a phonecall to see if someone could pick up a couple of exped dry bags for me. Sometimes your on arse just seems like the best place to be.

  5. I did the three Munro’s on Beinn a’Ghlo yesterday. I’m not as ‘hillfit’ as I’d like to be and I ran out of water on the second munro and had to go looking for a stream.

    Weather was hot when the sun came through. Although it was forecast to be showery with cloud bases forming it remained cloud free and dry but very hazy.

    My first proper solo day out in a while, although harder than I expected it reminded me why I love this stuff!

  6. I went dogsbodying for South Wales SARDA so had a fairly gentle day with a short walk before hunkering down in a reed bed; the 3 kms or so made up for the 27 I did last sunday! Trip on a helicopter this afternoon was fun :-)

  7. Twas a grand day’s bimble in good company :-)

    Only downside of the day, the bilateral blisters which will require minor surgery. Such is the pain we put ourselves through for the enjoyment of the hills.

  8. A mixed bag of fortunes it seems, camping, sitting, working, walking and helicopters indeed!

    No blisters here I’m relieved to say. but I’ve had a touch of the sun it appears.

    I have also avoided driving all weekend. Alright!

  9. “We sat at the seaside at 1000ft and had a break”

    Blimey, where’s that? St Kilda? Foula, St John’s Head.

    I spent Saturday constructing a climbing frame and slide thingy for the kids. Eight and a half hours later… :-(

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