We went up Turnhouse Hill, Carnethy Hill and Scald Law. There is a single track which goes right over the top of each in turn (which must be a modern phenomenon - Ancient Man would have been sensible enough to walk around the hills, you would think, unless he was looking out for someone). The individual hills are not very high, but they are steep, and the cumulative effect of coming down one and then up the next is interesting, shall we say. Originally we had thought of continuing the chain to East Kip and West Kip, but in the event we decided to head back after Scald Law. My recent experience of walking in the Alps has definitely helped in the heart-&-lungs department, and I have to point out that it wasn't me that wanted to miss the last two hills, though I'm probably glad that we did! The hills are all around the same height - I think the top of Carnethy is 573 metres - but the dips between them are around 200 metres, so it gets your attention when it goes up again.
After Scald Law we cut north, down into the valley, and walked past Loganlea and Glencorse Reservoirs back to our starting point. Probably 9 miles all told. The photos are by Dave Henniker, who does some lovely work in this area.
Looking back from Carnethy Hill towards Turnhouse - gives a good idea
of the surrounding landscape.
As Chester said yesterday, it really is very easy to forget the lovely places we have almost on our doorstep. I worked it out - last time I did this particular walk was 13 years ago. Hmmm.
I'm sure I'll say more about Hadrian's Wall on another occasion. I shall be doing that walk with a couple of other friends. We are attacking it West-to-East, which is not the "normal" direction, but we chose to do it that way because it puts the prevailing wind (and rain) at our backs, and it is far easier to get transport home from Newcastle than it would be from Bowness-on-Solway at the other end. No, they probably aren't very good reasons, but that's how we are doing it. We are also doing it the softies' way, arranging for a courier to handle our main bags from base to base, and carrying only a light day pack, and we are pacing it pretty gently - about 12-15 miles a day. It will not be anything like as strenuous as what I did yesterday, but walking 12 miles in an exposed situation and then getting up the next morning to do it again brings challenges of its own. We will have 6 days of walking, and we're planning to have time to see a few sites on the way.
Another faint disadvantage of doing the wall the "wrong" way is that we can't find any guidebooks which do it in this direction. You would think that it would be easy to reverse-engineer a walk from a guidebook, but I've tried, and it isn't. The maps work OK, but looking out for landmarks doesn't work very well in reverse at all. If I disappear without trace, you will be able to guess what happened.
Hadrian's Wall is not very far from where I live, but I don't often go there, and find some bits of it quite affecting. If you stand at the north edge of Housesteads Fort, actually on the wall, and you face north, then that was the end of the civilised world. Behind you, the Roman Empire stretched to the Black Sea - in front of you were the barbarians. For some reason I find that very moving, and remember that the poor sods who were stationed there included the SAGITARII HAMIORUM, who were Syrians and must have found it a bit chilly.