With the prospect of some serious walking in the Salzkammergut next month, and very much aware that I haven’t had much exercise since
Hadrian’s Wall last Autumn (what with the flu and other
distractions), I went up into the Pentland Hills yesterday with Nick.
Very pleasant day – marvellous views – but once again
its famous climate trick. Having been persuaded by the warm sunshine to leave
my extra fleece in the car, I found the wind at the top of Carnethie so cold
that I would have been very pleased to have taken it with me. Unusual naivety for us –
I always work on the principle that it is easier to remove extra clothing and
carry it than to put on clothing that you didn’t bring along.
Good walk – I’m a bit stiff this morning with the climbing – I’m sure that Carnethie gets steeper each year. In truth, some of the climbing does get harder, and much of this is down to the worsening erosion of the paths – the climb up Scald Law and down its Western side is pretty tricky now with all the scree and broken stone. Especially since there are a great many sheep and lambs on the hills, I am amazed that it was possible to meet an unleashed rotweiler on a narrow ledge – is it just me, or are there a few dog owners who don’t seem to have much of a grip on reality?
Happiness, by the way, is finding a pork pie in your packed lunch when you are on top of a hill.
|We think this one is Castlelaw - if you have exceptional eyesight you|
may be able to make out the army rifle range targets, right of centre
|Looking south-east from the lower slopes of Turnhouse Hill. The hills in|
the distance are the Lammermuirs
|Nick conquers the pile of rubble which used to be a cairn on top of Carnethie|
|Fearsome sight - Foy on campaign in Flaming June. In the background are|
Scald Law and East Kip, and then, further away, we must be getting
The walks in the Salzkammergut, we think, will be rather less demanding than some of the Alpine stuff we did in the Tyrol in the last two years, but one has to be ready. Part of the script for yesterday was to try out my new boots, but I had not yet got around to wearing them in the house first, so I used my old ones. Yes - we'll just have to go out again as soon as possible.
My planned September break this year will not involve anything as daunting as Hadrian's Wall - the intention is to make a serious assault on the coffee shops of Regensburg and Vienna. I'll need to get in some training for that, too, now I think of it.
In passing, I might mention that Nick and I were discussing yesterday whether Captain Scott and his chaps on their South Pole trip spent much time saying, "Gosh, what a fantastic view!", or even, "Ooh, it's freezing here".
|Oh, my aching sides|
Also in passing, I got a quick blood-pressure workout at the end of our walk when we got back to the car park at Flotterstone and I found this attached to my car. After the initial self-righteous panic, I quickly realised that it was a spoof, and contained some advice on how to avoid having your vehicle broken into when it is unattended, authored by some well-intentioned bunch of cretins known as the Penicuik Crime Prevention Panel. It certainly got my attention, but how hilarious is that for an idea? One way of preventing break-ins, of course, is to put a sniper in the trees to pick off any unauthorised person going within 3 feet of the car.