Onwards and Upwards
On 13th June time was once more very constrained so Debbie and I were canny and didn’t attempt to go far or high. We went instead to Beecraigs Park and Loch near Linlithgow with the intention of going up a teeny wee hill, Cockleroy. It was a very pleasant walk, not particularly ‘challenging’ but still very enjoyable with lovely clear views including over to the Forth Bridges.
I say “not challenging” but a few of the paths around Beecraigs had warning notices about fallen trees and we had ‘fun’ clambering over massive trunks stricken across the paths. Now, when it comes to leaping over ditches or stepping stones in rivers, Debbie’s long legs come in ever so handy and she often has to help ‘short-ass’ me across, but when it came to clambering over tree trucks with other low hanging branches my titchy height proved best cos Debbie got trapped by her rucsac. Once I had come to the rescue (I’m really milking this now! ), we discovered to our great dischuffment that the path to Cockeroy was closed for forestry work! So – snookered by the closed path but undaunted, we made our way into Linlithgow itself and had lunch there, followed by a visit to the museum and maze at Annet House. I used to live in Linlithgow, which is a lovely town full of character and historical going-on, but the wee museum wasn’t there then. It was very interesting and well worth another visit.
On 20th June our adventure was to Tinto Hill in South Lanarkshire.
This was Debbie’s highest hill being just over 2,300ft. It is well known as an perfect introduction to serious hillwalking but is not quite a Corbett (Corbetts being hills between 2,500 feet and 3,000 feet which have ascent of 500 feet on all sides.)
It has the largest summit cairn of any mountain in Scotland and is the highest hill in the Central belt.
It has Bronze Age connections and I had read that there was an Iron Age fortification not far from the bottom of the hill, but I confess we didn’t actually spot it . Apparently the name means Hill Of Fire possibly because of the red rock often revealed in the grassy sides.
We kinda played ‘Tortoise and Hare’ with Debbie going ahead at the pace best for her while I puffed and panted at my slower pace and got there just the same. It was wonderful not to feel any time constraints or other stresses – just to be able to wallow in the moment. I tend to assume it’s ‘just me’ when I struggle with ascents so I was most surprised to note just how steep the path was when I came to go down again.
Despite this pretty steep ascent and descent over about 6 miles my legs were fine – no twinges or aches, so I have acknowledged that I cannae be that unfit after all. All my breathing difficulties must be connected to repressed emotional tension – and this will be conquered as I continue to feed my soul on the hills. Fingers crossed for the weather being kind next week.