The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Day 23 - Bavelaw Burn, Pentland Hills to Dalmeny

Wed 23 April (0630-1145)
Distance: 13.25 miles (Tot: 416.25)
Fitbit steps: 32000
Weather: sunny intervals to start, before it all got a bit misty again mid-morning

After a full day and evening of fog yesterday, when I popped out to use the en-suite at just before 11 last night, I found that the fog had gone and that the sky was clear. Even with the clear sky, it was a warm night, with enough of a breeze to give us a nearly-dry tent this morning.

Making our way out of the Pentland Hills, we looked back to see the surroundings we had missed yesterday and I resolved to come back and walk the Carlops to Buteland path again in better conditions.

A nasty bit of A road was hit at a busy time of day, but we weren't on it for too long before we headed off to skirt Dalmahoy Hill. Despite Mick egging me on, I declined to nip up to the summit, even though it wasn't far above us.

Coming down the other side of the hill, it became apparent that the way I'd plotted wasn't feasible, as it would have taken us straight through a working quarry. With the benefit of visibility (allowing us to see an exit point to a field), we simply cut across a field of inquisitive cows instead, before indulging in a bit more cross-country. It was there that we paused in a gateway for second breakfast, which was curtailed when we had to move out of the way of an approaching tractor.

How does that happen? You see no people and no signs of activity for miles, then as soon as you plonk yourself down mid-track, along comes a vehicle. At least I saved the farmer from having to stop and get down from his tractor, by opening the gate for him.

Passing so close to a major city like Edinburgh, I might have expected industry and road walking to prevail. There was a bit of road, but an ex-railway line (which seemed very little used, and along which we encountered no-one) took us where we needed to go. The main hint that we weren't in a rural location was the sound of Edinburgh Airport, the edge of which we skirted.

We ended our day (well, half-day really) at Dalmeny. We're now two days ahead of ourselves, and expect to make up another day yet, and as lovely as Torridon probably is, I don't want to spend three days there waiting for the Challenge to start. So, we will now pause for a couple of days and allow time to catch up with us.

Hopefully 2.5 days of rest will also allow Mick's painful shin-tendonitis to resolve itself too.

We'll be back on Saturday...

(I took three potential blog photos today and now I look at them none of them is worthy of sharing. I've plumped for the one of Mick walking out of the Pentland Hills.)

(Louise: I thought you'd sent the fog as retribution for us having so many sunny days!
Conrad: I can't recall the route you took, but suspect that the next time we will touch your LEJOG route will be as we cross the Great Glen. Intrigued to know where you're going as of Saturday, but I shall be patient and wait and see.)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. This is exciting. Looks like you're going to take in The Fife Coastal on your way. Have you done The Chain Walk? It's a good experience. You could use your two spare days to tick it off.

    I've just bought a Thermarest bag that converts into a pillow - always done without one before, but thought I'd have a bit of luxury this time.

  2. Just about caught up now Gayle. Great stuff.

  3. alternatively, to exercise another part of the body: quite a few good art galleries for this small city on a hill (do go to the gallery of Modern Art - only 15 mins walk from the National Gallery of Scotland - or the free shuttle bus - great cafe - lashings of choice teas: set in parkland - wild camping might be a slight issue though)

  4. Like AlanR, I've just caught up after the distraction of a Lake District backpack (superb) and the return to a broken computer that I spent too long trying to mend before taking it to the shop, who soon declared it was not a quick fix. Nor a problem they'd come across before. Anyway it's good to see the services of TVPS are continuing apace and you've chosen a good (ie bad weather) day to have off tomorrow. More rain is forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday, but that could well change. Have fun!