Ooops – forgot to start the GPS at the beginning of the walk, hence the break in the West Lomond & Bishop Hill circuit.
My incredible run this month of 25 hills in excellent air clarity came to an end today. But, I can't complain; whilst there may have been a haze, it was still a fine day with plenty of sunny spells, albeit cool when we set out early this morning.
Our first objective of the day was West Lomond: one of a pair of very distinctive protruding pimples which sit either end of a ridge (I remember first remarking on them when walking on the south side of the Firth of Forth during one of our Big Walks).
The two prominent pimples, as seen from quite a distance, from Moncreiffe Hill yesterday.
After an easy walk in on a motorway-esque path it was a relatively short, but quite sharp, pull up to the excellent viewpoint of the summit, where we tarried just long enough to lose the heat we'd generated on the way up.
Steeply down to the south we then went before starting our ascent of our next objective: Bishop Hill. We were joined during that ascent by three gliders who kept us company until after we had cleared the summit. We were now to head back east, whereas they preferred the west side of the escarpment.
The route taken off Bishop Hill didn't feel particularly sensible at the time (as we yomped through heather, bog and tussocks), but as the outing came in 2 miles shorter than the route I had measured, it seems that we simply took a much more direct line than intended. I confess, there was a complete failure to navigate; not a single glance was had at the map - we could see where we needed to get to and we simply dead-headed towards it.
We reached the car park just at lunchtime, and had every intention of heading back out to East Lomond as soon as we had eaten. Then it came to our attention that it is a bank holiday today as, by the time lunch had been despatched, the car park was full to the gunwales. East Lomond has thus been postponed until late afternoon so that we don't find ourselves walking in procession.
Incredibly, considering the number of cars now parked around us, the only people we passed during this morning's 8 miles formed one large group of RAF personnel in camouflage gear. After passing them, about half a mile into our walk, they disappeared; I'm not sure whether it was the effectiveness of their camouflage, or whether they headed off over a lump in the landscape.