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 8 March 2017

Cairnpapple Hill (NS987711; 312m)

This pleasingly-named little hill was convenient for our whereabouts today, so after we had hunted down some LPG and elevensesed and lunched in between the Forth rail and road bridges* (a popular location), off we tootled to the edge of Beecraigs Country Park (through which we walked a few years ago on one of our Big Walks).

It hadn't escaped our notice that the wind had picked up throughout the morning and there was a squall blowing through as we parked in the litter-strewn car park to the west of the hill. I donned my Paramo and headed out, hoping the rain would have passed, and I would have dried out, by the time I returned (it had and I did, but I only dodged the next shower by seconds).

With the summit of the hill sitting about three quarters of a kilometre from the car park, as the crow flies, and with there being a mast access track leading half way there, it was always going to be a quick outing. The biggest unknown was how I was going to cross a couple of field boundaries. The answer was one convenient gate and one gap in the barbed wire/wall which was slightly more conveniently placed than the next gate I could see. Twelve minutes after setting out I was at the top.

After wandering over to look off the east side of the hill...

... I came to realise that my descent was not going to be as easy, purely because the strength of the wind, which had blown me up the hill, was an impediment in getting down. It kept stopping me in my tracks, making me glad I wasn't any higher up today.

The whole outing came in at 1.5 miles, with around 75m of ascent, taking just 27 minutes, including the detour when I lost control of my hanky and had to go running after it (talking of running - my day started with a trundle on the edge of Loch Leven, just outside of Kinross. Rather a nice location for a jogette, I thought).

(*On the way there Bertie got introduced to cobbled streets, and we also discovered that if he takes a camouflaged speed hump too fast then it's possible for his fully laden wardrobe rail to jump clean out of its brackets. Oops.)

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