I've started going, well rambling, with the local Ramblers (walking) group every sunday. It's great stuff- previously, all my solitary rambling has been pretty much confined to Haddington -which is not a little limiting- however having tagged along for a mere three weeks already I've got to see some amazing places I didn't even know existed. It's really great finding out about all these little, obscure, beautiful places roundabout.
This sunday I went on my first 'A' walk (in the Northberwick/Haddington group they're graded 'A' down to 'C'), so I admit to having been a tad apprehensive; having been along on the 'B' and 'C' walks (not picky, I just take whatever's going) I'd heard a lot about how the 'A's were much further, steeper, faster and -oh the horror!- with fewer tea/coffee stops. Also not helping my confidence was the fact that it seemed everybody going along on the walk were those people who had clambered over most of the Monroes an odd dozen times...
We headed for Fife and the Lomond hills. This is a terrible quality map, but really the best I could find- ignore the blue line, nothing to do with me. T'was really great , the other ramblers are a wonderful lot, the walk was incredibly exhilarating and oh so beautiful... even the more developed sections such as the reservoirs we passed towards the end were really quite something.
A funny thing was the number of gliders we spotted. Especially at the top of the hills (West Lomond particularly) they would really creep up on us. Their being so silent, you could turn around and find one... gliding... not fifty metres away. We saw them getting towed up by small planes aswell. Tell you something it looked not a bit fun; that's something else to try now...
That's the view from the top of West Lomond. You could see all the way to Dundee. Really quite breezy though- fortunate that we were coming up the west side of the hill at the top because we were practically blown up the entire way. Falling backwards was not an issue.
Something I think Sylwia will like specifically (but am unable to put up on twitter) is a wee video I took. One of the ladies (my ride) brought Zoe along. Meet Zoe:
'Tis a bit shaky, I know, sorry. Having quite a time clambering along at a speed and trying to keep the camera aimed in roughly the right direction. But I think you get the general picture. It was so funny watching Zoe bouncing over the bracken.
One of the best pictures I got was near the end of the ramble when we passed Drumain reservoir. I took a couple of angles on this, but reckon this is the best.
I haven't changed the image at all. It was such a beautiful day (if a tad breezy at points), that all these amazing colours were right there naturally.
N.B. That in the background is West Lomond.
I don't think this was even the most beautiful part. Quite difficult to tell from the photo I reckon, but it's only little. Ten minutes after this we entered a small wood which has to be one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been.
I've been trying to think where it reminds me of, and just realized that it looks awfully like the description of Mirkwood in 'The Hobbit'! We didn't find any wood elves... ='(
Unfortunately though I couldn't halt long enough to take a really proper photo and the light wasn't always great for the camera. Still this photo reminds me oddly of a tapestry of a forest hanging in the Datcha (Babushka's house), so I quite like it. The only thing missing is a bear.
I do intend on going back.