Friday, 17 October 2014

Up the Pentland Hills

Amazingly the good weather is continuing, and as we had promised ourselves on Wednesday we set out to find the Loganlea reservoir from the other direction. What I hadn't taken account of in my calculations was that yes, the distance walked would be less but factored in that distance was a very substantial climb! We set off from a layby on the A702 just north of Silverburn. And you can see the path above winding it's way up into the Pentland Hills. It's called the Old Kirk Road as farmers and shepherds living in, over and beyond the hills used this path to go to church in Penicuik in which parish they resided. They must have been very pleased if the sermon was long because it gave them a chance to catch their breath. As it was, the journey to and from church must have taken the best part of the day.
This time we came well equipped, with walking boots and a rucksack containing warm jackets (so not needed!), water, and the OS map. The water was most welcome during breaks from the climb but everything else in there was unnecessary, at least today. Although it must be said these are serious hills and coming prepared is a very good idea. Fortunately for us it was sunshine all the way and although there was a fresh breeze that was in fact very welcome to cool off.
The hills are looking very autumnal now, with brown the dominating colour but there were flashes of colour such as the mushroom above that  I spotted in the grass.
 Eventually the climb levelled out and we passed over the brow of the hills so that we had views in a westerly direction towards Balerno.
We climbed over an impressively large stile and it proved a great vantage point from which to take pictures. You can see my shadow doing just that.
 John found a piece of fence to sit down on and take out the binoculars while the sheep paid us no attention at all. They must be very used to climbers passing by.
In the meantime I ventured far enough down the hill again to get a view of Loganlea Reservoir and the path that we walked on Wednesday. The parked cars probably belong to fishermen, or fishers as they seem to be called. Spot the power lines going across the hills. They seem to get everywhere nowadays.
Then it was back again over the hill and on a mainly downwards path back to the car. There are almost no trees in the hills so this little rowan stood out, somehow clinging on and not yet nibbled by the sheep who are the main inhabitants of these hills.

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