Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Scottish hospitality

Wednesday 30th July 2014

Greatmoor Hill, 599m, NT 489 007

Cauldcleuch Head, 619m, NT 458 008

Planning last night left me uncertain in two ways about bagging these two.

The map showed a farm one mile up a track giving the closest access (NY 504 992, Sundhope). My plan was to drive up the track and ask permission, and as I got closer I was imagining all sorts of unwelcoming scenarios, BUT, we are now in Scotland. A guy appeared immediately I arrived near the farm and I was preparing for the worst. Angus is the incumbent shepherd and the only inhabitant. He had no problem with me tramping wherever I wanted on his hills, and then said, "call in on your way back for a cup of tea" - you think I'm making it up don't you?

My second concern was whether I could comfortably manage visiting both summits involving a fair amount of ascent and descent across unknown but likely rough terrain.

It was raining and the tops were in cloud. I waited half an hour until it abated.

I followed a faint quad bike track to the first summit (one hour). Intermittent showers and clearances prevailed but improving, so it was onwards to number two. Apart from knee discomfort I felt very fit.

Weather allowed for decent views, and back on the first summit for the second time I had a nostalgic distant view of the twin peaks of Eildon Hill south of Melrose which I walked between on my LEJOG and they recently had an airing on Mick and Gayle's blog on their trek north to the TGO.

Down at the farm I sat with Angus and talked about his shepherding. He has represented Scotland in the One Man and His Dog tv programme. Even though he breeds the dogs and has a dozen or so he still counts himself as an amateur at sheep dog trialling, I am not so sure. He had photos and original paintings of sheep dogs and sheep all over the walls of his sitting room. I suppose everybody's life is mor complicated than we would know from a casual meeting, but here was a guy content with his employment and his passion with very modest demand on materialism. That will most likely be the highlight of this trip for me.



Sundhope where Angus is resident shepherd and sole inhabitant.




Greatmoor Hill summit. The dark green hill to the right is my Marilyn number two.


Looking towards Greatmoor with a swirl of cloud atop awaiting my second visit of the day on my return from number two.
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REPLY TO COMMENT

Gimmer - the area is overwhelmingly concerned with non-deciduous forestry so in a way it is much more "industrialised" than The Lakes, but somehow that seems to be part of its charm, along with its extensive upland areas, more often than not pathless and rarely visited.


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3 comments:

John J said...

Isn't it refreshing to find such contentment in this world of materialism. I feel quite jealous....but I admit to being too materialistic to lead a life like Angus.
In an ideal world perhaps!
JJ

bowlandclimber said...

Interesting post from Scotland. We were also up between the twin peaks of The Eildons on St. Cuthbert's Way this year. Similar weather conditions then to yours today.
Those twin peaks are nothing to do with the supposedly popular TV drama series of the 90's.

gimmer said...

it is becoming obvious that you need to add a new 'snippet' of wisdom to go with the Lear and Thoreau -
'he who walks alone need fear no dearth of tea and cakes, but he who walks in company, must carry his own, and others' "