Thursday, 15 September 2011

Water Falls

But you knew that. It's one of the basic scientific facts they teach you at school. Like shit happens etc. Way back when I was a temporary junior acting unpaid hillwalker, I used to console myself as I struggled through squelchy stuff at the beginning of the climb that gravity will have brought all the water down here and the peaks and ridges will be firm and crisp underfoot. Aaah, bless ! The discovery that you could still lose a boot at 4000 ft came as a nasty shock.

Nowhere near 4000ft today, but I did spend  a bit of time contouring across a pronounced slope -pronounced s-l-o-p-e. (thank you Milligan) which was remorselessly moisture retentive

Anyway, Gargunnock.
The Gargunnock hills are part of the escarpment that forms the southern wall of the Carse of Stirling. Same sort of idea as the Ochils to the north, but not so high and not so many deep glens.I had considered going up to the top, but correctly opted for the low level circle.

Looking North to the start of the Highlands

This is Downie's Loup, named after some clown who tried to jump it on his horse. He was killed at the third attempt, becoming one of the early recipients of a Darwin Award.

Part of the way featured a kind of causeway through the bog along an overgrown dyke, but this came and went.

More water falling

Now it had been peeing down quite a lot recently, but the vegetation just said "Squelch !"

So how squelchy was it ? Let me put it this way.......

At this point I was savouring a custard cream and asking myself , more in sorrow than in anger "Why didn't you put your gaiters on, Dickhead ?"

Looking East to the Ochils. Ah can see ma hoose !!

The rich farmland of the Carse of Stirling. At one time this was under the sea. At another time it was under a glacier and a mere 200 years ago it was under a thick layer of peat. Some time in the future it will be under houses.

Some interesting livestock at the farm on the way down

I'm guessing Balwens, unless you know different.

Indian Runners !!

Harris Hawk.  ( No - I'm sure it's not an oyster catcher. Now piss off !)

Harris Hawk in the huff.

Not sure about these. They are cattle. And they are white. But I don't think they are White Cattle.

"Stop it. You're just encouraging him" !

Nice wee kirk in Gargunnock. Note crowstep gables and cross at one end and horns at the other.

Now I've noticed that the popular blogs usually feature a reason for each walk - either preparing for another excursion or testing of an item of kit. Well today's objective was to evaluate a new ancillary equipment  management system which I have developed in conjunction with NASA. This consists of two elements. First the carrying of  essential items such as compass, monocular, spectacles, teeth etc on lanyards (ok - string) around my neck. Phase two involves the over-the shoulder carrying of a map case. Now, I have hitherto regarded the  map cases in the same light as man-bags and earstuds as sending out completely the wrong signals. But hey, don't knock it till you try it, as they say.
 You will be surprised to hear that this turned out somewhat less than the total disaster which I am sure you were expecting. It will however require some management practice to avoid a bit of a bourach involving the sternum strap. Perhaps I could go on a course.

Well I enjoyed that ! Wet underfoot but a delightfully warm and sunny late summer's day. 5 ish miles and and, dunno, 5/600 ft of lift . Just what the doctor ordered.


  1. Ooh Bugger (can we say "bugger" in here? Maybe "Bum" is better)
    I'll start again:

    BUM! (Are we allowed to shout in here?)
    I will have to go back over almost five years of blog posts to put in a reason for each walk.
    Cracked it! I just need to put in the words "An expedition to find the pub at either the halfway point or the end of the walk or better still, both. That should do it. Or a really good place to eat. Or sleep.

    There's loads of possibilities really, all wonderfully to do with the stomach and bed.

  2. Yes , you can say "Bugger". And you can say "Bum", but not the two in the same sentence.

    Ah, The Pub. I remember it well. They tell me you now have to pay three of your earth pounds for one of the big glasses of that frothy black stuff. Surely this cannot be right ?

  3. I'm hopeless at this Take yesterday for example...instead of going to the pub post walk - I had to get back go shopping!
    I consider myself a failure. :(

    Why on earth did you want to spend so much time in a bog on your day out?

    And I hope you're going to cleasn those boots!

  4. Gaiters should be supplied with a set of basic instructions along the lines: 1) Apply only after garments to be protected are beyond protection; 2) Wear as a precautionary measure to ensure ground remains firm and climate sub-Saharan.
    Thank you for introducing me to the term “crowstep gable” OM. I’ve always wondered what they were called.

  5. Kenny. Shopping? You obviously haven't got the hang of this retirement thing yet!

    Alen. Exactly. And they are such a faff to put on and take off.
    When I was hill-walking in the mid 80's there was a trendy idea of hiking in little studded wellies (made, IIRC, by Nokia!). Wonder what happened to that ?