Saturday, 3 July 2010

My Visit to Scotland. Streams and gorse and bogs, oh my!

On the Tuesday which would be my last full day with my son and his family and following the dispatch of the grandchildren off to school, they decided to take me to the top of Bonhill so that I could enjoy the panoramic vistas of Ben Lomond and the Loch from there. I had already seen a video of them all enjoying this particular walk some time ago and where my granddaughter had ended up loosing one of her boots in a bog.

We drove up to the beginning of the walk, my son parked the car and we set off. Sandy the dog was accompanying us on this walk, and she went bounding ahead up the path. The weather was absolutely beautiful and because it was still fairly early in the morning it hadn’t really had time to become  too hot. A good job as well  because the terrain was very uneven and although there was a path of sorts, it was very bumpy and potholed.

Vast Vista from the top of Bonhill

Finally we reached the summit of Bonhill itself  and could admire the vast vistas that surrounded us in every direction. Of course I took some pans of the fantastic views from our vantage point before we continued on along the path. Everywhere we stepped it was gorse and heather, pot holes and uneven surfaces. It was very heavy going, and I thought that K would not have enjoyed this walk at all!  When you are trying to walk on such uneven ground, it really is tiring on the legs and it wasn’t long before my calves began to really ache.

Dry Wall and heather

There were flocks of sheep everywhere, and Sandy went dashing off in their direction, causing them to scatter everywhere across the field in fright. She received a harsh ticking off from Cr and a reminder that the farmer would not hesitate to shoot!  We came to a wooded area where it was cooler, and stopped for a short break before continuing down the hill to  the bottom of the next valley.

At the bottom of this valley was a fairly fast flowing stream that we had to continually keep crossing over from one side of the bank to the other. Luckily there were plenty of rocks strewn across it so it wasn’t too difficult.  Cl showed me the exact spot where my granddaughter had left her boot behind in one of the boggy areas whilst trying to cross over the stream.  It was the ground that was difficult. You constantly had to watch your step. Bracken and gorse, boggy areas, pot holes etc.  I couldn’t admire the beauty of the place fully because I was having to concentrate so much on where I placed my feet!

DSC00761Climbing Back up from the Valley

It was picturesque though as we followed the stream and I took lots of pictures of the small waterfalls and rocky pools. The we began to climb back up the side of the valley. This was the most difficult part of the whole walk. It was absolutely covered in bracken, making the climb very difficult indeed.  We were also climbing right at the edge of a steep drop back down to the valley below. I had to stop and take a rest half way up.  If you tried to grab the bracken as a climbing aid, it broke off in your hands so that strategy was not much use. I was really glad when we finally reached the top of this particular climb I can tell you!

Following that ordeal I thought that all my troubles were over. We were now crossing some fairly flat sheep laden fields where several very small streams ran back down to the valley below  that we had to cross. I stepped on what I thought looked solid enough ground, only to have my foot sink down into a muddy boggy area right up to my denim pedal pushers!  Luckily my trainer did not come off when I retrieved my foot from the quagmire , but it was covered in mud!  Cl was in hysterics.  I must have looked a sight, one clean foot and the other full of mud.

At last we returned to the wooded area and the path where we retraced our steps back down the hill towards the parked car. It was such a beautiful day, and was already beginning to become quite hot as well.  We needed to call at the Supermarket on the Estate for a few items, and I must have looked a right sight with my muddy foot and leg! However, no one seemed to be in the slightest bit surprised by the sight of someone shopping in this state. Maybe its a common sight often seen, someone who has stepped into a bog.

Enjoy all my pictures of our walk up Bonhill and down again.



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