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SUW - DAY 9 -Glen Ettrick to Traquair - May 2017

SUW - DAY 9 -Glen Ettrick to Traquair - May 2017

Postby bargee » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:49 pm

Route description: Southern Upland Way

Date walked: 14/05/2017

Time taken: 1 day

Distance: 25.6 km

Ascent: 719m

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Day 8 - a shorter day at 16 miles from Glen Ettrick to Traquair via St Marys lock,
The rain had gone and it was a cool breezy day, the ground underfoot was still firm and dry the heavy rain had just soaked straight in, We also had moved locations of our base to the outskirts of Melrose so not such a long drive as yesterday and again i was walking towards where we were staying for our second week.

I had been concentrating so much on reaching Beattock and the nlong stages on the fiorst week in my planning that i hadn't really examined the route i would be taking in the second week thinking the shorter stages would give me plenty of time to enjoy the walking so I was heading out onto the roite with not much knowledge of where i was walking which was good in my opinion and i enjoyed taking it as it came on todays walk.

Cath dropped me off in Glen Ettrick and at the stile there is a slate with the first verse of the poem.

here it is in full and I wasn't aware of it before being an ignorant englishman, but i like it, maybe one for my funeral, and conveys a love of outdoors and seasons.

When we first rade down Ettrick,
Our bridles were ringing, our hearts were dancing,
The waters were singing, the sun was glancing,
An' blithely our hearts rang out thegither,
As we brushed the dew frae the blooming heather,
When we first rade down Ettrick.

When we next rade down Ettrick,
The day was dying, the wild birds calling,
The wind was sighing, the leaves were falling,
An' silent an' weary, but closer thegither,
We urged our steeds thro' the faded heather,
When we next rade down Ettrick.

When I last rade down Ettrick,
The winds were shifting, the storm was waking,
The snow was drifting, my heart was breaking,
For we never again were to ride thegither,
In sun or storm on the mountain heather,
When I last rade down Ettrick.

So onto today's stage the first section was a climb over the ridge to drop down to st Mary's Loch and Tibbie shiels inn. An enjoyable 5 miles with an unexpected drop down to cross a stream at and climb back up before dropping down to st marys Loch
The walk is lovely after the initial climb and views are good and the glimpses of water in the valley below entices you onwards.

ImageEttrick Poem
Imageuphill again, cruel right at the start of the day.
Imageleaving Glen Ettrick
Imageafter the initial slope the climb was excellent following this little valley uphill
ImageTo emerge onto the higher fields; the weather was clearing too
ImageLooking back down to Glen Ettrick, the last view as i reach the boundary fence

Imagethe way onwards a superb contouring path heading for a ruined farmhouse at Riskinhope
Imagedown down
ImageDown down
Imagethen back up again
ImageLooking back at the route and the ruined Riskinhope farmhouse

ImageSt MAry's Loch comes into view

Imagesome locals block the way and didnt move as i walked through them
Imageand down to the bottom between the lochs

Thats 5 miles done, next bit is along the loch shore for 3 miles, I had a break sitting on a bench by the sailing club and watching a race end, before I headed off the excellent path along the shore.

Imagethe end of the loch
from the end of the loch, the path crosses the river and a field and then the A708 and heading into the hills passing a old Peel tower and excellent views up the loch.
I found an Adder cooking in the sunshine and then a sheep with a bucket stuck on its head, I tried to catch it but it kept running away.
at the next farm Id convinced myself that the route was straight up the hillside opposite where there was a farm track heading upwards so headed that way and only when the track petered out did i notice there were no waymarks and realised i was heading in the wrong direction, but decided rather than loose the hard earned height i would continue up and rejoin the path on the far side of the plantation. so after a tussucky walk through long grass then climbing a gate walked along the edge of the forest through big mosses and remains of renewed fence before after a mile meeting the path as it emerged from the wood, an interesting diversion.

From here it was an easy walk along a grassy path across low hills and along the ridge to drop down to where i arranged to meet cath in Traquair.

ImageDryhope tower
Imageonwards and upwards
Imagesome walkers i passed that just blanked me they must have been londoners on holiday
the next valley to walk through
Imagethesheep with a bucket, i was worried if i chased it further it would fall off the edge of this steep sided clough
ImageThis is where i made my mistake, I should have headed past the farm to the left , instead I went straight up the hill in front on the clear track, I've no idea why, i must have been fatigued and just assumed that it was uphill again, I didn't realise my mistake until i was high up on the hillside
Imageclimbing up on my detour
ImageThe clear path I should have been on after i had walked around the plantation
Imagethe way ahead across Blake Muir
ImageA lovely 3 miles over grassy paths
ImageView from the Kist that was close to the path
Imagethe final decent comes into view with Innerleithen in the distance
Imageand down to the road where cath met me in the church car park

A shorter day of 16 miles but I was feeling tired at the end, and kicking myself for the mistake in route finding leading to a tiring mile and half across tussocky grass.
the weather was excellent if a bit windy and a variety of terrain with the walking along the lochside.
Another excellent day.
Posts: 57
Munros:9   Corbetts:2
Fionas:2   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:77
Wainwrights:108   Islands:19
Joined: Feb 15, 2014
Location: Huddersfield, west yorks

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