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SUW - DAY 10 - Traquair to Galashiels - May 2017

SUW - DAY 10 - Traquair to Galashiels - May 2017

Postby bargee » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:06 pm

Route description: Southern Upland Way

Date walked: 15/05/2017

Time taken: 1 day

Distance: 23.7 km

Ascent: 738m

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Day 10

Last of the high hills and it dawned overcast and the weather report was for rain and wind until the afternoon, not great for crossing Minch Moor but it was only a short day to Galashiels/ Tweedbank which was the target for the day.
As Cath dropped me off just outside Traquair I walked down to the war memorial cross and used the adjacent bench to put on my waterproof trousers and then turned up the dead end road and headed for the hills.
the tarmac ended and it turned into a walled track, climbing though broadleaf woods and then higher into the forest.
Passed a memorial to horses, then up crossing a maze of tracks marked out as mountain bike tracks through silver birch reclaiming felled areas and up into the cloud, raining all the time.
Stopped for a breather at the artwork mown into the heather, large circles and then onto the cheese well where I found the days first geocache.

Imagememorial cross in Traquair
ImageLooking back to Traquair with Innerleithen to the right and the weather closing in.
ImageLooking back as i climb higher, weather still looks menacing
Imagelooking back again
Imagethe horse memorial at the delightfully named Drumbetha knowe
Imagelooking back whilst having a breather and almost touching the cloud and the wind is a lot stronger
Imageresolution point in the heavy rain
ImageCheese well

From the cheese well the track leveled out and the wind dropped a bit as the wind was coming from the south west so the path was in the lea of Minch moor.
Passed the signpost that indicated the climb to the summit, I might have gone up if the weather was clear but no point today.
Carried along woth maybe 50m visibility in the cloud and at a gap between Minch Moor and Hare Law the trees parted and the wind was whipping through the gap, so crossed it as quickly as possible getting back into the trees, but soon clinmbed over Hare Law and headed out of the trees onto Brown Knowe and it was just head down with the rain battering my right hand side. I met a bloke on a quad up here, he was collecting signs from the mountain bike race that was held the day before and we exchanged "arent we mad to be out here in this" as we passed.
The ridge walk was excellent and soon I was rounding Broomy law and heading for the three brethren.
Grabbed a geocache here but didnt hang around and headed down to get off the ridge and into the trees where i stopped for a rest and a bite to eat and of course as i came off the ridge, the wind died and the rain stopped and it was a great walk down to the Tweed at Yair

ImageThe signpost indicating the top of Minch Moor
wet wet wet
Imagethe gap between trees at hare law; the wind was really strong here rushing up the hill from right to left

Imageback in the shelter of the trees
Imageon Brown Knowe and the quad bike
Imagedropping down off brown knowe on the old drove road

Imagethe final climb up to the three brethren

Imagelooking back from the three brethren
trig and cairns
Imageoff the ridge and it gets brighter as i drop down to Yair
Imagea redwood in the trees
ImageBack to tarmac in Yair
ImageThe bridge over the Tweed at Yair

From Yair turned through a farm and climbing again up through woodland and across fields onto Fairnlee hill and hog hill heading for Galasheils. easy walking as the rain had stopped and wind less strong. but after 10 miles i was getting tired and was a bit damp, think i need to buy a new coat.
Galashiels came into view and i decended through a wood and fields, grabbing another geocache on the way and found myself in a country park and lost the way marks, found them again and crossed a park and round a old peoples home to get into Galashiels.
I decided to skip the next section and headed down towards the station to walk alongside the new railway and have a look at the new structures built to take it through the town.
Cath rang me as i was walking along side the gala water and arranged to pick me up near the rugby ground.

Imageclimbing up from the Tweed and looking back to the ridge and it looks like the cloud is lifting
Imageup farnilee hill
Image looking back to the three brethen from the side of hog hill[/i]
Imageover the shoulder of hog hill
ImageGalashiels comes into view
Image and through a small wood

No more photos after that as i was depressed by the small country park the way takes you through after the exhilarating walk along the minch moor road the poor route, seemingly messing around on the edge of galashiels was a disappointing end to an excellent day despite the weather.
The walk through Galashiels along the cycle path next the new railway was interesting to me as a civil engineer, but was glad to meet Cath and get in the car and go and get a shower at the cottage we were staying in on the far side of Melrose.

An excellent day and i would like to come back and walk over Minch Moor on a clear day.
only 3 days to go now and all the high level walking is over just a long walk to the coast.
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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