Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Borders Backpacking, Moffat – Peebles Day 3

dryburgh peel tower
Like wot I said in the post before this one (can’t spell prevouis) – we had to get up early to make sure that Louise and Laura could catch their bus. We wanted to get to Peebles by three-ish.
We also straightened the route out a bit and reduced the number of uphill contours by a bit. Whether or not this made much difference in the end is debateable.
up the forest
Any road up, we set off around half seven, through lambing fields with new lambs and up along the Southern Upland Way to Blackhouse Tower, once belonging to Black Douglas, fifteenth century mosstrooper, reiver and provider of quality coals and fuels. Everybody had three jobs in those days.
Then we plunged upwards into the forestry, getting only slightly lost on the way and selecting a path which, according to the number of paths we came across, should have been “Path One”, but was more probably “Path Two”. At a certain point, or , rather, an uncertain point, this path did a right turn and hurtled off with tussocks uphill, popping out of the forest a little way West of Path 2 and a long way east of Path 1. All good clean fun so far.
drove road
Next was the heathery moor which brought us to Path 1 and it’s clear line – a rising traverse across the moors towards Birkscairn Hill. Moffpeeblers swam through the snow on this path last April, in fact. May are still having nightmares about it and several have not been seen since, other than by their community mental health workers.
As for us, we marched well behind Alan who was intent on nobody missing their bus.
descending to glen sax
At the top, we eschewed a bagging of Birkscairn Hill and plunged off through more deep heather into the yawning depths of the very lovely Glen Sax where a bloke was setting fire to forest brash and sitting about a lot in the warm sun.
We arrived in Peebles before three o’clock – in plenty of time for a coffee/ and/or a wee and for those who needed to catch a bus could catch a bus. I hope it turned up….
moffat to peebles the last hill
me and Judith and Alan went to Moffat in the Knipemobile to collect abandoned vehicles.
It was all over.
I must say that this was all very enjoyable (apart from some of the tussocks and the slug in my mug). We had a fine ridge to walk on, lovely, mainly sunny weather, excellent company, no wobblers, no unpleasant incidents leading to unplanned surgery and a lot more knowledge about where to camp.
On day 3, we did 12 miles and 2000 feet (according to me – other measurers will charge more , or less. ) 37 – or, maybe, 38 miles altogether.  Good stuff for those embarking on TGO challenges next month.
moffpeeb4 moffpeeb5


Louise said...

Hey up! Sounds vaguely familiar, I think. What a fab route and you booked good weather too. My ribs have stopped hurting from all the laughing now, the rest of me has got off lightly.
Excellent stuff.

AlanR said...

You know.
It only seems like yesterday!
38 miles or was it 39? Did you count the walk into Peebles and back on arrival. I think it’s more like 41, but who’s counting.
Oh and the long walk for water at 1st camp.
That’s got to be 42.

Judith said...

My GPS says that we ran 200km to the left then 300km to the right on the Sunday, so once I've sorted out that spike I'll have a rough idea where we went and how far it was! (Int technology brill?)

A great walk. Thanks, Mike, for doing all the planning and thanks to all of you for the good company.

Unknown said...

Looks a Cracking walk

-maria- said...

I enjoyed reading your story, it seems you had a good three day walk! And what a lovely weather.

Phil said...

"Many are still having nightmares about it"

The frostbitten bits have fully recovered now, and the flashbacks are less frequent too.

Looks like you had fab weather and a terrific walk. And Tibbie Shiels is a great spot to camp!

Jules said...

Sounds like a great little adventure you had there, and very enjoyable judging by the report!

I'm not familiar with the area at all, but it looks great and, I imagine, fairly quiet. Added to list of "must get round to's".

Tony Bennett said...

ayoop, I recognise places in some of those pics only I thought they were whiter than that. Good to see those hand-rails.

Damn this ankle.

Phreerunner said...

Nice one Mike - brought back memories. Louise's rucksack looks very small, did you share out her load between the rest of you?
Enjoy your tea shop duties in 3 weeks. Poor Michael and I are coming past Bealach Cumhainn late on 18/5, but I suspect you'll have left there by then...

Mike Knipe said...

You now need to live in hope that Louise doesn't read your comment, Martin...
I should be at Ben Alder cottage on the 18th, or some way up Ben Bheoil - or however it's spelled....

Judith said...

I've decided to follow the flock and start blogging. The start of my account of the walk is at

Louise said...

My rucksack looks small, Martin? Hmmm, I thought it looked dumpy and lumpy, especially from behind if you look closely at Alan's photographs...

Martin Rye said...

Mike a great trip you all had. Been reading all the reports and like the lot of them.