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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Borders Backpacking, Moffat – Peebles Day 1

laura louise alan and judith capel fell

We met at the Rosetta campsite in Peebles – Me, Alan, Laura, Judith and Louise – four bloggers and a sailor and a completely different set of Moffpeeblers than those who had endured the Peebles-Moffat walk last September.  The previous set of Moffpeeblers were all pretending to be ill or busy, or generally hiding behind the sofa. There’s many an Englishman (and girly) now abed would count themselves accursed they were not here, though, so once more unto the Moffpeebling hills, once more.

shepherds cairn on mountbenger law

And so, as is traditional, we attended the Bridge Inn for beers  and also  Franco’s Tragicatoria next door for pasta and nutrition before a bit more beer back at The Bridge. I should point out that I had already bagged a little HuMP that day – Mountbenger Law, on my journey North so I was specially hungry and thirsty.

to the hills...

None of this delayed our transfer to Moffat in the morning for brekkies at the Rumbling Tum  before embarking on our search for the Southern Upland Way, which we found exactly where it was supposed to be.

laura strides forth

The walk progressed without much in the way of tragi-comedy, apart from a suspicion at one point that we were a bit lost – but we panicked not and ate Laura’s liquorice sweeties for sustenance and battered on out of the forest and into the hills. The scenery improved.

croft head

We got to Ettrick Head where the Southern Upland Way creeps off for shelter down the very lovely Ettrick valley. We, on the other hand, took the uphill and windy option and struggled up our first “Donald” – Capel Fell where expansive views of the Moffat Hills with their great and beautiful corries opened up suddenly raising hopes of a cracking walk ahead.

hart fell range

We plodded (it was late in the day) – over two more Donalds – Smidhope Hill and White Shank before arriving at Bodesbeck Burn – a wide and soggy bealach at the foot of Bodesbeck law for the evening camp.

on the ridge

I must admit that, for me, the post-dinner evening is a blur. Apparently there was snoring AND singing at the same time, a skill about which I was unaware. I became vaguely conscious of a snipe drumming and wheeling about during the night and the specially bright moonlight, but it was 14 hours before Mr Bladder got me up in time for day 2 – an account of which follows after I’ve had some more caffeine (i.e. in a minute or two) (account is of day 2, not Mr Bladder…)

camp of the drumming snipe

Measurements of the walk will vary and, I expect that there could be up to four blog accounts of this walk. I measured today at 12 miles and 3100 feet of climbing. This will probably be different to everybody else’s…

Quite good fun so far…..!




Aaron said...

Some nice photos there. I love the walk round Ettrick Horseshoe. Route looks good, may try it this weekend if the weather holds up!

The Odyssee said...

Have you got nothing better to do? What about all the washing and gear cleaning!

Louise said...

Sounds great fun so far!
Couldn't sleep last night, too hot...

Andrew W said...

What no rain.
I would have been there Mike, but plans and travel were a bit in the air this time, and then at the very last minute I was kidnapped by Messrs Sloman and Lambert and dragged up to Langdale, where no alcohol passed our lips, or that might have been touched our lips, or maybe that bit was a lie.
Anyway, we stayed South of the border and nay saw a Windmill for 3 days.