After our early start on Sunday morning, we packed a morning picnic of tea and Sunny Street flapjacks and drove to the nearby hill of Criffel.
It is a bit of an upside down 'pudding bowl' shaped hill and I did express my misgivings to Himself - not so much the going up but the coming down with my dodgy knee...... he avoided eye contact and cheerfully pronounced that 'it would be fine' as he'd found a route that was not too steep (famous last words ...) As an almost afterthought, I dug out my old walking poles lurking at the back of the van and shoved them into my haversac.
Any hoo - our walk started near a rather pretty but empty farm house and we did our usual 'wouldn't that be lovely when restored to it's former glory', we often 'do up' houses in our heads while we are walking and this little hoos and garden were certainly worth fantasising about (it was only afterwards I realised I'd not taken any photographs which is a shame).
We left the farmlands and turned up into the woodland and followed the forestry track. It was a lovely wide stony path with glimpses of far distant views between the stands of trees. After a little while we found a cheerful babbling stream that tumbled down over the rocks towards the valley bottom. By this time we'd all warmed up a little and Moss threw herself into the chilly water with such enthusiasm it was hard not to laugh at her.
We continued along, the track becoming a single width path which became increasingly steep. The path was in excellent condition having had lots of work done on it. However there were many 'flights' of stone steps and my knees soon made it known that they were getting tired. However, while we were in the trees it was impossible to see how much further/higher we had to go until we burst out on to the moorland and I realised we'd not even got half way up yet...... (at this point I was beginning to have little spiky thoughts about divorcing husbands and throwing my walking boots in his direction) Himself noticed and quickly cracked open the flask and made me a small mug of tea - this went some way to calm some of those murderous thoughts!
The above photo was the last I took from the hill and no more were taken until we'd reached the valley bottom - and as I hung myself over a gate to recover - this rather large and curious cow wandered over to say hello. She had such beautiful brown eyes it made me reach for my cellphone to take her picture.
The next thing he did - which certainly made up for it all (I do love him - I promise) - he drove us down to the coastal village of Carsethorn and there Moss and I (and probably Himself) soaked up the salty air and gently lazy lapping of the sea and felt a whole lot better.
Then we hopped back into Zeb and trundled off to our second evening stop, travelling through rolling hills and farmland until we reached Clatteringshaws Reservoir.
To be continued ....