Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Moffat to Peebles Day 1

So, we set off to Moffat in a couple of cars to meet outside the Rumbling Tums for breakfast. Nerves and travel sickness almost got the better of me, but a bacon butty and cup of tea was duly consumed and we made the first tentative steps towards Peebles.
SDC11451 Lovely ram in Moffat
After making our way out of Moffat, we eventually took the Southern Upland Way and things became fairly steadily and persistently uphill. There was various scenery, fields, woodland and hills in the distance.
SDC11452 Alpaca with solid little  friends
We climbed up along forestry tracks and found a nice lunch spot before heading onto the hills.
SDC11453 Comfy seat, anyone?
We were soon at the spot originally planned as our first camp, but it was too early in the day at around 2pm, so we decided to carry on to the second possible pitch. The landscape was beginning to change now, becoming more lumpy with the odd drop down to tumbling water and glimpses of the views to come.
SDC11454Female Emporer Moth
We found this striking moth before we eventually reached Mike’s proposed camp and then the boys bravely struck out in opposite directions to find the water that should have been there.
Water was found (eventually closer to camp than at first thought…) and we all pitched, boiled, consumed, washed up and snuggled down at tremendous speed. Especially Mike, who provided us with background music of snoring and singing as we worked.
I was very cold and had a slight headache when I got into my sleeping bag. I’d had to force my dinner down because I knew it was a necessity, but didn’t enjoy eating it and I knew I was cold because I was shattered, so I was glad to hit the sack, but I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t get warm. Paracetamol, some crisps and three layers later and I was still cold and shivering, so my emergency bivvy was deployed (just laid over the top of me as it rustled too much!) I didn’t want to show my inexperience and become hypothermic before we’d even really got started. I knew this wasn’t ideal because of the risk of condensation on my sleeping bag, but it worked and I drifted in and out of sleep through the night, listening to rhythmic snoring, visiting sheep snuffling and snipes drumming.
By my rough calculations, 11.3 miles and a total of 3100 ft. (There will be variations!)

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