Wednesday, 7 July 2010
White Meldon and Carfin Grotto.
It was a dodge the rain day today.Ironically the height of British summertime is when you are most likely to get unsettled weather and the next few months til September are usually the hardest to avoid heavy downpours on the hills,particularly on the mountains of the west coast.
We went down to the border hills instead and had a beautiful if easy day on White Meldon.
This delightful little valley runs from Eddleston to Meldon Cottage,past the fairy tale humps of Black Barony and is popular with day trippers and the picnic brigade.A few hardy souls hunkered down in deck chairs soaking up the sun while grimly holding onto hats and plastic cups of tea while the constant wind played with their belongings and rocked cars with the occasional,more powerful gust.A fine walking day though.
A lovely effortless canter up the grassy slopes led us to the summit of White Meldon where Alex bagged the trig,The ancient hill fort ruins and every collection of stones piled between that hadn't been blown over yet.
Black Meldon across the valley was a carbon copy of its sister hill just slightly smaller.
When we got back down to the car it was still early but I had a cunning plan for the rest of the day.We would salute a fellow walker and blogger in his hour of need and pray for Kens legs to get better as he eats and shuffles his way around Cornwall :0) See..... Where the Fat Dog Walks.
Ken seems to be going through a similar experience to the one Alex and myself had some years ago where even walking downhill in a city park in my case caused discomfort,kneecaps crunching, after twenty five years of attacking the greater ranges with over worked limbs.
An enforced rest was required in our case involving different out door pursuits,cycling, and kayaking for me, dog walking for him before hills were back on the menu again.But maybe a little belief and prayer would be a faster approach.It seemed to work for Marvin Andrews at Rangers.
"Where to go?"I hear you ask."Does Scotland have such a place to focus the mind into a beam of concentrated light straight up to God for the greater good?
You bet it does........Carfin Grotto!
On the way home we made a special detour and headed for the aptly named Holytown to the east of Bellshill.Scotland`s very own replica of Lourdes sat nearby,a place not widely known outside of the ranks of true believers.
I`d been here years ago on a solo visit to out of the way pastures new after seeing it on television.Alex had never seen or been here so the size of the place in its situation surprised even him.We parked in the free car park and set off to try and perform our own bluesky miracle for Ken.The Afflicted one.
There were so many different statues and saints however it was hard to know which one would work best for knackered legs.We were not clued up on this religion thing either but we had a fair crack at it,asking around the neighbouring statues for the best advice.
They all said "See the big man over there". So we did.
When we got there he looked a tad busy though, the weight of the world on his shoulders, so we didn't like to bother him with the small scale stuff.
We also passed here but this guy looked as if he had problems of his own to deal with.
In the end we settled for a young girl and her lamb.....
And then a few lesser angels to offer up a word or two as well.
Hope it works Ken :0)
Joking aside if you are ever out this way folks Carfin Grotto is worth a visit just to see it even if,like us, you are not religious in any way.The amount of work and obvious effort that has gone into creating and maintaining this unique area now and in the past can be appreciated by anyone.If you stumbled over this in some small Italian town you would be amazed by it but its not widely known about in Scotland outside of the faith groups.
Mmmm.Lets see...Buddhist.Catholic......Maybe take in an Orange walk next seeing as its the height of the marching season in July and we seem to be bagging our way though the religions of the world as well as the hills.