Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Cairnpapple after dark

I had noticed Mike L's posts about a night run up Cairnpapple. I quite enjoy a headtorch adventure and waited to see what the weather was going to do before committing to it. The previous weekend had been quite Springlike so I contacted Mike and signed up for this Carnethy bunfight. The run was on a Monday evening to celebrate the Vernal Equinox and Cairnpapple has a certain druidic connection. If I had listened to Mike's impressively prepared lecture tour I could have told you more about this but I was distracted by Jeff's mead and trying to take photos in the dark. (If you think these are poor quality (they are) you should see the rest!)

We met at Linlithgow Station as the dark and rain threatened to dampen spirits. I had dressed for winter and had to de-jacket along the way as the pace was brisk and the rain stayed off most of the time. There was some road out of Linlithgow then some trails and muddy paths through Beecraigs park then more road then more mud and clambered fences. I didn't have a clue where we were or where we were going but the variety was fun and atmosphere upbeat. Since the distance was around ten miles and we had to get back before the pub stopped serving food there was a restrained urgency that kept things moving along.

Lisa and Neil led the way

Witchcraigs Hill

tour guide Mike

nearby pagan lights

Cairnpapple Hill 

Probably worth a visit in the daylight. Though beware if you go at certain times they'll ask you for £4.50 entry fee. And there's a shop. Mike charged us less, AND we got a sip of delicious mead supplied by Jeff and pre-chilled in situ which was excellent defence against the light drizzle that came on as we left the sheltered spot (below.)

The mead was powerful but not quite enough to induce visions of snakes - must have been the druidic forces of the equinox. 

We thought we might bump into others out celebrating the change of season in unusual garb, but it became apparent that we were the only wayward travellers abroad in the night. Many thanks to Mike for organising and endeavouring to educate us - sorry for not paying attention in class. It WAS great fun. However I only got home way after bedtime and it took several days to recover from the jetlag (runlag?) The next morning, as if in celebration of the arriving Spring, there was a covering of snow and a brutal cold wind blowing.

10 miles or so

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