Hillock hopping in the heather

Today has been a beautiful sunny day with light winds, much better than the weather the Test match has been getting. Spent this morning getting Her Maj sorted out to go off to the summer camp where she is looking after the staff’s kids for a fortnight.
This afternoon I looked at the lawn, it looked back at me and I backed off the planned assault with deadly lawnmower until later in the day, deciding instead to get my boots on and go off for a wander in the hills.
Initially set off up Dun Dubh and went to inspect the small crag which is used occasionally for taking local kids climbing, then over the hill and dropped down into the glen on the other side, intending to wander up it for about a mile or so and then climb the ridge and return along that towards the start point.
Once I’d left the village I was completely on my own and there were really no signs of anyone having been up along the track for a long time. The bracken had shot up since my last walk a couple of weeks ago, up to two metres in height in places. Saw a small blue butterfly at one point on the hill, although not being a lepidopterist unable to identify further (it’s probably something like a small blue butterfly, knowing the imagination of the flutterby community).
Legs went really well up the first hill, which is encouraging for tomorrow’s assault on two Munroes. The views from the top of Dun Dubh were pretty good, with only slight haze obscuring Colonsay and Mull.
Dropped down as planned along the line of a fence, but there were not even any helpful sheep tracks to follow, so had to force a route through heather and willow scrub where it wasn’t always obvious how far down the next bit of ground was. Down to the bottom and crossed a few hundred metres of bog, which isn’t nearly as hairy as it sounds. The bogs around here are soft and wet, but not sinkable in the main. There are pools to be found, but few and far between. The rest of the route went as planned, with a climb to regain the ridge after about a kilometre up the glen. The tops were grass over rock and the whole area is just a mass of small hills and moor. Set off back in the general direction of Dun Dubh, with the deliberate effort being made to get to the top of every small hill between start and destination. This land was about 300m in height, so I must have climbed about 600m in total bouncing around and up and down. Finished by looking at a prominent rocky rise which was used as a dun a couple of thousand years ago. Fascinating to note was what looked like a stone tent on this dun, where a large slab had been tilted over and a beehive-like wall built up against it to form a shelter.
Back home after a couple of hours walking and got the lawnmower out to start the tedious process of keeping the grass in check. Did about half of the total …


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