Sunday 13 March 2016

Chapman's Graves Today

The Chapmen's Graves in the Kilsyth hills.

"A Chapman or packman was an itinerant trader who would visit householders selling wares or services and, in the days before supermarkets, they were hugely important to the running of households.
The route is known as the Chapman's Road because the graves of two Chapmen or pedlars are located to the west of the summit of Tomtain.

The story goes that one of the two Chapmen murdered the other and was later executed and buried next to his victim. This may be true, but interestingly it does follow a trend of stories where Packmen or Chapmen are murdered. In any case, it certainly implies that this path was used by traders.

It is not clear why Chapmen would be using a route parallel to the Tak Ma Doon but it may be because they were trying to visit all of the hill farms to sell their wares. The Tak Ma Doon is also a very old road linking Stirling with Kilsyth and this may have been tolled at one time but there is no evidence of tolls on the Tak Ma Doon road so far."

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Bit of a Blair Witch Weekend on Loch Long

Had arranged to meet up with some friends for an overnighter near Arrochar on Loch Long. Turned into a bit of an epic with 4000ft of ascent/descent and a 5 mile trek with a massive pack. Only to find the guys by total accident, camped 5 mins from where I started and about 2 mins from the car, just off the main road.

My pal Stevie had an even more interesting story to tell having walked about the same distance as me trying to find the camp and then encountering the sheer luck to be picked up by the SBS for a ride along the loch from near the submarine base in their rib to where Ant and the Two Dave's were pitched up.

Here's a wee video of my travails that culminated in a braw overnighter in good company round a blazing campfire on a night where temperarures got down to -5...

May the fire be always lit ;-) ...

Thursday 11 February 2016

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Forever Tainted

 I read this very transparent and informative article by Cameron McNeish on the Walk Highlands Magazine Site Today and it pretty much sums up the shameful state of affairs regarding camping access in Scotland's first National Park.

People really need to take notice and get motivated with regard to getting this decision reversed as it is merely the tip of the iceberg of the way things are going under the current Government in Scotland and as Mr. McNeish says :-

"If an SNP government can take us in this direction with camping byelaws, what next? Byelaws to control mountain biking, walking, canoeing and swimming, for example?"

The unfortunate thing is it's already happened. Under this Legislation bent Government, despite existing Police powers to combat anti social behaviour by a minority, Scotland must be one of the only countries in the world where it is now a CRIMINAL OFFENCE to have a beer or glass of wine on a public beach with your picnic. And, should you be unfortunate enough to be merely reported or even have it alleged you are guilty of such a HEINOUS CRIME then you can be detained, 
in a Police Cell, under SECTION 14 of the CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (SCOTLAND) ACT 1995, for a period of up to 12 hours, WITHOUT CHARGE, until the Police ascertain whether you are guilty or in fact innocent of ANY CRIME  in the first place.

I suppose one upside of being caught camping "illegally"  in or on the borders of The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park EXCLUSION ZONE on a cold, wet, windy Scottish night is that you could find yourself banged up in a nice warm Police cell for the evening while the Cop's carry out their investigations as to whether you were actually within the exclusion zone in the first place.

Here's a link to an article I wrote about the Original East Loch Lomond Camping Ban

And here is a Link to Cameron's article in Walk Highlands

May The Fire Be Always Lit !

Sunday 10 January 2016

Kilsyth Hills

Took a wee trip up the kilsyth hills last weekend.

Monday 28 December 2015

Bervie Bash - 28th December 2015

Great to catch up with John. Jim , Steve and finally meet up with the other Jim who kindly lent me a beachcaster and reel for the day. 

It was gnarly out there and the photo's don't do the anger of the sea justice. Even though folk lost wheens of terminal tackle and it was a pretty much fishless day apart from Jim nearly catching a baby Orca that he nearly landed till it made off with one of his rod's and reels.

 It was a great day out and the haddock supper I had at the Bervie Chipper is the best I've ever had.

It was gnarly out there.

Jim, Jim, John and Steve. 

Great day out in great company. All the best when it comes.