Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Hiking Loch Glow & Dumglow

Having enjoyed the climb up Largo Law, I was excited to try climbing another, higher, hill. 

Whilst looking through some books about activities in Fife I came across Hamish Browns' book, 25 walks in Fife. I was interested in this book because any hills encountered within the walks were clearly labelled with their height. As a result, walks number 4 and 25 captured my attention. 

I showed them to my husband. He liked the look of them both as they both featured Lochs and thus fishing! I preferred number 25 as it featured a higher hill, but he preferred number 4 which happened to be further away from Lundin Links. This was good because it would give little girl longer opportunity to have a nap in the car along the way. We needed to set off early as there were rumours of heavy rainfall later in the day. 

We had a bit of trouble finding the car park but we got there from the opposite direct to that described in the book and we got to drive around the hills we were about to climb in advance which was exciting. 

The first part of the hike involved passing two lochs including Loch Glow. The book advised us to avoid the path as it would be very boggy, but as it was early(ish) in the year it was boggy pretty much throughout the first few miles. So much so that even my decent goretex hiking boots could no longer keep the water out. Determined to enjoy the walk I soldiered on, but just as I was actually beginning break and get really fed up with the bogginess we reached the south-west base of Dumglow and began to climb. From this point onwards the book described the rest of the walk not being boggy anymore. Hooray! 

As we climbed I noticed little girl kept pointing upwards towards the hill. It took me some time to register what she was pointing at. Sheep. Not any old sheep, sheep with horns. Over the fence. The fence we needed to climb over to continue or journey. To say I got scared is an understatement. I was faced with the choice of climbing the fence into the same field as the horned sheep or going back though the bog. Thankfully there were two fences and we could deviate or journey a little along another field running parallel. We stayed in this field for as long as we could before having to climb back into the other field to reach the summit of Dumglow. Thankfully by this time we were well passed the horned sheep. The climb was not as hard going as Largo Law as the it was steep for much less of the distance, if that makes any sense? I did get a little scared for a brief moment again though!

We stopped at the summit to admire the view and locate the Fourth bridge and Largo Law in the distance. We took some photos and ate a banana before continuing. The descent down the east face towards the forest was easy going. When the path passed the first bit of forest my husband insisted in stopping to pop his head in and it was the thickest forest I had ever seen, extremely dark and quite scary. Okay, really quite scary! 

We carried on and the path actually led us though a small stretch of forest and then along a stream where the surroundings were simply breathtaking, I can't describe. Never have I felt like I was in such complete wilderness. 

The book, or rather Hamish Brown, had lied. It was so very boggy, at one point I nearly lost my posh hiking boots as I was very nearly up to my knees in it for two steps and again I felt scared. Did my husband care? Yes - I was carrying his posh digital SLR camera! 

At that point we reached the base of our next little climb and again I was relieved to get out of the bog! The climb was not too challenging and by this point little girl, who had been amazingly well behaved, happily sitting on my husbands' shoulders began to feel a little impatient wanting to get down and stretch her legs. It wasn't the safest terrain to allow her to roam. From the peak we identified a path to cut the walk short and make our way back to Loch Glow and thus the car. 

It's good we did, because the minute we were inside the car it began to rain. We're not afraid of a little rain as we're well equipped with our waterproofs, but it proper rained. There was even lightning. I felt very lucky. What an amazing and well-timed walk. The best walk of my life so far. 

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