Blood Sport

Red Admiral feedingI hate blood sports, particularly when the blood is mine!  In a misguided display of parental selflessness I’d given the Brat my insect repellant as she was going camping in D&G and so I had no protection from the biters who looked on me as lunch during our walk around the Kilpatrick reservoirs.  It was disconcerting to slap my arm as a diner dug in and then find my fingers covered in my precious A Rh+.  By the end of the walk I was anaemic.

Jazz in Jaw reservoir

Jazz in Jaw reservoir

This walk came from  25 year old walking guide I had found at the back of the bookcase and it seemed ideal for a hot day as Jazz could cool off in each of the four reservoirs we’d pass. Unfortunately in the intervening years some inconsiderate organisation had planted a forest…

Jaw reservoir with Duncolm

Jaw reservoir with Duncolm

Sun-dew

Sun-dew

We started at Glasgow University’s farm at Cochno and headed for Jaw reservoir along the signed path with Red Admiral butterflies gorging themselves on the thistles.  The path climbs a brae and gives great views along the Clyde to Glasgow with Tinto Hill on the horizon 60-odd km away.  After Jazz had a quick dip in the reservoir we passed the Maiden's Paps (a pair of earth mounds) and then followed the track skirting a forest.  Unfortunately my old guide hadn’t foreseen a new stretch of forestry and so Jazz and I had an unpleasant stretch following a stream up to my nose in bracken while being a blood donor to all the insects of central Scotland.  Let’s fast-forward this bit and just say that your correspondents finally reached the lunch spot at Kilmannan reservoir in a poor mood.

Loch Lomond from Duncolm

Loch Lomond from Duncolm

Path down from Duncolm

Path down from Duncolm

Panorama from Duncolm

Panorama from Duncolm

After lunch we were now on a decent track going to Burncrooks reservoir for a post-lunch dip and then following a fire-break heading for Duncolm, the high-point of the day.  At just over 400m this lump isn’t going to get on walking lists but as it sits out from its surroundings, it does give a great viewpoint, especially to the north to Loch Lomond and its hills.  It is in the short-but-sharp category but the view really is worth it.  I took a panoramic picture stretching from Dumgoyne to Ben Lomond, Ailsa Craig (90km away) and then over Glasgow and Tinto Hill.

The Stacks from Greenside

The Stacks from Greenside

Jazz heading back from Greenside

Jazz heading back from Greenside toward Clydebank

From Duncolm we head south for Greenside reservoir along a decent (albeit occasionally squelchy) path.  After the obligatory Jazz-dip we now follow the track back to the car.  This was a mixed walk: the forest bit was awful, but the view from Duncolm made up for it.  And the next time I’m up here it will be with a tanker of DEET.