The Dog Rambler E-diary 01 June 2012 | Walking In The United Kingdom | Leisure

Friday

The Dog Rambler E-diary

To 01
June 2012
Walk Dogs on walk Over Harbour Hill to Bells Hill Length 6 miles

Brooklyn, Cyrano, Dylan, Finlay, Jolie, Otis, Teela, Tim

I knew my persistence with t-shirt and shorts would pay off eventually. Or was it just luck. Whatever, we were graced with some sun today, a lot of cloud too but no rain. It was touch and go and I almost took my waterproof jacket. I did take my gloves. What a sight I must have been, t-shirt and gloves. We were aiming for two hills today. Over Harbour Hill and then up onto Bells Hill. This from Dreghorn. With some dark clouds swirling above our heads we set off noisily for the track into the hills. A great scatter of dogs to begin with before they began to settle into their positions. Settle is rather an inappropriate word for it, some did settle into a good stride. Others, and I think we know who they are, flew about like maniacs. Their version of settling into the walk. So I had Teela beside me. Both of us watching each other carefully so as not to repeat the tripping debacle of the other day. Otis, knowing that I would be the one going the shortest distance tucked himself in behind me and stayed there for much of the walk. I tried to encourage him on but he just slipped back in behind me again. He has had five days of walks and more in the evening.

Naturally it was Brooklyn, Jolie and Tim who were thrashing back and forth through the lengthening grass, stronger green as we approach summer. Cyrano deliberately getting caught up in it. But still not entirely sure how to proceed. Looking a little peeved when Tim jumped up at him. He waited for Dylan to join in so that he could run with him without having to touch. We meandered higher up the twisting path, between starkly yellow gorse bushes toward the long flat shape of Capelaw Hill. Finlay pulling us up from the front as though there was no time to waste. We reached a fence and gate, the heather slopes of Capelaw Hill on the other side. Our path running along its base. Now the gentle inverted bowl of Harbour Hill visible behind and to the left of Bonaly Reservoir. Teela moved ahead of me a bit gaining in confidence and comfort. Otis clung to my heels. Still the others chased catching their legs in the heather. Boundless energy today, only occasionally taking a pit stop to walk along for bit. But it was not long before they baited each other and were off again. The sun began to push away the cloud as we took on the steep climb up Harbour Hill. Me pulling Cyrano and Finlay to heel to stop them from jumping into and then wallowing in one of their favourite trenches of mud. Then we were onto its broad top. The dog tooth array of the main Pentland Ridge thrusting its jaw line above the hill. And in front of it our destination hill Bells Hill with its slim path cutting a diagonal path to the top. Sadly we did not make it to the top. Gunfire floating on the wind from the MOD range behind Castlelaw Hill became too much for Teela. She had ignored it for a good while, and then decided that was enough. Off over the brow of the hill she set. We had little choice but to follow. I knew there was a stone wall off the side of the hill and sure enough we picked her up there pacing back and forth beside it. On the lead she went and I took her some of the way back over the hill toward the gunfire to show her it was nothing to be afraid of before we began to descend back toward Harbour Hill. To be fair to Teela, Cyrano was not loving the gunfire either. She got back off her lead once we had crossed Harbour Hill.

Where Dylan pulled a great chunk of heather up and began to tease the others with it and play tug-of-war with Tim for it. Finlay may have missed out on his muddy trench but he did find a nice puddle to plunge his head into. Cyrano got his wish to run with Dylan and the sun really opened the sky to light up a grand panorama of Edinburgh. So we finished the walk on a high point, hopefully with some happy and some quite tired dogs.

Nick

Photo slideshow from the walk
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