My hiking book billed it as a RELAXING 7-mile walk over moorland and along the Greenock Cut aqueduct. It started so well yesterday, in sunshine, with fantastic views over the Clyde to the hills beyond. Then this happened…….
Weather with more front than Blackpool swept in from the west and nearly knocked me off my stott. Gale force winds of up to 100mph – along with showers of flinty hailstones – battered into me. Relaxing, became invigorating, then a bit scary. The Cut is quite exposed and I was feeling the almost overpowering effects of a particularly enthusiastic jet stream from the Atlantic.
The small huddled flocks of sheep had all eyes on me, I could see them thinking: If she’s not here to round us up and bring us to shelter, then what the hell is she doing here? But being more ‘fool’ than ‘hardy’, I kept going and resolved to complete the circuit. An hour and a half into the walk and I was quite exhausted. The force of the hailstorm meant it was difficult to look into the distance. Added to that, there was no signal so the walking App didn’t record my miles. I had no idea how far I still had to go. I was never so glad as when I rounded a small slope and there was my car.
The Greenock Cut was constructed between the 1820’s and 1840’s to take water to and from Loch Thom to Greenock. It’s now a Designated Ancient Monument, has a visitors’ centre and, in the right weather, is a pleasant outing. I’d avoid it in hailstorms though…….unless you want to save on those dermabrasion sessions.