Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Devils Puplit

The Devils Puplit:
I had heard about the Devils Pulpit (Finich Glen) completely by accident, and trying to find exactly where it was located was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

When I heard of it, I instantly became attached to the idea of finding it. It reminded me of the Devils bridge, near Aberystwyth, Wales. (as far as I can remember, I was quite little at the time.) I loved going to see the Devils bridge, a narrow gorge, with a beautiful waterfall underneath a tall bridge. Every time I went it was soggy, damp, dark, and we were the only people there. It always had an empty and eerie feeling around it. I have to admit, I was scared that the devil really did live there.

Anyway, back to 2016! Finding the Devils Puplit. I'll make it easy for you guys, no hunting google maps for ages! You follow the A809 until the turning for the B834, on the corner there is parking. You park there, and walk back down the A809 until you see a little stile over a barbed wire fence, from there the fun begins.  After going over the stile, you will see a barbed wire fence, ideally you will need to be on the other side of that fence. Someone had put a thick plastic over the top of the barbed wire as a makeshift Stile, only, I didn't see that to start with, and crossed over a fence laced with barbed wire, worrying for the safety of my....jeans.
Spot the shoe! 
 Once across the first hurdle, I met my second. Mud. Not any normal mud, I mean, thick, horrible, squelchy mud. The kind you read about in "I'm going on a bear hunt!" I couldn't see a way under it, I couldn't see a way over it. OH NO! I had to go through it. Squelch, shoe is stuck. No time to think about what to do, I kept going, placing my thermal sock into the bog, and hopping out realizing what had happened, while I look over to my fiance, who had found a non boggy path... I looked back at my shoe longingly, then at my foot in despair and horror, then back at my shoe with no clue what to do. 
"PLEASE GO GET IT, I'M NOT STANDING IN IT AGAIN!" I shout, half laughing, half crying.
"NO, I'M NOT DOING THAT!" He shouts back
He finds a stick, and fishes out my shoe, comes round without going into the bog, and hands it to me. I find a puddle, inside my shoe, i'm in complete disbelief. I'm 10 minutes into the adventure and I've got a real puddle in my shoe!
Puddle shoe! 
 I laugh and tell my fiance that the devil was trying to pull me into the underworld!
I pour the water out of my shoe, and have no choice but to put my soggy foot back into it. No chance of the thermal socks working now, and every step I make has a an audible squelch.

I'm not giving up yet, I have to keep going. So we carry on. I look at my geocaching app and there is a geocache nearby. We search for it, but have no luck, and to be honest are much more enthusiastic to find the pulpit, so we carry on. We don't have to walk for long when we can see the cliffs of the gorge getting deeper, we look down. My fiance goes right to the edge, while, I, being an introvert, stay a bit further back shouting "Be careful" to him at every opportunity.

We walk a little bit further and find the stairs. This was our third and final hurdle. This hell was nearly over. The staircase, known as Jacobs ladder, or the Devils Staircase are 200 year old stones, to help get down to the pulpit. They are muddy, covered in leaves, wet, and pretty much verticly down. I notice people coming up and we wait for them to pass, as I let myself have too much time to think about how scary these stairs are. I can't give up though. I've went through too much mud to give up now! The group of people get to the top and ask us if we are going down, I say yes. They warn us to be very careful as it is very muddy and slippy. Great, the fear of death is looming over me with every step!
Oh well, here goes, goodbye world, it was nice knowing you! I start walking down the steps, my legs have turned into jelly, my feet are slippy because of the mud mishap, am I going to make it?! My fiance offers me his hand, but I refuse, I don't want to kill him by falling. I get to the middle, and up come some other adventurers, I move to the side to let them past, and i'm shaking. I can't believe i'm this scared of heights. I hold on tight to the tree beside me. One of the girls tells me at this part of the steps its easier to go down the mud than the steps, that's what she done. so that's what I attempt to do, but at this point my legs are so jelly, that I decide the easiest way would be to bum shuffle down. I'm muddy anyway so what the hell?! At this point there are ropes that walkers have tied to the tree and the rest of the way down, if that doesn't show how dangerous this is, then what will? I hold onto it for dear life. As I bum shuffle down, I realize, this isn't so bad, its actually getting easier. I can see the end. I'VE MADE IT. I'M ALIVE. And what a sight down here. 
Its an absolute beauty! The gorge with its high walls, and narrow waterways. Its quiet, its eerie, its empty. Everything that the devils bridge was. The water trickled calmly down the gorge. I walked to the beach, and looked down and saw the pulpit. The water is only shin deep, and could've been waded through with a pair of wellies, and how much I wish I had brought them. I wish I could sit on the pulpit, act like the queen of hell! But just viewing it felt like a privilege. We looked around and noticed that people had left rocks in the wall, with their initials on it. So we followed the trend. We wrote our initials with a heart, (just to be cute and soppy) and tried to pop it in several places on the walls, my fiance tried to lift me up to put it in an unreachable place, but my vertigo had had all it could take for the day. We ended up putting it on the wall that is visible in the left of the picture.
We decided to just stand and watch the water for a good 10-15 mins, and take it all in. We were completely alone in this vast world, it was lovely to just be able to stand still and watch nature doing its thing.
We then decided that it would be best to start heading back. Up the stairs we go, and going up is much easier than coming down. It felt like crawling up. I reached the top and felt proud that I hadn't died! On the way back we search for the geocache again, but in all honesty, we just want to get back. My foot is Baltic. (extremely cold in Scots) On the way back I try to find a new path to avoid the bog, but end up in another, although I didn't loose my shoe this time, what a relief, I ended up swallowing my pride and going my fiances way, and had to say the horrible words... " you were right."
We go over the barbed wire using the makeshift stile this time, no worrying about the saftey of my jeans this time, and head back to the car. When we get back, I take off my muddy shoes and socks and swap to my converse, which were in my car out of pure laziness, as I couldn't be bothered taking them into the house, thank goodness for my laziness! As I turn on my engine it starts to rain, perfect timing.

This walk was one of the best adventures of my life, and I hope this gives you the inspiration to visit it. Its definitely a place you should have on your bucket list.

Tune in next time to hear about our adventure to the Falls of Clyde.

Jade- Your Adventurous Introvert xxx