As many of you may have read in previous blogs, I have a very inspirational woman in my life. In fact, shes the inspiration for the blog, and the walking. That person is my Grandma.
When I was 10, my Grandma walked Land's End to John O Groats, and wrote a book about it and I have always wanted to follow in her footsteps.
And, again, as some of you may know. I moved to Glasgow in the past 9 months, which means I'm a lot closer to my Grandma.
Since I have moved to Glasgow, my Grandma and I have been on three walks, ranging in difficulty, and distance.
1.The Glen Loin Loop
This was my first walk with the Rambling Roses. I was so nervous about going alone that I invited my Grandma. I was really excited to be able to do a long walk with her. She picked me up early and we headed into the stunning area of Arrochar. This was a difficult walk, the whole loop is 12 miles, with lots of little ascents and descents. We didn't get all the way round, we ended up doing about 11 miles. We had lots of conversations about why we enjoy walking, and the beauty of our surroundings.
By the end of it, neither of us wanted to walk ever again, purely because our legs where so sore!
2. Paisley to Lochwinnoch
Paisley to Lochwinnoch was a very easygoing walk. This followed cycle routes, which where created from old railway lines. This section is about 10 miles long. It felt so strange starting off in the middle of a busy town and ending up in beautiful, quiet, countryside. The contrast was amazing.
My favourite part of the whole walk was an old platform that had been left in. You could really just imagine people standing waiting for the train, to get to paisley. It was like I was time traveling. (Or I just have an over active imagination.)
We had a conversation about people who graffiti, and how we admire their determination to get in the most awkward places known to man. (i.e under bridges,) If they could just put that effort into the artwork, maybe people wouldn't mind so much! We also got to sit on shovel seats, and climb a giant's bicycle.
3. River Ayr Way- Catrine to Haugh Farm.
This walk was only 2 miles, but its purpose was to geocache. My Grandma had mapped them all out on the OS map, and on her GPS. I had just opened the app on my phone. This walk was full of history, and beautiful wild plants.
The best point of this walk was seeing the Ballochmyle cup and ring carvings. Said to be dated back to the Neolithic and Bronze ages. I've never seen anything like it. No one knows exactly WHY the cup and ring markings are there, but there are certainly a few different theories.
We also saw the Ballochmyle Viaduct, which was once the longest stone masonry arch ever built. Although there was a plaque on one of the legs of the bridge, which was off center that made me unhappy!
All of these walks have been amazing, and I've been able to find out more about my Grandma's experience doing Land's End to John o Groats. It's also helped keep myself inspired at the same time.
Best of all I've been able to spend some quality time with my Grandma, and see her a lot more often than I have done in the past. The next walk we do will be along the River Ayr way again, but at the River Ayr Gorge!
Until next time
Jade- Your Introvert Adventurer.