LEJOG48: West Linton to Broxburn

I left West Linton and past though some fields and what looked like the estate and farm of a semi-stately home. Then I came to moorland, big hills and big skies. Desolat feeling wilderness. These were the Pentland hills and I was very impressed as I had been under the impression that the whole of southern Scotland was lowland and flat. Not a bit of it, today’s and the preceeding day’s hills proved to me that there was exciting landscape in this area.

I kept walking in a straight line which as pretty much what my map and guide book told me too. I past a heard of hairy cows and not for the first time contemplated the fact that hightland calves look really odd-there’s something about the gait of their limbs and the way their skin hangs off them which makes it look like they are not a cow but somebody on all fours in a hairy suit.

After a while I started to get a bit panicky because I couldn’t understand where I was on either of my maps, and started to contemplate being lost miles from anywhere in a place people seldom visited. This wasnt a nice thought, it was quite scary. Eventually I came to a sign that put my mind at rest, but it made me realize just how little I really understood maps even after all this time.

It was at this point that it started to rain and I made a big decision that was to have major impact on my day. I decided that the rain would past soon and so I wouldn’t put on my waterproof trousers, just my jacket.

Big mistake. Soon my trousers were completely soaked through-not just wet but shiny and greasy from being saturated with water. My boots too were soaked as I didn’t have my seal skinz on, and anyway if I did it wouldn’t matter cos water would have got in through the tops via my trousers. It reminded me of staffordshire.

The one thing that got me through the experience was the fact that I was staying in somebodies home that night. And so would have a chance to dry myself and my things off. If it hadn’t been for this consoling thought the pain and self-hatred would have done me in. I pretended to myself that it was an experiement to see what it was like in the rain with no trousers, just so I could be sure they made a difference. Only the thought of the warm dry bed helped me swallow this blantant delusion.

The rain kept driving harder. I past another walker going the other way. “We must be mad” he said in passing, and I almost cried. I made my way up Corston hill where I was promised a ‘tremendous’ view including Edinburgh-all I could see was rain and the blurry outline of some hills. You win some lose some.

I came down the hill on the otherside into ‘industrial Scotland’. After a tortuously long trawl through a park I came onto a road on which I was taking a short cut from the official path to a train station that would get me into Edinburgh. I found out why it wasn’t on the route, it was a grey strip of Tarmac surrounded by grey houses and the occasional grey off-licence. Dodgy looking groups of kids looked at me and my get up (sodden trousers included) with distaste. It felt like being back in Woolwich.

Eventually I got to the train station which was quite sparkly and new. Obviously there were quite a few people who wanted to leave this place as quickly as possible, including me. I was off and away into the warm embrace of civilisation and central heating.

Sent from my iPhone

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1 Response to “LEJOG48: West Linton to Broxburn”


  1. 1 Jenna June 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    highland cows: “somebody on all fours in a hairy suit”

    are you sure you hadn’t tripped over and were looking a a mirror?


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