Well I fought The Law again on Sunday and this time I won. We had blue skies and a gentle breeze so there was no excuse not keep huffing to the top. And then on to the higher but gentle Ben Cleuch, then down a couple more hills to complete the wee circuit.
As I said before, The Law isn't high but it's rather steep. I tried to make a video as we came back down but of course it doesn't look particularly daunting on film. ARRGH!
You just can faintly make out the path in the bracken, on top of the green, slug shaped hill. Then admire my cinematography skillz as I oh-so-steadily and expertly pan to the top. Please forgive the demented singing!
It was a very satisfying experience I must say. All the more so for the thermos of piping hot tea and the peanut butter and jam sandwich waiting for us at the top of Ben Cleuch. You Americans are onto a great thing with the PB & J. But I am fussy; it can't be too sweet. It needs to be grainy bread with this particular crunchy natural PB and this Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam. YEAH BABY.
Without that to look forward to, I'd have just stayed in the car. No! Really! I'd have done it anyway, for the stunning views right across Scotland, the enormous sense of well-being and the sore legs for days afterwards.
My only Issue with the hillwalking is trying to tame my competitive streak. Actually I don't know if it's competitive streak so much as an inferiority complex. As we laced up our walking boots in the carpark, I asked Gareth what was the fastest time he'd ever done the Ben Cleuch loop. He said he didn't really bother about the times; he just liked being outdoors and going for a wander. But I DEMANDED to know! So he said his quickest ever was about 2 1/4 hours. And his quickest time up The Law was 40 minutes. I stored these numbers then told him to start the stopwatch.
The thing is, Gareth is a far fitter person than me. He just cycled across England last week on a Coast 2 Coast trip. When he got back on Saturday, instead of being comatose or moaning about how knackered he was (as I'd be, if I'd done such a thing) he was itching to do something else. Freak.
So I really shouldn't compare fitness level to his. But I just can't stop this compulsion to have some sort of benchmark, you know? (Where does this come from? Is this an Australian thing?) Even though I know there was no way I could climb that hill anywhere near his time, I needed to know just how slow I was by comparison. For my own records. To the nearest nanosecond, if possible.
It took me nearly 75 minutes to get up The Law, so although I felt quite triumphant to have hauled my butt up that horrible steepness I couldn't help feeling a bit miffed. Overall it took us a snailish 3 hours 55 minutes (excluding tea break) but I guess that includes me stopping to whine/catch breath/admire view about 75 times. Anyway, if there is a next time, I will make sure it's quicker. Mwahaha.