We discovered this walk back in Winter and the paths were too treacherous to attempt with the lethal combination of a fresh layer of snow on top of a few inches of ice underneath. Rather than gambling that day, we chose to wait until April when things had turned a little milder. The Glen Sherrup walk is just beyond Dollar, Clackmannanshire and there is a car park and signage helping us find our starting point.
We wandered up the right hand side path close to the river, which then joined the other path. Uphill for around half a mile got us started and it felt fairly secluded with the birds singing away and a few fellow walkers/cyclists.
There was some signage on the right of the path leading is to a path down to a small reservoir, we thought this would be a good idea as it was dry, sunny and we were wanting a wee adventure. We proceeded around the loch, having a nose at the fishing up and the regulations, then made our way up the valley into the hills. Due to the level of rainfall it started to get pretty boggy and it became a little bit more of an assault course, trying to avoid the spongy sludgy bits and navigate the channels of water regularly opening up from the tops of the hills.
We were both egging each other on, which in hindsight turned out to be a major mistake in the long run as the other half stated ‘we are not going back that way’ after his shoes were sinking deeper with each challenge. So we thought it would stand to reason that we would be able to circle the loch and make our way back to our starting point. We ventured along the valley a little more and spotted a gate in the deer fencing… reading far too much into this…
Beyond the valley, the fence and the gate lay our biggest challenge of all – we hit major bogs and spongy foliage that, when you took a second to rest on it, you felt your feet signing by what felt like, an inch a second. We were still in good spirits and my laughter filled the valley as my husband attempted to run down the hill so quickly almost to fool the spongy green stuff that he wasn’t even on it! After a good ten or so leaps in a downward direction, he quickly did a 360 and sprung back up to his starting point declaring ‘that is even worse down there’. I could barely see I was laughing so hard, trying to ignore the small river that we were getting nearer!
He is a tall lad, a six footer and then some… so he easily sprung over the river like a gazelle in springtime. He then stood back to get a good view of his smaller wife and her plan to get across without dipping her muddy shoes in an even wetter place! I was not going to be beaten by mother nature… there was a large 10ft tree branch which was straight up and down. I contemplated the idea of using it as a pole vault to get me across but backed out of it as a bit too wacky even for me! I also contemplated taking the socks and shoes off and embracing the landscape in a very hippy and harmonious way but quickly remembered it was still April and would definitely freeze my wee toes!
Having spent way too long thinking, I launched myself into the river and landed on a small patch of pebbles in the middle, felt it sinking then made another leap of faith over to the edge of the banking. Safe… or so we thought!
We then tried to find the path which we predicted would caress the edge of the loch on the opposite side. There was no path, there was no grass, there was no clean footing at all. We found ourselves on a hill which was a combination of trees, felled trees in various stages of breakdown and boggy spongy green stuff. It was awful underfoot, sinking or getting ankles caught between the gaps of the logs which criss crossed every which way we turned.
We spent the next hour and a half trying to get up the hill, dodging fir trees, brambles, bogs and trying not to kill each other. My other half is a good natured soul who stayed supportive and calm during this ordeal. We clambered, scrambled, sunk and swore… A LOT! We also both vowed never to wander off the beaten track again! No doubt we will forget this vow as soon as we see another opportunity for a wild adventure!
We survived to tell the tale and were still talking to each other by the end of our escapades, with a few scratches and scrapes – adventure battle scars!
I feel excited and terrified as what lies ahead!