After an overcast start to the day and rain for much of the morning, the clouds finally started to clear down to fluffy cumulus by lunchtime and I decided to take a chance and head for the Moorfoot Hills, about 30 minutes drive from the house, up in the Southern Uplands. My destination was Carcant Wind Farm, which I’d been to earlier this week and had thought a return visit with the Swifty Air might be interesting.
I parked at the entrance gate, taking care not to block access and started along the rough gravel access road, turning left after the cattle grid and up a quad bike track used by the local farmer. Conditions under foot were still reasonably dry, despite the rain, and okay for scooting but the steep upward slope meant walking, or rather pushing the Swifty Air uphill. Only when the track levelled out was it possible to try to ride the scooter. Unfortunately, the wind was up today and the headwind prevent any real forward progress. But what was clear was that scooting was in fact possible along this type of quad bike track, though only if dry and without a headwind.
The track soon started to descent and I was able to scoot at least some of the way down to the control building. Large piles of stacked logs were evident, as well as various forestry machinery harvesting the trees in a nearby plantation. There seemed to be two machines, one to grab, cut, trim and chop the trees and another to forward them to the loading area for collection later. I wonder what the two operators thought about my scooter?
I explored some of the wind turbines, marvelling at the sheer size of them when up close, where you can really hear the swish of the blades cutting through the air. They also make quiet a few unusual noises as well as gearing turns them into the wind. Can be quite disconcerting when you’ve not been near them before. I then dropped down behind the control building to find some shelter from the wind and enjoyed watching some of the local bird life, including curlew, oystercatcher, lapwing and redshank. Some inquisitive sheep where also keeping an eye on me. It was lambing season so I cannot blame them.
I only managed about an hour on the scooter before the sun vanished from view and thick cloud started to boil over from the south-east, the temperature dropping rapidly at the same time. It was time to retreat back to the car. Of course, it was all uphill but a strong tail wind gave a welcome push in the back, though the rough gravel surface was a challenge to scoot upon.
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