DATE                             25.04.06

DISTANCE                    4.2 MILES

WEATHER                   BRIGHT AND SUNNY



It seemed that after my last walk I had broken Arty leg, somehow water must have got into the electric bits and caused some damage I knew that it had got a bit damp but I thought that I had got away with it , however the next day it simply beeped and died on me , as luck would have it the leg experts from Endolight just happened to be up at the limb centre and somehow managed to fix it, sadly I lost the program that I / we had spent ages tuning and fine tuning to get me and the leg working together. so it was like starting again, the guys from Endolight had spent some time with me “setting it up” but it wasn’t the same, so today I would go out someplace and get used to it again and if all went well I would get to play with the setting and fine tune it in again, this time it shouldn’t take so long as I know the feel of it ………..well that was my thinking.

So todays walk wouldn’t be anything to big or difficult but I still wanted to get out someplace away from it all, I needed a flat(ish) route with a bit of different terrains / surfaces thrown in so I could use the day fine tuning arty leg .

After much thinking over coffee I decided that I would head up to the Collage Valley   there is a couple off things that I wanted to check out ready for a bigger walk sometime in the future and to be honest it ticked all the right box’s for me today so today I could sort out a couple of “new” paths and spend time sorting out Arty leg and the settings.

Being the good boy that I am I duly informed my better half where I would be for the day and sorted the gear out , my better half being the hack that she is informed me that she wouldn’t be joining me today as she had some serious lazing about to catch up on what a Hack !!!!…………so that was it gear was thrown into the car and off I went.

On arriving I parked up at the small but free car park at Hethpool (I like the word free) in fact that is as far as you can take the car unless you fork out £10 of your hard earned spondoolies and get a permit to drive further along the valley , today I didn’t need to and to be quite honest I said hell would freeze over before I would (however in the future I have to say that I did ………Mick holds his head down in shame) so if you live in Hell expect some cold weather sometime in the future.

Gear was sorted and off I went, the first bit of the walk involved walking along the road along the valley this was all part of my plane, it gave me time to get settled down into Arty leg before I started to alter the settings, I had already decided that I would adjust the setting a tiny bit at a time, you know a quick tweak then a walk for a hundred meters or so to get the feel of things then stop for another tweak and it seemed to be working , by the time I had walked a mile or so I had the leg set on full walking boot mode (I have different modes for different footwear) now it was time for the more finicky stuff , adjusting the stumble recovery mode , I normally have this switched off to help save battery life but you never know when I might need it so I might as well set that up right whilst I am buggering about with things ……once I got that more or less sorted I simply switched it off .

Shortly I left the road and went onto a forestry track ,hear again I stopped and adjusted various settings , then it was time to practise going up and down hill …not that there is a great deal to do with going up hill but coming downhill the knee has a sort of break that helps slow things down a bit , this was rather harder to sort out because it all depends on how I place the foot …………..but hey I wasn’t in a hurry , I pass a small unnamed burn running alongside Great Hetha, and I noticed that there was a well used sheep trail heading off in that general direction , this bit of info was stored away ready for another day , the forestry track took me through the trees at Sinkside Hill and opens up towards the small farm at Trowupburn where it seems that there is footpaths heading in all directions . It would be a couple of years before I was good enough to follow them and I’m pleased to say that I had some brilliant days out exploring them all but today was a practise day and I was happy with how things where progressing so why worry, I basically turned around at this point and retraced my steps back, stopping every now and then to retune my leg or go up or down a grassy bank , lunch was had sitting by the Collage Burn , the sun was out and the whole valley seemed to be bursting into life (well it was nearly the end of April)and things where good , distance wise it was nothing to get excited about but by the time I had got back to the car I felt as if I had achieved something and had a stupid grin on my face  knowing that I would be ready for a much bigger walk next time .

As normal a few photos:-

Taken from the car park looking towards Great Hetha

Looking along the valley towards a distant West Hill


A small unnamed waterfall


Looking alongside Great Hetha at a sheep path that I would later explore


Part way along the grassy path looking back towards Wester Tor


Primula? Flowers sign that spring has finally arrived here


Again looking up the valley at the farm Whitehall


Looking down the valley towards the Bell

On the forest track looking back towards Newton Tors


Peering over the tree tops at Great Hetha


Again looking back

Looking ahead


Now back on the small access road heading back


Looking up the side of Great Hetha


Looking up towards the Bizzle with a couple of snow patches


Heading back ….last look back


Looking up towards the Tors


A good place to stop for coffee


Day after thoughts , none really I managed to fine tune arty leg in a bit better , found out about a couple of paths that I will return to and explore so all in all a good day, walked about 4.2 miles