Attack of the Clegs.
Boeing B17 FL455 nr Loch Rangag.
(Distance covered = 5.2 mile/Ascent =+24m)
Hurricane Z5145 Westerdale.
(Distance covered =
1.3 mile/Ascent =+0m)
Day 2 of my 2018 Walking Holiday, as with day 1 I had Stuart and his Daughter Chloe for company, they had travelled over from Ireland to accompany me on the first week of my planned 3 weeks holiday.
The location we were visiting today was a well documented and well visited crashsite of a Coastal Command B17 so unlike the previous day we knew we were going to find some wreckage.
Parked up and ready to go, I was to find out on our return that a Mk4 Golf has nowhere near the off road capabilities that Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II used to have.
The first mile or so of this walk was through an area used for livestock and because of this and the warm weather it was rife with Clegs, and they all seemed to make a beeline for the fool wearing shorts, by the end of the day my calves were covered in bites.
A cleg, more widely known in places other than Scotland as a Horsefly. Whatever you call them they are annoying little shits!
Clegs are a lot bigger than Midge and a lot faster so the 'keep moving and you won't get bitten' tactic doesn't work as well, the little bastards will chase you to get your blood. However, because it feels like a pinprick when they bite you it's easy to catch them at it, so not one of them that bit me survived the encounter.
Walking through the land of the Cleg.
Once past the livestock fields and onto the moors the chances of being bitten diminished and it was just a case of another trudge over feature less moorland to reach the area where the B17 crashed. As was the case on Day 1 this would have been a lot more unpleasant if the ground wasn't as dried out as it was thanks to the heatwave that preceeded our visit.
Over the moors with views of Scaraben in the distance, Day 3's objective.
The crashsite was very easy to locate as a piece of wreckage was poking up above the grass and glistening in the sun. We couldn't have picked a better time to visit, as what is usually a boggy and waterlogged area covered in pools of water was bone dry.
Approaching the crashsite.
At least this one didn't bite.
Nearly back to the cars without suffering any more Cleg bites.
After spending over an hour trying to get my Golf unstuck from where I'd parked it on the grass verge we moved a mile or so down the road to check out where a Hurricane crashed. Although the area was now forested we had a grid ref and a clearly discernable crater could be seen in the trees on satellite imagry.
Although it was only a very short distance into the woods, it was very hard going.
It's in here somewhere!
This site had been the subject of a dig by someone, the Rolls Royce merlin was removed and was in the hands of a private collector but has now made it's way to a Heritage Centre where hopefully its future will be a bit more secure. Usually when a dig is carried out whether legally or illegally the perpetrators will take away what they deem as the good stuff and leave the rest behind, so we were a little hopefull that we might find some wreckage but there was nothing to be found other than the waterfilled and spaggy moss covered crater.
No doubt that someone had been busy digging here.
In June of 2023 Stuart and his daughter Chloe revisited the crashsite of Hurricane Z5145 in the woods at Westerdale, but on this occasion the forest had been felled and the crater had dried out considerably which enabled them to locate several fragments of the Hurricane.