Turf Blog 19-02-21

With yesterday’s efforts bringing my unique zone total up the 243 zones, just 7 zones shy of that desirable 250 Unique medal, I decided to head for the nearest area where I’d yet to take any zones, and that was the Shawfair and Danderhall areas to the south of Edinburgh, still within the travel restrictions imposed upon us by Covid-19.

With the squeaky pedal from the other day now fixed, I was happy to take the Surly Ogre out for a spin, taking the A7 straight for Sheriffhall and the first take of the day, zone Sheriffhall (170 points). Of course, to get here you need to negotiate the usually busy Sheriffhall roundabout. I find the best way to do this is to be bold and act like a car, taking up plenty of space and not cowering timidly in the gutter. It was fairly quiet today with Covdi-19 travel restrictions still in place.

Turf zone – KaimsGlacial

Next zone was a suggestion I’d made on a glacial feature called a kaim, a long sinuous ridge of sand and gravel left over at the end of the last ice age. It’s long served as a track – some maps have it marked as an ancient way. It was very muddy today after the recent snows and having touring tyres on the Ogre made for some slippery fun and games. With KaimsGlacial in the bag, along with another 170 points, I made my way across to Newton village, to take AnAppleADay (155 points). The gravity of this name selection is astonishing.

Turf zone – Shawfair

Shawfair railway station was next on the zone to-do list. The route was through Newton village and across the railway line at a new footbridge built when the Waverly line was re-open. The bridge has steps as well as a ramp for cyclists, one of the switch-back types that requires you to carefully balance at the tight turns. All good fun and Shawfair zone provided 185 points. I enjoyed crossing the bridge so much I went back the same way. For passing interested, it’s only 35 meters from one side to the other but following the ramp is 300 meters. Then it was back to Shawfair to tick off another three zones, Kaims, ShawfairPark and Claybarns, all with 170 points each.

Turf zone – CavalryChapel

Danderhall was next in line for a visit with CalvaryChapel, CampviewCross and SmithyGreen, giving up 155 points each, then ArthurStewart and TheMiners shedding 170 each for the cause. I think it was about this time that an alert popped up on the phone – I’d achieved the 250 Unique medal, the main aim of today’s outing. But no rest for the wicked, as they say, so the quest for more zones continues. I dropped down to the very windy and exposed Roslin to Shawfair cycleway, taking DothrakiRoad (170 points) while keeping a wary eye for passing dragons, followed by TheWisp and finally Glimerton, all with 170 points for the taking. Not sure if this last one is a speeling mistooke or deliberate.

I now wanted to take a few recently created zones, some my own suggestions, all located in the Melville area. First was WalkLasswade (170 points) and MelvillePark (170 points), on the path towards King’s Acre golf club. After taking GolfWatchCCTV (185 points) at the golf club, I located a nice sunny spot under the trees to grab some lunch and take a wee break.

Turf zone – SpotTheDog

Rested and refreshed, I backtracked towards Dobbies Garden Centre for Entomophobia (170 points) at Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World, then an easy cycle into the grounds of Melville Castle Hotel, for the oddly named zone SpotTheDog and 185 points. Try as I might, I was unable to spot the dog. With today’s takings, along with pph gains overnight, my round total was up from 64,200 to 70,900 points. My corresponding overall total was now around 237,800 points. But the main gain of the day was the 250 Unique medal I’d been aiming for. Now, just another 250 unique zones to take for the next one, the 500 Unique. Better get started then.

P.S. If confused about the dragons, watch Game of Thrones.

Copyright ©2021 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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