Always believe in yoUr soul

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lilllll PANNING

Out of the fire and into the pan. Words: Lara Armitage

y jaw dropped. too. when I heard there‘s gold for the taking in the rivers and streams of bonny Scotland. Borne of my husband’s overactive imagination after a trip to California. our scheme to unearth Scotland‘s riches is proving fruitful. Just a few flakes away from a his 'n‘ her set of eternity rings and we are definitely hooked.

livery Scottish gold panner always says the same thing: something along the lines of: ‘1 found myself in extreme pain. squatting for hours under a miserable sky in a frigid stream fishing through God knows how many tonnes of gravel for the nugget of my dreams . . . and I loved every minute of it.‘ If you try it. you'll feel the same way.

In a nutshell. panning for gold is quite straightfom'ard. You start by suetioning gravel from the riverbed with a basic tennis-ball-in-tube style pump. After collecting and sieving as much as you can from choice river spots. things start to get interesting.

Gold is twenty times heavier than water and roughly five times heavier than other riverbed matter. To pan it. you add a bit of water and swish the gravel back and forth with the pan at an angle to ensure that all the gold sinks right down to the bottom corner. Then you repeatedly dip the pan into the water to wash away the lighter material on the top until you see gold flakes (or. if you happen to have a horseshoe up your arse. a nugget) on the bottom of the pan.

That's it. Bob's your uncle.

If you decide to try your luck. there is another thing you should know: you will be joining a private club. of sorts. In our travels. we have met many in the secret circle. Jim. for instance. is an elderly guy who spends the seasons walking Scotland top to bottom in search of gold. By June. he has usually made his way up to Kildonan. site of the original Scottish gold rush. Just over 130 years ago. 200 men would have been there. working the river with a mechanical determination and pound signs glowing in their eyes.

Now. it is frequented only by diehards. I must admit that I am part of that group. I realised this when I started to recognise faces and guardedly share insider info. When we were last in Kildonan. we found a record number of flakes and the most coveted treasure a panner could hope for: a nugget. Jim examined our gold vials with interest. And did he share his own'.’ Like hell he did.

I could tell you more but I might endanger our hope of getting those rings.

G \‘s‘t‘l'u'u'u'ihfl '4 '1 . ....

star hotel for the weekend.

If all this talk about clay pigeon shooting and mountain biking is causing you to crave some City life then here's your chance to enjoy a 1st class weekend break to London on us. The List. GNER and The Langham Hotel have joined forces to give one reader and a guest the chance to travel down south in style and enjoy the comforts of a five

to the borders for two

Now that spring is well and truly on its way. The List has teamed up with the Scottish Borders Tourist Board to offer one lucky reader a fabulous activity break for two in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.

The Scottish Borders is the ideal short break destination as it’s only a half an hour from Edinburgh and just over an hour from Glasgow. From rolling hills to dramatic coastlines. the Borders is the great outdoors at its best. Activities range from clay pigeon shooting and off-road driving to mountain biking, archery. pony trekking.

You and a guest Will travel on a GNER train in an impressive 1st class carriage. GNER operates high-speed, long-distance. passenger train services on the East Coast Main Line. linking Scotland with the north east of England. Yorkshire. the East Midlands and London Kings Cross. You will then get a Saturday night to pamper yourself at the beautiful Langham Hilton, which is centrally located in the heart of the city.


How much do standard return rail tickets from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross start from?

Answers on an email marked ‘1st class please' to promotions@| or on a postcard to The List. 14 High St. Edinburgh. EH1 1TE. Deadline for entries is 29 March 2002.


The prize draw is open to those 18 years and over. Travel dates must be agreed wrth The List and completed by 31 May 2002. No cash alternative is available in lieu of the holiday. Transfers around London are the responSibility of the Wlnlter. For bookings and enqurries please call GNER Telesales on 08457 225 225 or vrsn the websne at www gnercouk

Standard return rail tickets between Edinburgh and London Kings Cross start at £36.

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The Langham Hilton

falconry and canoeing as well as some of the most picturesque walks in the country.

Our winners will spend two nights at the Tontine Hotel, an elegant 19th century family run hotel in Peebles. on a dinner. bed and breakfast basis and will also have the choice of two activities including clay pigeon shooting. quad biking or mountain biking.

To enter just tell us:

How long does it take to get to the Borders from Edinburgh?

Answers on an email marked ‘Break for the Borders' to promotions@| or on a postcard to The List, 14 High St. Edinburgh. EH1 1TE. Deadline for entries is 29 March 2002.


The prize draw is open to those 18 years and over. Travel must be completed by 31 May 2002. No cash alternative IS available in lieu of the holiday. Transportation IS the responsibility of the winner. The winners are responsible for their own safety.

Details of short breaks in the Borders can be found at the Scottish Borders Tourist Board website on or by calling 0870 608 0404.

The Scottish Borders

1.! 3‘8 Mir 9001" THE LIST 21