Saturday, 2 April 2011

Recce for a future walk utilising part of the Southern Upland Way.

Walk start heading for Lorg Trail

The Water of Ken was in full flow.

We saw some very well constructed sheepfolds.

My 1st swallows of this year.(Is this a record?)

We now reach the trail.

Polskeoch Bothy.

Coffee break in the bothy.

We meet other walkers and their dogs.

Allan's monument +dog!

Walkers on a tough stretch.

The hills in the distance are in Cumbria.

Signpost for the the arches walk.

A very sociable place for our lunch break.
Todays outing was more a recce for a future walk with one of the groups which we are all associated with. Which one has still to be decided but it will form part of the winter schedule so watch this space.4 of us set off at a car park beside the Water of Ken not too far away from Moniaive.It was a wee bit dreich at the start but our leader informed us by 11.00 it will clear up and some sunshine was promised.At least that what he told us. Heading uphill we soon joined the Lorg Trail which took us through a boggy forest and eventually to the Polskeoch Bothy. I have not been in too many bothys personally but I was very impressed with the clean and tidy condition of this one. There is tin opener, fly spray and various pices of  cleaning equipment provided so full marks to whoever provided all this. I am sure it has been a safe and dry refuge for many walkers using the SUW.Our route now was on the SUW taking us up a long gradual climb passed a quarry which was being used to supply all the stone for the various forestry roads in the area. Leaving the open countryside behind we entered the forest and came to a covenanters memorial stone called "Allan's Cairn" built in 1857 and mentioned various people some from as far away as Penpont. Reaching the summit of Black Hill (551M) we stopped to look at the view down the valley to the Solway Firth and beyond to the hills of Cumbria. Also we could see 2 of the sculptures that form part of the "The Striding Arches" which ADRC walked last year.Our next summit was Cairn Hill where more distant hills could be seen which caused lots of discussion as to where it could possibly be. To save any embarrassment to my fellow walkers the location will be revealed when we do this as an organised ramble. Going down from Cairn Hill was interesting as it was very steep in places and also very wet underfoot so one or two minor slips were inevitable. Safely over the Altry Burn we arrived back at the car where we finished a very good walk with lunch on the picnic tables very kindly provided at the side of the Water of Ken.

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