|Examining the remains of the crashed plane.(see text)|
|Getting well spread out going up Big Fell|
|Todays group on the summit of Big Fell.|
|Regular bloggers will recognise my favourite tree lined avenue.|
On Saturday March 31st 18 walkers from the Wigtownshire ramblers met at Ballantrae Cemetry to do an 11 mile walk up Benneraird which is 439Metres high. The leader explained the route before we left the start on a lovely clear sunny morning to climb up a track past Auchairne on the old coaching road which at one time took you all the way to New Luce 19 miles away.Stopping briefly at a spot marked on the map as "Stone Circles" we had to use our imagination to see what was probably an ancient settlement. The track started to rise a bit more steeply here as we made our way on to the summit of Benneraird. The leader knew the wreckage site of a crashed plane so a small diversion was taken here as we followed the road on towards Lagafater Lodge. Once at the site we learnt that it happened in 1945 when an American Liberator aircraft crashed here with the loss of 17 lives. One airman did survive to make his way to the lodge to summon help but it was only when he arrived there that they realised he had been unconscious for two days., not a lot is known what happened after this.Once back up on Benneraird the walkers had a lunch break basking in the glorious sunshine looking out over the Solway Firth to the Isle of Man.Once we were suitably refreshed we headed out over some moorland which in parts were under a controlled fire with lots of smoke billowing about the sky. A small detour to avoid the smoke took us on to Big Fell where we had another short break to take in the views over the Clyde to Arran and all the way up towards the mountains in the distance known as the Arrochar Alps.Crossing over some fields which were full of sheep grazing with their new born lambs we reached the track which runs past Crailoch House on its way to Smyrton.Once at the village we made our way down the paths in the grounds of Glenapp Castle Hotel to the cars parked near to the hotel gates to end a magnificent day in the South Ayrshire hills.
The groups walk on Saturday April 7th is a 7 mile circular walk in New Luce. Meeting in Newton Stewart riverside car park at 9.00AM and at Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 9.30AM for car sharing. Anybody travelling to the start please contact the leader for more information. New members are always welcome.