|Leader explaining todays walk|
|Going through the Calley Palace woods|
|Coffee break in the sun|
|Lovely dry conditions today|
|Styles were negotiated|
|Sitting out at the cream of Galloway|
|Trying to kid you that it was Jims Travel|
|ruined church at Girthon|
|Standing on the steps of the Cally Folly|
|Todays large group|
|Mr and Mrs walk leaders|
|Our home for two nights!!|
PS Anne and I were camping at Castle Douglas for the weekend which we both enjoyed living rough for a couple of days.
Walk leaders press report.
Saturday dawned a beautiful summer’s day with blue skies with a few puffy white clouds and a gentle breeze to keep the flies away. Twenty two ramblers assembled at the car park in Gatehouse of Fleet and set off across the grass towards the river. A pleasant walk through the woods led us to the Cally golf course where numerous cheerful players were playing the apparently difficult course. The track took us across the course and up to the hotel where more residents were preparing to set off round the course.
The road then passed back into the woods following the ubiquitous Cycle Route 7 towards Sandgreen. Several cyclists passed us; some out for the exercise and others heading for the shops in Gatehouse from the caravan park at Sandgreen. The route through the lovely woods was most pleasant with the sun shining through the trees and occasional views across the bays to the Carsluith Hills. On emerging from the woods we followed the tree lined avenue between the fields. We were surprised by a small black cloud which started a short rain shower. Some donned waterproofs but by the time they were fully clad the cloud passed and the sun emerged again.
We passed through the caravans and onto the beach where we paused on the rocks for a quick coffee break. After a generous distribution of sweets by several members our leader soon had us up and walking again. We crossed the beach and followed the road towards Carrick Shore and then turned up the road towards Girthon. The roadsides were still full of wild flowers with their bright colours and wafts of scent enlivening our journey.
Beyond Boreland of Girthon we took to the fields using the wind turbine at Cream of Galloway as a guide. We crossed a series of rocky hummocks and then descended through scrubby trees towards the Boreland Burn. A short jungle passage along an old track took us across the burn and on to Rainton Farm. Those wearing shorts walked at the back to avoid the worst of the virulent nettles which grew there. We crossed the fields, avoiding the dairy cows that grazed contentedly in the clover rich fields and climbed up to the Cream of Galloway visitor centre where we stopped for lunch and to enjoy their excellent ice cream.
After lunch we headed along an old track through Rainton Farm and across the fields to Girthon Church. The map indicated a track across the fields but there was no sign of it on the ground. It is time Ordnance Survey updated their rural maps. After a pause at the kirk to examine the old building and the fascinating grave stones we continued across the road and back into the woods. As we entered the woods the air suddenly became much warmer and more humid. It was like walking into a sauna. A little further on we came to the newly reinstated “Temple” folly and then walked back towards Gatehouse through the tunnel shared with the burn under the A75. The route went through the Cally Woods and across the Garries Park, where a strongly contested football match was just starting and back to the car park.
Most of the walkers then enjoyed teas on the terrace at the Mill on the Fleet where they were entertained by a heron that arrived to fish the clear water and were enchanted to see the quick electric blue flash of a kingfisher as it sped its way up the river.
Next week’s walk is on Sunday 23rd August. This is a more strenuous walk in the hills below MiIlfore. The walk will visit the Dragonfly Memorial and cross Darnaw, Craignell and Munwhul hills. Meet a the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 08:30 or the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 09:00 to share transport. The work will start from the Craigencallie car park (Grid ref: NX 503 780) at 10:00. New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01988 700553 for full details.
A second more leisurely walk has been arranged from St Medan's Golf Club beach car park
(NX 357 408) at 10:00am. Meet at Stranraer Breastworks car park or Newton Stewart, Riverside car park at 9:15am for car sharing. The walk is level C, 7 miles. For details contact the walk leader on 01988 840268.