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Saturday, 16 February 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Rig of the Jarkness and Craiglee

Its Saturday the 16th of February and today is a test for me-will i be up to my first strenuous walk.Its just under eight miles and much of the route is climbing.
As usual i got a lift to the walk start.
Starting at Bruce's Stone carpark overlooking Loch Trool,seventeen of us set off.

The start of the walk was going fine,the weather was fine and the views with sun coming through the clouds made for good photographing.

Initially the route we were taking was a gradual climb,but after crossing the Gairland Burn the climb became much steeper.

At this point i had a problem!

Scrambling up an almost vertical slope,the walk leader stopped to allow those further down to close up.I dropped sitting onto a rock,otherwise i'd have fallen down.Suddenly the world started spinning.The last time i'd felt like this was in my youth when i briefly embraced boxing and a right hook dropped me to the floor.
A voice asked if i was alright,i managed to reply in the negative.The other ramblers were concerned for my wellbeing.I had visions flashing through my mind of the Mountain Rescue Helicopter and having to be airlifted down.
Gradually the spinning stopped,and clarity returned.
I'm not sure how long we were stopped for but eventually i felt ok to go on.Thanks to the others for carrying my Rucksack and Camera case up to our stopping point.
I dont think this will happen again.I'll heed the warning signals in the future.

Now we're on the Rig of Jarkness having our lunch,and the views are magnificent.
I get my picture taken.

Along the Rig of Jarkness,Clints of the Buss and Craiglee we can view at least nine lochs.Loch Trool where we began,then Lochs Valley,Neldricken,Narroch,Long Loch of Glenhead and Round Loch of Glenhead,Dow Loch,Loch Dee and a hazy Clatteringshaws Loch.
This is so worth the effort to view this magnificent landscape.

A plane flew over leaving these strange smoke signals behind it.

Looking back the Merrick summit is in cloud.

And over to the west the Glenhead Lochs and Lochtrool are in sunshine and shade.

We reach Dow Loch....

...and its time for another break

It's a bit cold up here.

Back walking and as usual the walkers are all upbeat.But when the walk leader pointed out the top of Craiglee where we we're heading some anguished cries were heard(maybe they were all mine).

The sweets are passed round regularly,but judging that look,i'm not sure whether i'm getting one.
Now walking along these rocky edges the views are brilliant.

Having someone in the picture really shows off the whole perspective of the area.
Now we're nearing Craiglee Summit....

...and we're at the trig point.

Lots of photo calls follow.

Now which way will we go down?

Much of the way down was bog,and as such was littered with potential 'up to the knees in mud' potholes.
The map shows a Bucks Hole,but surely this cant be it-can it?

The views on the descent were equally as lovely.

A slight mishap.

Another moments respite,and the mood is still very upbeat.

A zoom on the lens brings in Loch Dee.

And now we're nearing the forest road which will take us the last two or three miles back to the car park.A muddy bog is the last obstacle before we're finally on the road.

The Glenhead Burn means we've not much further to go.

Time for another few minutes.....

....and as the sun's going down.'s time for the final push.

The backs of my legs will hurt tomorrow,and with the exception of a few dramatic minutes,(It's my perogative to turn it into a drama)i haven't had this much fun in years.

N.B.First time readers may not know this,but if you click on an individual picture you bring up a full size image.


  1. There you go! A handsome Jimmy! :D

  2. It is quite a pull up the Gairland burn (we call it the valley of death)then up on to the rig is sore on the back of the legs.Some really nice shots of the Galloway hills, well done.

  3. Gee thanks folks.
    Ah'll keep an eye oot fir ye oan ma travels Gallowaytroot.


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