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Thursday, 17 April 2008

Billy Marshalls Cave

I'm hoping my pulled muscle has recovered enough to be able to join the Ramblers in the Galloway Hills this weekend.With that in mind i decided i'd try a walk up to Billy Marshalls Cave on the slopes of Cairnsmore.
A neighbour of mine had suggested this was a scenic walk on a good day,so with my rucksack and camera ready i set off.
My walk was to start around Dallash and Corwar on the Palnure burn.
The road down to the Palnure burn was a bit rough,but after safely negotiating the potholes i parked just above Corwar.

After crossing the Palnure,I needed to follow the Louran Burn up through the Forest quite a way.So first i had to find it.
A helpful local dogwalker pointed me in the right direction.

Crossing a field with these lovely horses in took me to the Louran.It looks like they're breeders down here.I saw more in another field on my return.

The weathers nice and dry,and as i start to gain height i begin to see nice views behind me.I can see the Murray Monument from here...

...and look back down to Corwar

The water in the Louran is crystal clear,i see a small trout and wonder how far up the burn they go.

I remember catching fish a long way up the Cuilcagh Mountain over in Ireland.
I guddled(tickled) trout as a wee boy and there's one memory that always sticks in my mind.Me and my cousins Tony and Eddie had been guddling in the river Eden and with our catch dangling at our sides on reeds,we spotted PC Bobby Brunton heading our way.Quickly into the bushes we hid the trout and quickly back out we waited for him to pass.As he came up to us we tried to appear normal but he must have suspected.'Have you been guddlin' he said.'No' we said with one voice.'You better not have,cause if i find you have i'll have to lock you up'.We never went back that day,but the following day they'd vanished.We suspected PC Bobby Brunton dined on trout the night before.

There's not a great volume of water in the burn,but what there is produces some lovely tumbling waterfalls.

Some,where the rock is obviously hard,where the water just slides over it.

And at one point i come to what i'd call a ravine where centuries of running water have gouged a 30 or 40ft gash in the ground.

Now i'm above the forest with views over the other Galloway hills.

And somewhere among these rocks on the right is Billy Marshalls Cave.

I start searching among the rocks for any would be caves.

This isn't a cave but that big rock on top looks kinda precarious.Better not disturb it.It's a bit iffy scrambling over these rocks.The camera doesn't show how steep parts of it are.I'd better be careful.

There's lots of contenders for would be caves,but none fitted the bill for me.
After about forty minutes of scrambling over these rocks i decided it was time to descend.
So i'm climbing down disappointed when.!

Wait whats this?
There's bootprints all over this hole between the rocks.

If i'd done a little research on the Walkfest website i'd have read this paragraph
'Another cave, known as Billy Marshall's Cave is situated at NX 494 679,approximately 900 metres north west of the summit.Again this cave is worth a visit, but difficult to find.Fortunately a rock above the cave has an iron bar protruding from it - thus helping to identify its location'.
Ah hindsight eh!

Whether the cave goes anywhere is another thing.I climbed in and took a few pictures.

There does seem to be a hole further back,but not being a caver or having a torch,i didn't investigate further.I'm just happy i found it.
After climbing down from the rocks,i found myself a sheltered spot and had some lunch.
Time to take in some of the views.

Refreshed it's time to descend.I'm still being extra careful since my calf muscle still has some niggling discomfort,and going downhill can often be as difficult or worse than climbing up.

I'm still taking pictures of waterfalls...

....and once again Corwar comes into view.

I'm soon back looking at some more horses...
...before jumping into the car and home.
Hopefully i'll be ok for Saturday's strenuous walk.

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