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Sunday, 20 April 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Millfore via Cairngarroch

It's Saturday the 19th of April,and it's my first walk back since I pulled a muscle.
As usual i get picked up by other ramblers at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart.
We drive to the walk start at Craigencallie Outdoor Centre passing Clatteringshaws Loch on the way.
There are 20 walkers gathered for todays walk.This is possibly a record for a strenuous hill walk.
After a briefing from the walk leader we set off.

The weather is dry but a bit breezy,and the mood amongst the walkers is as it usually is,very upbeat.

Our first target is the summit of Cairngarroch.The steeper climbing was to begin after we'd negotiated this solidly constructed stile.

At this sort of incline we're soon high enough to enjoy some views and below and behind us we can see the Black Water of Dee wending it's way to Clatteringshaws Loch

At differing heights underfoot conditions change and here we're amongst a tufty type of grass which requires a bit more effort.

Plenty of short stops are taken...

..and we're getting high enough to see some of the surrounding hills

Still climbing we've now views to the north west of what is known as 'The Awful Hand 'range.

Here's a passage from the Walkfest's website.
"The 'Awful Hand', a fanciful name given to a range of hills in which the Merrick (at 2766ft the highest of the Galloways) is the forefinger. The other fingers are Shalloch on Minnoch, Tarfessock and Kirriereoch, with Benyellary the thumb. Buchan Hill, at the southern end of the range, overlooks Loch Trool."
Future better views of the Awful Hand are already pencilled in this Bloggers mental diary.

And now the pile of stones above us shows we're nearing our first objective.

I'm struggling and ready for a break.Luckily the winds been on our backs.I'm not sure if i could have got this far in a head wind.

Thankfully we're stopping here for lunch and there's a lovely windfree trench/depression to sit down in.

Well refreshed with food and drink i feel much better.
I'm sure the rest of the walkers were ready for the break as well.
As we set off we had a really good view of Millfore.
I must have been in an interesting conversation with someone.That's the only reason i can think of for not taking the picture.
When i did again start taking pictures it was this lovely view of Curleywee with Lamachan Hill behind it.

Another mini stop-are we all happy-well some of us certainly are.

Looking north east from here,one of Scotlands National Nature Reserves comes into view.This area goes by the wonderful name of the 'Silver Flowe'.

More on this can be found at
Another picture of the Silver Flowe will appear later in the blog.

We make a small detour to take in this lochan and another short break.

It looked as though a few of the walkers were scared of falling in !

Scoop one was dispatched to the far side to take pictures.

And now we're on the last push to the summit of Millfore.

The views up here are brilliant.
Back over towards the 'Silver Flowe' this time with Loch Dee in view....

....A closer view of Curleywee and Lamachan.

...The wonderfully named White Lochan of Drigmorn where in days gone by was home to many a curling bonspiel

Looking south to the Cree estuary and Wigtown Bay.

Getting here was tough.But looking at these views makes it all worthwhile.

Everyone's appreciating what's around them and discussing already planned walks to this or that hill.

After a while admiring the views,the cold wind started penetrating and it was time to begin the descent.

Time for the walk leader to indicate that the first part of the descent would be steep and possibly slippy-so take your time and tread carefully.

He wasn't wrong !
But we all negotiated the slopes without mishap and soon we were looking at the forest road back to Craigencallie,where some cyclists were taking a break,and probably waiting for some of us to slip.

Some ramblers enjoyed a conversation with the cyclists,while the rest of us took a break.

They soon got on their way...

...and so did we.

Back to our left where we'd been above were the slopes of Buckdas of Cairnbaber,possibly another descent route-for a rock climber !.
It wasn't a too long a road,and very easy going.We were all soon saying our cheerios,see you next week,or not if you're away on holiday.
A most enjoyable walk-i'm starting to feel the benefit of all this exercise and fresh air.
I'm looking forward to next weeks coastal walk in the North Rhins.

N.B. Some regular readers may notice the full sized pictures are not as large as they used to be.This is because i've taken to resizing them for expediency in uploading.

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