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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Cairnharrow and Cambret

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It's Saturday the 17th of January.I've had a bit of a bug and a sore throat this week.If it had been pouring rain this morning,it would have been an easy decision for me to cop out of todays walk.As it is,it looks to be a wonderful day,so i'm away with the group.
Meeting up as usual in the Riverside car park,we've a new walker to welcome.Creetown is our next stop where we welcome a second new walker.
Back into the minimum of vehicles we head for the walk start.
Our walk today will take in Cairnharrow and Cambret.
Our walk starts on the Corse of Strakes road under the TV and Telephone masts above on Cambret Hill.
We begin by going downhill westwards to where the Englishmans Burn runs under Englishmans Bridge.The southwest of Scotland is one of the richest areas in Britain for prehistoric archaeological remains and we come across or closely pass by quite a lot today.Turning south just past the bridge our walk leader gives out some historical facts,and points out places of interest.

Here to the west is a stone circle with a central larger stone.

This from The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
This stone circle consists of 28 close-set low boulders placed with their broad faces on the line of the circumference. It measures 50' in diameter and the centre is occupied by a granite boulder nearly 6' high. A gap of 8'7" between two boulders on the W side suggests one stone has been removed, otherwise the circle is complete. A number of stones, probably field clearance, lie in a heap at the base of the central stone.
RC AHMS 1914, visited 1912; R W Feachem 1963

Also close by but not seen,is a 'Burnt Mound' a 'Cist' and more standing stones.I think a nice leisurely visit is on the cards for the spring or summer.

We've quite a few burns and barbed wire fences to negotiate...

...getting over is helped by some heavy duty pipe lagging sleeve,brought along by a thoughtful rambler...

...we number nineteen today.

The weather's holding out for us,but the forecast for later in the day isn't good,so a fair pace is kept up...

I'm doing ok up to now.

Over to the west we get a view of the Kirkmabreck Quarries and Creetown.

Now we reach Cambret Farm...

...where just beyond we take a few moments...'s no sweat up to now.

The Carsluith Burn's our next obstacle.

We've sort of veered south easterly over the last kilometre.Since the Englishman's burn it's been quite level... we're on a gradual incline,and heading south east.Back in November a blog reader called Ann was looking for Claughreid Cottages.The buildings in this picture are known on the OS map as Claughreid.The outbuildings seem fairly derelict,but it looks as though the house has had some work done and is possibly being used as a hostel or a holiday home.

I believe this is the Claughreid burn close to it joining the Kirkdale Burn.

A spring ?Bubbling up through the farm track there were two of these.

As we change direction again it's beginning to cloud over.Lovely views out to Wigtown bay though.

Once we're all through this gate the climbing will begin.

Time to contemplate whats ahead.

It's not long before the line of ramblers begin to stretch.

You can guess where i am.I begin to zig zag to make it easier.Thanks to Scoop 1 for this picture,it tells it's own story.
Reaching the drystone dyke we stop for lunch.It's a good job,i was beginning to tire.

It feels like we've hardly stopped before we're heading on upwards again.It's easier going from now to the summit.The wind's getting up and it's becoming overcast.Gatehouse and the Fleet are below us,this would be such a lovely view on a better day.

Finally we're on top of Cairnharrow.The ancient summit cairn barely got a second glance...

...and i get in the picture.We don't stop for more than a few moments otherwise we'll be chilled to the bone.

Now we drop steeply down the northern flanks of Cairnharrow...

...a lot of care needed on this descent.There were quite a number of unintentional sit downs.

Now we're down in the col between Cairnharrow and Cambret.Here we see the remains of a stone circle and a large round Neolithic cairned burial tomb...

...while over the other side of the Cauldside Burn is a fine example of a cup and ring carved rock.
Now it's time to climb up to the masts at Cambret.The wind has some light rain with it now.I've put my camera away,and i'm concentrating on climbing.It shouldn't be a difficult climb,but honestly i thought i was climbing Everest.I've a feeling the walk leaders were a little worried i'd not make it.But in the words of that old Harry Lauder favourite'Keep right on to the end of the road' I stuck at it,and once at the masts it was a short downhill tarmac road back to the cars.
A walk in the park !Ha ha.I certainly feel the benefit of it now.

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