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Sunday, 1 February 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Cairnsmore Low Level

It's Saturday the 31st of January,the last day of the month.I'm still hanging on to the sniffles,but after an early night i'm feeling up to a nice walk.
We're meeting up at the Riverside Car park,then onto the Cairnsmore Hill climb car park.
Todays walk is on the programme as a C+,forest tracks and some hills,I should cope with that.
There's an excellent turn out today.As well as the diehards,our new members from Glentrool are out.Twenty five bipeds and one quadruped (Curly).The first part of the walk takes us up through part of the lovely Cairnsmore estate.

The burns have a copious flow,the snowdrops are abundant,and the trees are bereft of leaves.It's midwinter.

Just past Cairnsmore farm we take our first mini break.Our walk leader's given us instructions to stay in a tight bunch while going through the estate-there's likely to be shooters out today.

Our path takes us in a northerly direction via 'The Belts'...
...before turning north east passing the Cairnsmore burn and alongside Bardrochwood Moors.

This is the part of the walk where the contour lines on the map are the closest.Our walk leader tells us this will be the most strenuous part of the walk.
Behind us a hazy view of the Cree Valley opens up.

A rare view here of this blogs author(That spare tyre isn't losing much tread is it ?).Thanks to the Glentroolies for the picture.

A T junction in the forest track means we're as high as we'll climb today.We're only about 180 metre's up,but we have climbed from sea level,so a another mini break is merited.

Lots of good conversation today,including the recession,music,sociology,philosophy,and a trip to the Lake district that didn't go as planned.

Back on the move the next few kilometres take us in a northerly direction.

It's an undulating track that takes us around Ardwell Hill and over the Mill and Blairbuies burns.

Here where the forestry have been felling trees is our most northerly point.This place has a familiar feel to it.I can't work it out.

Heading west another five minutes gets us to a nice spot sheltered from the wind to have lunch.Was it my imagination that our lunch stop was only a few minutes long.Maybe some good folk have other things to do later on.
Now we're heading south through the forest i recognise Barhoise hill.That's why the Forestry operations looked familiar.I've walked this next section before.

Continuing on past a lovely deciduous copse in the midst of all the evergreens,we exit the forest recrossing the Blairbuies burn.Muddy farm tracks and black cattle now greet us.

The weather's staying fine for us,and we've all stayed dry as we come towards the Mill burn...
...and with the aid of my two hiking poles,i'm still dry.I suppose if you did run across quickly like this particular rambler,the water would barely have time to permeate into the boots.?

Past Bargaly Wood sees another change of direction as we head up Machars Hill.I've been up here in the summer when the views are just beautiful.They aren't half bad today.

Another mini break.The pace is fine by me today.

Cleaning ones boots in puddles is all well and good...

...but they'll need doing again.

We're a well closed up group as we head back into the Cairnsmore estate.Here at the Greenheights plantation...

...we have to wait until our walk leader gets the all clear from one of the shoot managers.

Given the go ahead,we pass the shooters coming in the other direction.Their hunting dogs look happy,as we do when we see that their shotguns are in the open position.Any interested parties for a days shooting here should look at this page.

Another wonderful view of the Cree valley as we head over our last field...

...with a view of Cairnsmore House through the trees,to the ruins of the old mill and farm at Strathmaddie.From here it's a couple of hundred yards back to the car park.
Once again a very enjoyable walk in the best of company.


  1. Nice one Jim, I really look forward to looking at your weekly walk blog, been waiting all day to see this, hopefully we'll be joining you all again when we come up in March, I hear it's going to be the Merrick!!
    Thanks x

  2. Hi Jayne,no doubt you recognised some smiling faces this week.Lets hope the snow's gone by March.


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