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Sunday, 24 May 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Portpatrick to Port of Spittal Bay

It's Saturday the 23rd of May and todays walk is coastal south from the picturesque village of Portpatrick.
It's pouring rain as i leave Newton Stewart.Not to worry though,the forecast i saw last night was excellent for the Rhins.

Arriving at Portpatrick there's none of the expected sunshine.Instead it's overcast,windy and still some rime in the air.I only put my warm coat in the car as an afterthought.

Panorama of Portpatrick Front on

Judging by the car registrations,there's a lot of southern visitors...perhaps thinking they aught to have turned south.It's nine degrees celcius with us,but it's twenty two on the south coast.Oh dear !

There's sixteen of us as we begin the walk up the steep steps to the cliff tops...

...where we're accompanied by two canines,Lily (top),and Curly.

Dunskey Castle's our first point of interest.
I've mentioned the history of Dunskey previously so there's no need to here.It's quite dramatic the way it's perched on the clifftops though.

Heading through one of the caravan and camping sites at Portree,a kite flyer takes advantage of the strong winds.

This is quite an undulating walk,and here we have to drop down this wee glen to cross the Craigoch burn.There's a few slippery and muddy stretches of path to negotiate.Dunskey Castle's soon behind us.

It's a very colourful time of year for the wild flowers and plants,and as usual our amateur botanists are in full flow trying to identify different species.I know the central flower here is some form of wild orchid.

I assume this sign refers to this item i found.
A FORMER derelict radar building at Eagle View on the Portpatrick cliffs is destined to be renovated into a holiday home.
The 'Hush Hush', as it is known locally, has been given provisional approval for transformation from a "deteriorating eyesore" into a brand new house by a local couple.

Were heading inland for a short detour.There's some relief from the strong wind now.

I think i've said this before,but there's something about the livestock in Galloway that makes them look so much healthier than those from other regions.

We're well equipped with stiles and walkers gates along here.I'm still not losing enough weight,and occasionally find myself in a tight spot.No problem for the majority of our group though.

Our short detour gets us back towards the coast,and now a long slippy slope with an electric fence alongside takes us down to the Knockinaam Lodge road.(We wont come back up this way,a slip would make one automatically make a grab for something to hold onto,and that would be the electric fence-one walker was zapped on the climb down)

Port of Spittal Bay and lunch now.It's a case of finding a sheltered spot from the seaspray and wind.Some blue sky out to the west made us optimistic about the return leg being brighter.The sound of the surf is very loud here.
After a very pleasant and sociable lunch break were on the move again.
The car park of the Knockinaam Lodge Hotel is pretty full.It's a very popular place.Knockinaam Lodge

A steady scenic walk on tarmac...

...brings us to Port o' Spittal,a colourful proud peacock...

...Gypsy caravans...

...and a pair of Irish Tinkers (or Gypsy Cobs or Vanners-is there a difference?).

Back now towards the coast,and time for a Jelly Baby.

Morroch Bay below us.Take a look on their enticing website.Morroch Bay

As Dunskey Castle comes back into view,the threatened blue skies are failing to materialize.Despite the weather we're all in good spirits,and enjoying plenty of jocularity...

...such as testing the bridge over the Craigoch burn for weight limits,and referring to the muddy path down to it as a 'Midden'.

Back through the Castle Bay Caravan and Residential Park where sits an interesting looking trike motorbike .

Back down the steps to the village brings our walk to an end.To complete the day,I join fellow ramblers for tea and scones in a lovely and not expensive cafe.
Despite the sun not coming out,it's been a very enjoyable walk,and one i'll bear in mind for my visitors.

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