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Sunday, 12 July 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Billy Marshalls Cave Circular

I'm the deputy walk leader for todays walk.We did the recce for this walk on Wednesday the 8th of July,so i'm including some pictures and references from the recce.

It's Saturday the 11th of July,and todays walk is a nine and a half mile circular from Talnotry to Billy Marshalls Cave.
I climbed up here via the Louran Burn back in April 2008.My blog of that day is here
Billy Marshalls Cave

Todays walk is classed as moderate to strenuous,and we're a group of eleven intrepid walkers.

Heading south on forest track and crossing the Palnure Burn our first point of interest is the granite slab known to many a mountain biker as McMoab.Tyre marks can still be seen on the face,and on our return there are fresh tracks.
We're keeping Craignelder to our left as we continue upwards.Sticking to the forest roads means a fair amount of zig zagging.

A static Forestry Commission multi purpose vehicle takes our interest.Looks like the birds have flown the nest.

As we reach the end of what seemed an endless forest track we take a mini break before the next stage.Interest in my recent islands trip allows me to relate some it's highlights.

Inset is the 'Noble Fir'.
Now at approximately 300 Metres or 1000Ft,we head through a fairly heavy going swampy forest ride...

...and emerge at the Louran Burn almost directly opposite the rocky slopes that contain the cave.

On the recce,i indicated that this might be where the cave was situated.The problem was,that even through binoculars we couldn't see the upright metal bar that identifies it.Luckily we didn't spend too much time looking elsewhere before realising that the original group of rocks was the correct one.

Now at the cave,our walk leader has brought along a torch.My original assumption was that the cave was only about 8ft by 8ft.Now i know different.At the entrance cave is a ledge into the larger cavern which looks as though it goes back about 30ft.It is very cramped and tapering.Perhaps it's caved in some since Billy Marshalls day.You could certainly hide a fair amount of contraband in here.

The weather forecast is for it to cloud over and rain later,but it's staying bright for us as we lunch.Our walk leader imparts some knowledge he's gleaned of the activities of the infamous Billy Marshall.

I took a couple of tumbles here on the recce,as did a couple of todays walkers.It's quite a slope and the heather manages to hide a few holes and dips.Time to begin our descent.

This is Bo.On the recce Bo must have done a twenty mile walk,while untiringly waiting for a stick to be thrown.Stamina was never a question for this lady.

Also seen on the recce were some mountain goats keeping their eyes on our activities,and a plane marked 'Army' overhead.

We're now heading westwards on these lower slopes of Cairnsmore..

...where we find one of the original paths,underlaid with stone and edged with boulders.Apparently built to allow an infirm Duke of Bedford ascend Cairnsmore by horse.
There's a downloadable Pdf with lots of info on Cairnsmore at
Cairnsmore Pdf

A fairly long stretch of boggy path and forest road via Blairbuies hill now brings us to a point...

...overlooking Dallash and Corwar.Time for a photoshoot.

Here i was asked the question whether it was easier walking now since Scoop One wanted to take her gaiters off.
Now a few folks who know me,know that i sometimes make utterances before my brain has assimilated the information i want to impart.
'Splodgy',the first word was ok,but the second word was to be either 'Bits' or 'Ditches'.Much mirth and merriment followed when the sentence 'There's still quite a few Splodgy Bitches ahead' came out of my mouth.I'll never live that down.

Now we're down near Corwar in a field next to the Louran Burn.We have a good break here as a few walkers divest themselves of protective clothing and get more comfortable.Refreshments are taken by those with some left.
We head over the Louran while a Belted Galloway bull lazily eyes us going past.

Now at Corwar...

...where the horses seem very friendly... do the occupants.

This is one of a couple of youngsters in a seperate field alongside their mothers.

Now we cross ...

...and recross,the Palnure Burn as we head along the final forest tracks.

Murray's Monument coming into view is a welcome sight for the wearier of the walkers...

...but Bo could do it all again.Now!
Another very enjoyable walk with the nicest folk around.
Looking forward to the barbecue next week.

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