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Sunday, 16 August 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Anwoth Circular

Saturday the 15th of August and it's been raining incessantly for the past 24 hours.
Yesterday's weather forecast said it would clear up today,but it just doesn't look like it.
Apart from a little sojourn to the shops for some essentials,i haven't been out since Thursday,so despite the weather i'll see if anyone's walking today.
Yes,the walk is on.An eight mile circular from Anwoth.

The river Cree looks high,so the few local walkers prudently move cars to the Tourist Information car park...we've seen how the Riverside car park can turn into a lochan.
Our walk leaders are from Drummore,and we'll all get in their car.
Firstly out to Gatehouse of Fleet to meet up with however many others are bonkers,and then we're off to Anwoth and the walk start.

The smallest group i've previously walked with totalled ten.Today we're down to eight.Can't say i blame them for staying at home.We're all well kitted out for the conditions as we set off from the historic village of Anwoth.

Our route initially takes us past the old schoolhouse and the old kirk and into the Killegowan Wood.The burns are all in spate.The footpaths are abundant with mud and flood,and lots of fallen branches,so this part of the walk is a bit of an obstacle course.I'm using my small Fuji A820 while it's this wet.

We eventually emerge on the north bound old military road south of the Pulcree Burn.We'll take the road to the left at Pulcree Cottage.
It's still tippling down as we get to Ornockenoch Loch.There's a number of swans over the other side.An inlet pipe is pushing water uphill into the loch.An explanation to the question How? is answered by a local lady.It's coming off a nearby hill.
It was wet the last time we were round this way.
Continuing alongside the loch,another swan keeps popping it's head up.The local lassie had said there were cygnets,so she was obviously being understandably wary.

At the end of the loch sits Ornockenoch House sold in November 2008 for £880,000.There's no'one inviting us in for tea and biscuits so we're back onto muddy and wet tracks.

It's a couple of kilometres of dodging puddles and mud before reaching Upper Rusco.Here we turn south and begin climbing Rusco Hill.The rain appears to be easing.It's eased enough for me to get my Canon Powershot out and clicking.
Here we can see over to the Clints of Dromore.

We reach the end of the forest track east of Kenlum Hill.This is where we'll have lunch.
I think about getting myself in this picture,but there being only boggy wet ground to set the camera i'll await another opportunity.The sky must be turning blue,there's a few smiley faces.
There's a mine here.On the Canmore website this isn't specifically classed,except to say 'may have been for non-ferrous metal extraction'.
There are a couple of Copper mines just south of here,so it's possible that's what they've been looking for here.

I ventured in about two of the twenty seven and a half metres.Must have been fairly cramped working conditions.

Lunch over and we're going to climb Kenlum Hill...assuming we can find a way through the six feet high ferns and bracken.An intrepid walker volunteers to be the pathfinder.Following the drystane dyke up seems a good choice.This is much steeper than it looks.
I'm told that blaeberries don't grow below 800ft.There were bushes on the lower slopes without berries,but as we gained height the berries appeared.Is this true ?
Suffice to say,i sampled a few.

Finally atop Kenlum and the dyke makes for a good tripod to get myself in the picture.

'Watch your step' as we head down through the heather to Kingslaggan farm.The weather's improving all the time.
Just above the farm i have a second look(I drove up earlier in the week) for the adit to this old copper mine.Once again i'm beaten by the undergrowth.I did find the remains of the copper mine at Lauchentyre though.My fellow ramblers wondered whether i'd fallen down a hidden shaft,and were discussing if anyone would volunteer to look for me.There'd been no takers by the time i got back.Sob sob!
Here's a picture of Kingslaggan and Kenlum hill i took earlier this week.
Now were looking back towards Kingslaggan from the old military road running south east which will take us all the way back to Anwoth.
Last week while climbing Falkland Hill with my aunt and cousin,i'd introduced him to 'Sooricks'.Not many of todays group had had the pleasure or even knew what 'Sooricks' were,so i kept my eye out and was eventually rewarded with finding some prime succulent leaves.Once i translated Sooricks to Sorrel,one or two lights came on,but few had tasted it.They were for the most part pleasantly surprised.
We're still negotiating a lot of standing water.
I recognise this old railway carriage.I've walked up here previously from Anwoth,so we must be nearly home.How do they get these old carriages to some of the remote spots they end up at?.

The last stretch back to the village.My legs feel quite heavy today.
This end house has the most amazingly colourful garden.

A look around the old kirk and graveyard almost completes our walk.

Anwoth's most famous inhabitant was the Rev. Samuel Rutherford (1600? - 1661), who was the minister at Anwoth Old Kirk from 1627 until 1636 when he was banished to Aberdeen. On a nearby hill, there is Rutherford's Monument, a 55 foot high granite obelisk erected in 1842. A millennium cairn opposite the monument lists the names of all the ministers of Anwoth and Girthon until the year 2000 when it was erected. The Old Kirk was in use until 1825, but is now just a ruin.

At the back of the kirk are bramble bushes 'Hingin thick' with the biggest berries you ever saw.Three of us gorged ourselves on them.What with Blaeberries,Sooricks and Brambles i just hope i haven't over indulged.
Considering the weather as we started the walk,it's ended up being a really nice day.
I'll be asleep on the couch later.

1 comment:

  1. You`re a braver man than I am Jim.

    I was so fed up with the rain that I never ventured out this weekend for the first time since New Year.

    Bob,being made of sterner stuff,ventured over to the Dunbar area.Weather was good apparently but the wind was pretty strong.Made cycling a bit hard..!


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