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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Stranraer Circular December 2009

It's Saturday the 19th of December.Todays walk is a circular round Stranraer,taking in part of the Southern Upland Way.
It's a crisp sunny morning in the Riverside car park as i'm picked up by fellow ramblers.
As we come into Stranraer drops of drizzle appear on the windscreen.
We're a group of thirteen walkers as we leave the quayside.The drizzle hitting the ice is making the pavements slippy,so we head out warily.
Opposite the Stena ferry terminal,a plaque and some wall mounted panels were pointed out by the walk leader.Admiral Sir John Ross is one of Stranraers most famous sons.John Ross

Three pieces of public art were created and installed by Sybille von Halem. The creation of this work and the public consultation involved was made possible, in part, by Sybille’s parallel artist-in-residence project in Stranraer. The work was commissioned to celebrate 400 years of the Burgh of Barony.
As we head south the rain gets worse,the paths and roads get slippier and three of our walkers decide to head back to the cars.We're a group of ten.
We pass the creamery owned by the Caledonian Cheese Company.They're the one's with the 'Seriously Strong' logo.
Upon reaching the Industrial Estate road,the rain eases.
Now we head into the Culhorn estate,one time home of the Earl of Stair after Castle Kennedy was destroyed by fire in 1716.

The top left picture in this collage shows all that remains of Culhorn House.
When Lady Stair moved to Culhorn House near Stranraer in 1792 the garden grew a remarkable range of vegetables, including five types of onion and six varieties of cabbage

Continuing on we now join the Southern upland way heading west.The sky is quite atmospheric.The rain comes and goes.
Here's an old wreck (That would be the one on the right! ha ha)
We cross the Stoneykirk road,pass Whiteleys and veer north west towards Dunbae.I still manage to get my Canon out for some photos.I usually fetch my little pocket camera for inclement weather,but i've forgotten it today,so i take great care to keep it dry.
Some interesting items on this next section include this Nissen Hut,a fishy weathervane and a discarded rattan chair.
Nearing Dunbae we get a view of Loch Ryan and the outline of Ailsa Craig...
...before turning west for a short section of road.The turbines above Portpatrick are now fully operational.
We head northwest again up to Ochtrelure,west for a short distance on the old Portpatrick road,then northwest again to Hillside Piggeries where we stopped for lunch.The rain ceased beautifully while we ate and drank.
On the move again,as we pass Gallowhill farm.I might have posted this photo before.The hand painted notice reads differently without punctuation marks.
Now we head up the track to Gallowhill,where the views of Loch Ryan and Stranraer are excellent.
An alternative view of Stranraer.I've squeezed a panorama here.
We reach Springbank Farm...

...where a yappy collie makes sure his masters know we're about.
We now head back towards the northern end of Stranraer,as the Stena HSS comes in to the harbour.Todays walk leader points out buildings of interest...
...and where he used to live.
Heading through the suburbs we reach Loch Ryans shore line at McCulloch Point.
After it's usual quick turn round,the Stena HSS is on it's way back to Belfast.
A dead fish is spotted.Some ramblers think it's a dogfish.I'm not committing myself.
A line of Oystercatchers are on the move.They're so co-ordinated,it looks like they're having drill practise.
The last stretch now.I fail to get a decent picture of some Blackbird sized birds hopping about on the shoreline.I've no idea what they are.I'm sure our top twitcher Slewtrain will enlighten me.

It was quite a miserable start today.I've a feeling our walk leader was ready to call it off near the start.In the end it's turned out to be a good healthy walk in pleasant company with lots of pleasant discourse.
The rain is back on as we reach the car park.

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