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Saturday, 26 December 2009

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Stroan Bridge,Loch Trool Circular-Boxing Day 2009

December the 26th 2009.It's boxing day.
Todays walk should be a return walk from Bruce's Stone to the White Laggan Bothy.I've my doubts !
It's started raining as i sit in my car at the Riverside in Newton Stewart.I've already seen two people fall on the icy pavements.
I'm joined by the sole fellow rambler from this area that i thought would be coming out today.
We head off up to Stroan Bridge by Glentrool.The roads are still very slippery.
Parking up by the bridge on the Water of Minnoch,we're the first to arrive.(I didn't really know this at the time,and began thinking that the others had already gone on up to Bruce's Stone.As it happened the walkers from Stranraer and the Rhins had arrived in Newton Stewart after we'd left.A communication problem.Luckily,i didn't do anything hasty, thanks to my fellow rambler calmly insisting we must be the first.)
Two four track cars eventually arrived,and the walk leader wisely decided the walk had better be changed.We'd go from here to Loch Trool.The rain's stopped.


We totalled nine walkers today.
We begin following the path south alongside the Water of Minnoch.By a strange coincidence,rambling friends from Glentrool had walked to Loch Trool yesterday(Christmas Day),and made a short video of their pictures and clips.So i've already had a sneak preview of much of todays walk.
The river looks like the landscape of an alien planet.
The goings fairly easy,and soon we're heading east along the Water of Trool.This stretch of course is part of the SUW (Southern Upland Way)
As we cross the new footbridge,it seems everyone's full of seasonal spirit and goodwill.We're a real happy bunch today.
Here we're awaiting our walk leader who's new plan is to lead from behind.
The trout are still active in this burn.Our group chairman and myself try drawing smiley faces on snow covered rocks.She says hers is Shrek,but i can't see the likeness!
I get barracked when i say that these two rocks will make a pretty picture.
Reaching Caldons,a short detour off the path leads to a Martyrs tomb.I seem to think i've blogged this before.This memorial commemorates six Covenanters surprised at prayer and immediately shot.
There's much been written about 'The Killing Times'.
CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY have reams of pages online.For a fairly comprehensive read look here.
Galloway Covenanters
Now we come to the Loch itself,with it's colourful winter coat on.
Time for me to take a panorama.

Panorama of LochTrool-Boxing Day 2009 on CleVR.com





Photo calls by a large rock at the loch edge (Thanks Scoop)...
...followed by lunch.

It looks as though it's thawed a little since yesterday.
After lunch we continue in a north easterly direction.

We'll rejoin the main tarmac road through the Kenmure Knowe plantation.
Is this the same Robin Ray?(No pun intended)
Now we head back west along the road to the upward path opposite the Caldons road.This will be the only climbing today.
Gaining height,there's a grand view of the hills to the east.
Soon we reach the bridge at the Spout Head waterfall.

It's another photo stop.Thanks again Scoop.
\It's less than a mile back as we pass the old sheep pens behind Stroan House.The snow's much thicker on this section.More of a trudge than a walk here.
Now we're back at Stroan Bridge,where the Water of Minnoch runs freely under lots of colourful ice.
Apart from myself,none of the ramblers know of the tunnel under the bridge,and once i've shown them the entrance,three of our walkers decide it's a good way to end the walk.As can be seen in the top right picture of this collage,one decidedly mischievous walker would give them a snow shower on their emergence from the tunnel.
It's been a very picturesque and fun walk today.

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