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Sunday, 16 May 2010

Glen Tig with the Ayr and District Ramblers May 2010

N.B.I'm trying a few frames around some of my pictures.A different slant for a change.

It's Sunday the 16th of May 2010, and I've decided to branch out a little.
I'm heading for Ballantrae to walk with the Ayr and District Ramblers.
They walk quite often in the Galloway area,and have regular Sunday walks,so it's a nice alternative if I want a Saturday free for other things.One of our group lives in Ayr,and will be walking today.
I get to Ballantrae early enough for a walk around.
'Ballantrae in Bloom',is always colourful.
My mobile ringing disturbs the tranquility.It's 'Slew' to inform me the walk start will be at Herensford,and that they're running late.
As I wait at Herensford there's more colour for me to photograph.
It's not too long to wait till the convoy arrives.It's not the easiest thing for seven or eight cars to find places to park along a narrow country road.Were soon gathered though,and after I'm introduced our walk leader outlines the route.There's 25 or 26 walkers today.
We're soon on the way in a generally easterly direction following the river Tig.The first part will be a bit of an obstacle course our leader tells us.

He's not wrong as we clamber over barbed wire fences,gates,fallen trees and muddy burns.
We're heading through Craig Wood when we come upon this derelict mill.In the archives there's a mention of a mill in Glentig in the late 1500's.This is surely more victorian.The engineering is fantastic though.Most of this land belongs to Lord Richard Gerald Wellesley of Knockdolian,son of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington.It's possible that's the reason for lack of information on the internet.Places like this were inaccessible to the public until 2003 and the 'Right to Roam' law.

This black fungi on a dead branch is Daldinia concentrica,also known as King Alfred's Cake.(I'm not really knowledgeable about a lot of the stuff I write on here,but the internet is like an encyclopaedia of everything.A couple of mouse clicks and Hey Presto there's the answer.)
This is our first 'Coffee Break'.It's not as tranquil as it looks,there's one or two fairly vociferous females in todays group.Not that the men are that quiet either.
Another break after a fairly difficult section to allow the tail enders to catch up.

Once clear of Craig Wood a steady climb brings us to the banks of the Meraddie Burn where we have lunch.The sun's come out,and the views to the Galloway Hills are excellent.Eating,drinking,and enjoyable conversation makes the break seem too short...
...and we're soon preparing to start the walk back.
We meet a farmer later who produces a rule book regarding young cattle and how ramblers must avoid them.There may well have been cattle in this field somewhere,but we saw no sight or sound of them as the farmer insisted we must have.
Across the glen,construction of the Arecleoch Windfarm is well under way.
Now it's all tarmac and farm track back to the start point.
The North Channel,officially classified as the "Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland" comes into view.
Now we can look down and across our outward route.
At the Mains of Tig the young steers are intrigued by our passing as they run across the fields to take a closer look.

It's just a short walk back to the cars now,and my first walk with the group has been a gentle and enjoyable introduction.I'll walk again with them when they return down our way.
On my way home I stop overlooking Colmonell...
...and finally get some pictures of the ruined...
...Craigneil Castle.Built in the 13th Century and named after Neil,Earl of Cassillis.
In its time it's served as a hiding place of King Robert the Bruce.It's been a feudal prison,and they used to execute people here.
Archive dot org describe it as "a grim old peel, rearing its bare walls above a rocky eminence".
There are signs detailing the perils of entering here.It certainly looks as though it could collapse at any time.
It's been an enjoyable day.

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