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Saturday, 15 May 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Auchenmalg Stairhaven May 2010

It's Saturday the 15th of May 2010, and todays walk is from Auchenmalg to Stairhaven and back.
Todays walk will be known as our 'Baton' walk.To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Ramblers, a baton will be carried on walks the length and breadth of Britain.Hence the baton in the picture below.

Sixteen ramblers assembled at the Cock Inn at Auchenmalg for the walk.We're soon on the way north navigating the odd muddy patch and burns that are along the route.
We did this walk back in March 2009.
March 09 Walk
As usual we've a happy crowd walking.The weather's reasonable with occasional glimpses of the sun, but it's gradually becoming overcast.
This picture stop was to capture the baton being carried.
Here are some of the wild flowers blooming at this time of year.

As well as walking today, I also recce'd the walk on Monday with Slew and the Grand Sheik.Over both days we saw a great variety of birds including these Cormorants and Seagulls.We also saw a couple of seals on the recce, but none today unfortunately.

We take a short break here at Garliachen Fort, a promontory fort of Bronze or Iron Age origin.It's fairly easy to imagine how it might have looked back then.
As a Gannet glides gracefully past, Stairhaven comes into view.
Below us about here is the Stairhaven Broch.
This from Wikipedia:-A Broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland. Brochs include some of the most sophisticated examples of drystone architecture ever created, and belong to the classification "complex Atlantic Roundhouse" devised by Scottish archaeologists in the 1980s. Their origin is a matter of some controversy. The theory that they were defensive military structures is not accepted by many modern archaeologists (see the 'general references' below), while the alternative notion that they were farmhouses is ridiculed by some others. Although most stand alone in the landscape, some examples exist of brochs surrounded by clusters of smaller dwellings. Brochs were almost certainly originally roofed.
After the last time we did this walk, I did come back for a closer look at the Broch, but which folder I put the pictures I took that day remains a mystery.
I took this wee bird on the recce.
Now we head down to the village of Stairhaven.
It's more a row of holiday homes than a village.Harbour View and Beach View being the names on two of the houses.Whatever happened to originality ?
Here we make use of the beach wind shelters and seating to have lunch.
This is Dr Geebers - a homeless man who has set himself the challenge of walking around the coastline of the UK.He's building pebble sculptures around the country for charity.
Here's a couple of links concerning his travels.
Hele Beach

Rather than head inland today, we'll retrace our path back along the coast.It's much more scenic.
Soon the holiday park at Auchenmalg comes into view.
A walk along the beach finishes todays walk.
It only remains for the majority of the walkers to seek welcome refreshments in the Cock Inn before heading home.
Another very enjoyable walk.

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