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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Clatteringshaws to Craigencallie October 2010

It's Saturday the 2nd of October.
Todays walk should have been a walk up Blackcraig of Dee and Benniguinea with myself as leader.
As I mentioned in the last post I had to abandon this walk,and hopefully do it another time.
Last Monday and Tuesday I'd been up and down the slopes of both hills.High bracken,loose swampy tussocks and potholes galore made my mind up for me.Firm frosty ground had been with me last March when I'd first planned the walk.
March Post
This then is the alternative walk suggested to me by a fellow walker.The lack of pictures is due to me forgetting to take my small camera with me.My 'Powershot' stays in it's case in heavy rain.

My press report will also suffice for this posting.

Twelve intrepid walkers gathered at the Raiders Road Car Park at Clatteringshaws Loch for the re-routed thirteen miles track and forest road walk.Visiting guest ramblers from Kent,Castle Douglas and Sorbie were welcomed to the group.

The weather was clear,but the forecast was wet.
They began by heading out onto the A712 Queensway and seeing the rare sight of Clatteringshaws Loch streaming down the dam walls.

Side view of Clatteringshaws.There's a walkway over the dam,but a locked gate keeps people out.I guess it's for safety reasons.

Next they turned west to take the track to Lillies Loch.Here they followed the route of the Old Edinburgh Road.
It wasn't long before it started raining.This set the tone for the walk,with just occasional respite from the heavy showers.Spotted just inside the forest was an abundance of various fungi brought on by the damp dark conditions.

Continuing on they passed Lillies Loch,crossed Strife Rig and descended a wet and muddy Black Strand below Glen Knowes.

Recent prolonged spells of rain have filled the burns.As they reached the Well Burn,a wonderful cascade of white water over a waterfall greeted the walkers.

Crossing this burn was uneventful,but the same can't be said of the Tonderghie a few minutes later.

A good flow of water meant the stepping stones would be hazardous.A little further down lots of boulders were strewn across the burn and this was chosen as the crossing point.The stones could be described as wet,mossy and slippy and although the obstacle was successfully surmounted,it produced a few wet feet and in one case a wet posterior.Profanities were whispered.

Back on dry land they next circled the Black Loch till they reached 'The Eye'.Created by sculptor Colin Rose and standing around 8 metres high this perfect spire is made from red-earthen tiles and is part of the 'Art in the Forest' project.
The rain eased slightly as the group took the first of their two refreshment breaks of the walk.

Back on the move and steadily gaining height they followed the forest road to the north.Heading through the forest the autumn colours were coming through.
The sound of the burn tumbling through Tonderghie Glen faded as they rounded Poultrybuie Hill.

High bracken lined much of the roadside but occasionally plants such as Milfoil,Pink Purslane and Goatsbeard made an appearance.

As they continued the sky would occasionally clear and the peaks of Drigmorn,Millfore and Cairngarroch could be identified.

Beyond Munwhul they were able to view the spectacular steep slopes of Buckdas of Cairnbaber,streaked with the white lines of tumbling waterfalls.After passing the quarries of Glenowrie they reached their turning point at Bell Knowe,Craigencallie and took to the tarmac road east.
To the south were the slopes of Darnaw while new forestry operations were noted to the north.
They soon reached the edge of Clatteringshaws Loch where the road turned south east.A welcome break was taken at the bridge spanning the Darnaw Burn.
After passing the homestead at Craignell there was a hint of deja vu as some dyed sheep were spotted in the fields alongside the loch.

With all walkers safely back at the cars the consensus was of a wet but wonderfully satisfying walk.


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