It`s been an awful summer so far and you have to take the opportunity when it arises.The only decent forecast for the week was on Tuesday and the best area for a nice sunny stroll was down in Galloway,one of my favurite areas.Hopes of a decent four or five day spell of settled weather to get out to the Hebrides have been put on hold again and we`re running out of time 😦
We left my house at about 8.45am and down the A77 with our usual stop in Girvan for a paper and goodies and then onwards via Barrhill and up the dead end road to the car park in upper Glen Trool.As usual it was pretty quiet with only a party heading for the Merrick and a few tourists walking over to Bruce`s Stone.We took the path towards the Gairland Burn which performs a rising traverse over the southern ridge of Buchan Hill.
We rounded the corner and folowed the path up beside the Gairland Burn.I was a wee bit worried about this.I`ve been up and down quite a few times now and it`s always been a bit of a bogfest.I hate getting wet feet and my concern was that as I was wearing trainers I was going to cop it big time 🙂 Maybe it was just the time of year but I thankfully emerged dryshod at the ouflow at Loch Valley where we stopped for a while.No point in rushing when the good days are few and far between,might as well savour it while we can 🙂
It can be a bit problematical here crossing after rain but it was an easy boulder hop today.
Once across we had the usual battle with the Galloway tussocks until we gained the start of the Rig of the Jarkness.Brilliant name 🙂 An easy walk along this stopping here and there to admire the views, take a few pics and savour life in general.
Loch Valley and the view to the north.Craignaw on the right and Mullwharchar in the distance through the Wolf Slock.
The light was dancing around over the nearby hills.The western end of Loch Valley…
Back to the Merrick…
Nearing the end of the Rig.Bob is a speck in the distance as usual….
Curleywee from the Rig of the Jarkness.
Nearing the Dow Loch….
This is a beautiful place and we pottered around for while and had lunch.The thing I like most about the Galloway are the hill lochs with their fringes of sandy beaches.This one didn`t have a beach but perched at 1600 feet it had a magic of it`s own 🙂
A short walk up took us to the trig point sat on top of a granite outcrop..
The Merrick and Craignaw from Craiglee…
Our first visit to Craignaw had been on a raw winters day in 1992. Here`s a bit of free advice.
Don`t traverse along the southern shores of Loch Valley to get to it….the going is awful and that`s by Galloway standards which is saying something 😀 The scattered erratics of the De`ils Bowling Green are well worth a visit . As I said before the best walking down here is on the ridges as everything else is tussock and hidden holes,so,I should have known better than to head directly down to the Round Loch of Glenhead but it had a few nice beaches which I found hard to resist 🙂
Bob took the sensible decision to stay high while I gained revenge on my sore foot by inflicting a large dollop of torture upon it and headed straight down to the loch having a narrow escape from this grizzly bear on the way 😀
A pleasant potter around the beaches and I met up with Bob at the far end before we endured a horrendous descent to the Southern Upland Way through bog,waist high ferns,foot snagging heather,myrtle,a river crossing and finally a few hundred yards of felled forestry.We stopped to give my foot a break at a small burn and this yellow ringed dragonfly entertained us for a while pogoing up and down to lay its eggs 😀 Video at end of post.
We took the shorter route home over the lonely back road via Rowantree Toll to Straiton as it`s always quiet at this time of night.Indeed,it`s usually quiet at any time given the state of the potholes 😀 Well,it seems to have had a makeover and there was plenty of freshly laid tarmac which would have pleased the only other living soul that we passed in twenty miles, a guy on his bike heading for Scotlands very own Alpe D`Huez….the Nick of the Balloch.