Yesterday I picked my brother up from his hotel in Ayr for a much needed day on the hills of his beloved Galloway. He lives in Bermuda and is a fit 73 year old. He misses Scotland so this was his day.
We left early and missed the traffic passing the villages we knew well. He had played football in some of the mining villages over 50 years ago.
We were soon at the Polharrow Bridge and heading up the road to Forest Lodge. We had both walked this road many years ago after long hill days with our Dad and on expeditions with the Boys Brigade.
We passed a place called Natural Power with grass roofs I wonder if they work with the wind farms in the area. It was then up the road to the car park which was empty and we met a Ranger who was friendly. It was still early. The forest is now huge since I was last here but stunning this must be some place to Mountain Bike !
It was then a wander through the forestry all the roads are named and you have to keep an eye on the map.
From the track end there is a faint path through steep heather onto the main ridge and it was stunning. As you gain height it is amazing the views and the landscape changes out of the trees. What a wonderful place so much space and no one about.
The heather is in full bloom and the bees were busy as was the wonderful blaeberries we ate when we stopped I enjoyed them. Great Hill food.
It was a steep pull through some incredible landscape boulders and small cliffs looked great on the sun and despite the keen wind this is a land of great beauty. It is such a neglected are but a true hidden gem for us both.
Once on the main ridge the views got superb. This is what Michael came to see and his favourite places. The Merrick and the wonderful lochs were now visible. What names “The Awful hand , Loch Dungeon and Of course Corserine the big hill. So many old favourites and no one in sight. There was little wild life or water the hill was dry so maybe most of the wildlife was low down?
We followed the ridge line great walking and the old wall built by years of sweat ! Then past the high plantation at over 600 metres .
It was soon time for some lunch after Millfire summit which we had out the wind overlooking Loch Dungeon. What a spot.
Micheal was enjoying it and so was i you can never tire of these places and he was enjoying every view, memory the space and solitude. What an area the local Galloway Team have to look after it’s massive and we could see so much of it
Michael spoke of some of the big days with my Dad , sister Jenifer over the Merrick and Corserine huge days and big walk outs to catch the bus. They were hardy and sadly Dad, Mum and Jenifer are no longer with us. They were with us in our hearts today. It was time to move on and get back and tough going but we were back to the car park after a 6 hour day.
It was then it poured down as we got in the car and we headed of down the Glen back to the main road and on to
Talking about past walks and huge cycles in this area and beyond.
It was a shower and a meal with his wife Fay and get back to my sisters where I am staying.
A lovely day out Galloway produced another great day and we both shared a beautiful place that will always be in our hearts.