Tuesday, 15 January 2013

2013 -Tuesday 15th January - Glen Tig

15 Tuesday Glen Tig

Eddy was still not feeling great this morning and I left him in bed when I set off for my walk with Leslie, Jim and Douglas.  I picked Leslie up at the Clock House at the Lochans turn off and drove to Ballantrae, taking the turn off for Colmonel before reaching the village.  I took a wrong turning which brought us down to a farm.  The next turn off to the left was the right one and I met Jim on the outskirts of Heronsford.  Douglas arrived soon afterwards.  We went a bit closer to the village before trying to park our cars up the farm road to Mains of Tig.  Douglas’s car was OK there but Jim and I moved ours further along the road, making the most of a big passing place!

 Passing the Mains of Tig turn off we walked on a short way before leaving the road and crossing a field towards the Water of Tig.  We were delighted to catch sight of a deer which ran back and forth along the top of a bank, undecided in which direction to go!  We climbed over a gate and followed the river over a lovely green field for quite a way before entering Craig Wood.

 The track soon deteriorated and we started the bog hopping and low lying branch avoidance which accompanied us for much of the day!  However, it was a lovely day and spirits were high. 


 There was evidence of the past existence of an old road along here which would have assisted transportation of grain from the mill, the ruins of which we explored at length before trying to continue on what was occasionally a good track!

 There were stretches of half decent paths, but then we'd run out of path, or trees and brambles would slow us down. At times we'd have to climb up steep slippery slopes to get past obstacles, making the most of flexible but reliable saplings to aid our ascent or descent!  I actually found the challenge exhilarating and a good upper arm muscle workout!

All the time I made the most of photographing the wonderful scenery, all the better for the sunlight which was streaming into the woodland and on to the Water of Tig for most of the time we were there.  Jim told me that Craig Wood is an SSSI (a site of special scientific interest).

On one occasion we had to climb higher and then, when trying to get back down to the river, Jim slid most of the way, managing to stop himself by grabbing hold of a horizontal tree trunk.  I was soon behind him, sliding on my backside too!  Leslie did his usual flying leap but Douglas was well and truly stuck in an area surrounded by mud on which he just could not budge!  When I tried to get up to him to indicate a way out of it I slid all over the place!  I then had to try to find a way to get back down, following his example in going higher before descending in an easier place!  I came down on a leafy slide again when the saplings deserted me!

I have to admit to feeling very relieved when we left the wood and we came out into open country.  Jim got great photos of another deer on this hillside.

His plan was to continue walking to try to reach Pedens Mount and begin the return from there so we continued to follow the Water of Tig until we reached another wooded area.

Evidence of cattle movement gave us a false expectation of close proximity to farmland.  These were soon dashed when, once again, we became entangled in those *****ed brambles and branches and we were soon trying to scramble upwards away from the deteriorating track beside the river.  This woodland was only going to last a couple of hundred yards, according to Jim but a couple of hundred yards it was NOT!

However, we were now climbing back into the sunlight and the woodland was criss-crossed with the tracks made by deer and much easier to negotiate than earlier.  

My right ankle was complaining about the angle at which I was walking and I was really happy when we at last emerged above the woodland and into a field.
With helping hands (and shoulders) we made short work of the barbed wire fence over which we had to climb before accessing the hillside above the Meraddie burn.

  Jim had hoped to cross this and climb the hill opposite before stopping for lunch but, to avoid a mutiny from me, we found a bracken cushioned place to sit and consume some much needed calories!  OK, time to consult the map again!  

We agreed we'd go no further along Glen Tig, choosing instead to follow the Merradie burn up to its source at Loch Meraddie.  As we were crossing a marshy field we heard quad bike movement and were treated to the sight of two quad bikes and two working dogs rounding up a huge flock of sheep.

Once the dogs had manoeuvred the sheep through an open gate, the farmer came over to see us with a warning about continuing up to Loch Merradie. 'If we got into the next field but one we'd probably never be seen again'.   It was just a quagmire he informed us.
We were told we were welcome to walk through his farmyard at Bellimore on Tig.  We were relieved at his attitude having expected further discouragement to our being there, from past experience!  

 As we made our way over a couple of his fields we looked back often to enjoy the view of the snow covered Galloway Hills looking beautiful in the sunshine.

For me, this was the best part of the walk, across moorland, with the great expanse of open ground around us!

This is one of the collies we'd seen rounding up the sheep.

Talking to the shepherd as we passed through Bellimore on Tig

, he told Jim that they win their fair share of sheepdog trials.


It was an amazingly long rough farm road which we then took down to and by the turnoff to the Mains of Tig while looking across to Ireland and the Mull of Kintyre.
Douglas commented that this was the longest he had seen Leslie on any of the walks he had been on with him – he had not disappeared ONCE during the day!

Somewhere along here Jim did his good deed for the day. A sheep had its head through a square mesh fence and was frantically trying to dislodge itself. While I tried to enlarge the mesh hole, he had to twist its head round to free it. Quick to bound away, it soon rejoined the flock which quickly surrounded the errant animal.

Another ‘flock’ of wind turbines were clearly seen on the horizon before we reached the end of the road and were surprised to see Douglas’s car, much to the amusement of Jim!  We had not believed him when he said that this was where it had been left earlier – our sense of direction was proved to be wrong!

Douglas did not want to go for coffee afterwards, Jim was not keen either and Leslie would have gone under sufferance so I did not get my tea and scone, yet again!  Roll on the return of Cath and Thomas – we nearly ALWAYS end our walking day with this treat!

1 comment:

Tess @ Six Feet Under Blog said...

Wow-that looks like a great adventure!