Paddling Again

The view out from Duncan’s Cave

We had some mid-day high tides and good weather in the middle of May so we managed to get out for a paddle along the coast with our friends Anna and Rob.

Gabrielle heading round the back of Little Pinnacle
Anna and Rob emerging from behind Little Pinnacle

The calm seas enabled us to see a couple of porpoises but they were too far away to get a photograph.

Gerald’s Last Munro

Carn Liath

Gerald was one of our group of friends who meet periodically for skiing, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. Unfortunately he died from cancer in early 2019 and his family decided that they would like to scatter his ashes on top of one of the Munros. Carn Liath, near Blair Atholl, was chosen as the location and we had a large group of family and friends to make the trek to the summit.

Gabrielle starting up the steeper section of the path

The route up Carn Liath is pretty obvious and the path has recently been much improved with the installation of stone steps along most of the route where there used to be steep scree slopes.

A toast to Gerald on the summit

The Devil’s Bowling Green

A hike with Cathy and Ros, starting from Bruce’s Stone along the Buchan Ridge into the heart of the Galloway Hills. The walk started with a stiff climb up Buchan Hill, giving good views back down to Loch Trool.Loch Trool

We followed the Rig of Loch Enoch to Craig Neldricken where a short detour leads round to the “Grey Man of Merrick”, a rock outcrop resembling a face staring back down the valley.

We skirted around Craig Neldricken and Craignairy, heading for the Nick of the Dungeon, passing this little lochan with good views across to Benyellary, Merrick and Kirriereoch Hill.

Cathy and Ros with the Nick of the Dungeon and the Rhinns of Kells beyond.

From the Nick of the Dungeon we hiked up to the granite plateau of the Devil’s Bowling Green for a lunch stop. Craignaw is the hill in the background.

We headed down the slopes of Craignaw to skirt around the right side of Loch Neldricken then followed the long track down the valley past Loch Valley and along the Gairland Burn back to the head of Loch Trool.Loch Enoch


It was our 40th wedding anniversary on 3rd January. We spent a couple of days up in Ayr with relatives and friends and attended the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s New Year concert. The picture is from a walk at Culzean Castle with Ailsa Craig in the background.
40th Wedding Anniversary
On the way back from Culzean to Ayr we called in at Rozelle Park for a walk around the grounds. Unfortunately the Maclaurin Gallery was closed on 3rd January but we enjoyed a tour round the park grounds and a new sculpture park themed on the First World War. Most of the sculptures are chainsaw carvings in wood but there are other too, including these doves made from wire mounted on woven willow columns.
Willow and wire dove sculpture

More July Activities

Wine o’ Clock has been taking place most Friday evenings through the year but it’s good to be able to venture outdoors now that we have a taste of summer weather. There are still a few fleece jackets in evidence but some hardy souls are in short sleeves.

We had a trip to the deep south and one of the highlights was a visit to the amazing gardens at Great Dixter, near Hastings. Here are a couple of pictures of the riotous planting there:
Great Dixter gardens

Great Dixter garden & house

Kirkcudbright was visited by the Kelpies in July and August. These are models of the enormous ones that are installed near Falkirk but they fitted well with the scale of Kirkcudbright harbour.
Kelpies in Kirkcudbright

Following on from the wine-tasting in June, we had a seashore wildlife walk in July, led by local naturalist Jim Logan as another fund-raiser for Kirkandrews Kirk. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious on the day but a small band of hardy souls ventured out into Kirkandrews Bay and discovered a range of interesting shells and marine creatures. Here’s Jim identifying a specimen for Howard.
Seashore Walk

Wine Tasting at Kirkandrews Kirk

In early June we held a wine tasting fund-raiser in the wee kirk at Kirkandrews. The event was very well attended, helped enormously by the provision of a mini-bus to transport people from and back to Kirkcudbright. Twelve wines were sampled in a blind tasting quiz format although after the first six most people just seemed to be happy to enjoy the drinking part! Members of the kirk trust provided tasty snacks to accompany the wines and the event raised a few hundred pounds to assist with the ongoing repairs and maintenance of the kirk.
Wine Tasting in the kirk