Galloway. 30 April - 2 May 2021
We spent most of the bank holiday weekend in South Scotland. It only took us three and a half hours to get there, not too bad. We found a dry spot for pitching a tent fairly close to the car park and went to bed around midnight.
Day one (after overnight camping).
The forecast was for a cloudy day with a few showers. We first followed a logging road and then started climbing shallow slopes of Millfore. This picture looks back at the valley and the logging road. We were making slow progress without a path on a typical Scottish terrain: tussocks and marshes. Moving on a rocky terrain would have been much faster!
A trig point on top of Millfore. A fellow walker has just left the summit, and our paths then went in different directions.
A break by a tarn. There were so many tarns that we can't recognise them in pictures.
We aim for another tarn. The hill behind it resembles a tiger.
Fortunately, the clouds brought snow rather than rain, so we did not get wet.
Snow in May is not that unusual. The spring has not arrived here, there is no green colour, the grass is all brown.
We were surprised to see that some hills turned white like in winter. But the snow did not last for more than an hour.
We watched snow-bearing clouds circle around us.
A rocky terrain at last! We can now move a lot faster.
We thought we might get wet crossing Gairland Burn but there was so little water that we easily crossed it.
Loch Neldricken. The sun finally came out and woke up the midges. We were well prepared with nets and repellants but the midges completely disappeared after a few minutes. We need to cross the last ridge to reach our destination: Loch Enoch.
The sun and blue sky completely transformed the view.
A small path goes roung Loch Enoch. The loch shores are mostly wet but there are some rocky outcrops.
There are a few beaches with white sand.
We pitched our tent on a beach. This was the best spot, dry and flat.
We climbed Merrick after dinner. This is the highest hill in Galloway.
Sunshine and snow showers...
We spotted a big grey boulder on the Merrick slopes. It turned out to be a tent. The owner pitched it high to enjoy the senset.
Angel of the North.
A view from Merrick towards Ireland. The hills in the distance are probably Scottish islands, and the dark round island is Ailsa Craig, famous for the granite which is used to make curling stones. It is uninhabited.
Loch Enoch was even more picturesque in the morning. We counted five tents scattered around the lake but we neither saw nor heard anything in the evening. A narrow strait divides the loch into two.
Our camping spot with Merrick behind. By the time we finished our breakfast and packed our backpacks, the sun disappeared and the clouds brought some showers. It turned a lot colder.
We climbed Graignaw on the way back.
Smooth granite slabs resemble the shores of the Ladoga lake.
Large rock slabs at the top with many small tarns scattered around.
A cairn at the top of Snibe Hill.
Another little tarn with a vertical granite wall. A large boulder rests on a granite slab.
We climbed down into the valley and walked along river Dee towards a footbridge.
Looking back at Snibe Hill. Fortunately, we found an old track running along the river. It made our progress through the wetland so much easier. We then crossed the river and reached a logging road. The scars left by logging is a sorry sight: tree stumps, lots of water, some remaining felled trees.
At the end of the day, we walked down a path by the Grey Mare's Tail gorge with many waterfalls. The water level was low but the waterfalls were still very impressive.
Lichen-covered stone sculptures on the walls of an old sheep pen.
A sleeping trio.
It only took us 3.5 h to get back home. We drove back before dusk so enjoyed the surroundings. The view of Lake district in the sunset was amazing.
It was a great trip into the northern beauty of untouched Scottish nature.