Tag Archives: Erratic

Loch Finlas Circuit

Fern growing in wall of Little ShallochClearly we needed to head back to the peat bogs of the Galloway hills: I have a new pair of boots and Jazz has just been groomed. Both need to be dunked into their natural element.  So over the traditional breakfast planning meeting we worked out a circular wander joining some old favourite sections and a couple of new ones. Continue reading

Craignaw: RIP Hat

Looking back at Glentrool

Looking back at Glentrool

The last time we were in the Dungeon Hills we ran out of time to do Craignaw and so a return was needed: as this is a Donald we couldn’t leave it out.   And contrary to your expectations, this did actually involve a modicum of planning. It needed to be:

  • before the summer when the bracken in Glen Trool is awful;
  • after a dry spell to avoid a mud bath;
  • with a breeze to keep the insects at bay;
  • on a decent day when I had a pass from my domestic servitude.

Well today was the confluence, and we had a great day, if a bit on the tough side. Continue reading

Macaterick

Macaterick and Tunskeen bothy

As regular readers know, “planning” is the watch-word here at FishBox HQ.  Nothing is done without months of diligent research and planning.  So it will come as no surprise to you that today’s walk came about over the coffee and toast this morning with the maps scattered about.  The bothy at Tunskeen caught the eye and with barely a “We haven’t been there yet, have we Jazz?” a plan for an easy saunter along forest tracks hatched.  And, of course, plans change…

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Clatteringshaws to White Laggan

Trees in Clatteringshaw Loch

Normal service is resumed. No more Android development this time: no, we’re back to Man+Dog wandering around the soggy uplands of south-west Scotland.  After this week’s storms we decided a good solid path was in order and so we ended up on a forestry section of the Southern Upland Way connecting up two previously walked sections: from Clatteringshaws Loch to the White Laggan bothy at Loch Dee. Continue reading

Mullwharchar and Dungeon

Loch Enoch with Mullwharchar beyond

Mullwharchar apparently comes from the Gaelic meall na h-adhairce meaning “big lump of granite sitting in the middle of nowhere” (I’m paraphrasing here).   It’s the remoteness rather than its height that makes this a challenge (although it is a Donald).  No matter which way in, it’s a slog.  Jazz and I did a reconnaissance back in January using the route over the Wolf Slock and thought a trek in from Glentrool would be the better bet.  Well, today was the judge – and, guess what, we were right – just. Continue reading

The Wolf Slock

The Wolf Slock (L) and Merrick (R) from bridge over Eglin Lane

One of this year’s walking goals is to climb Mullwharchar: one of the most remote Donalds in Galloway and so a bit of challenge.  The standard route in is from Glentrool but I thought there might be an alternative by going over The Wolf Slock, and so today’s walk was a recce of the possibility.  To be honest it was really too good a name to miss! 1 Continue reading

Notes:

  1. The Ordnance Survey’s glossary of place-names says that it means a hollow between two hills favoured by wolves (in days of yore).

Sound of Silence: Shalloch on Minnoch

Jazz on Shalloch on Minnoch

Have you ever listened to silence? Not just the quietness you get when the resident teenager switches off her music, but real silence. The sort of silence where the auditory part of your brain goes “Who pulled the plug out?”. Well, that’s what I got today on Shalloch on Minnoch. The sort of silence when there is no wind, water, insects, birds, planes, cars, people, or mad Spaniels doing something noisy and stupid. After a few minutes even the blood in your ears calms down and you hear: nothing. It’s rare and magical. Continue reading

Alwhat and Alhang

Water of Ken at Lorg

This circuit is at the end of the Water of Ken valley: probably the most remote road in D&G. These two hills with the strangely odd and similar names are both Donalds which is the only reason, to be honest, that we were here in the first place.  It turns out the hills were totally underwhelming but they had lovely surprises, and if you want to know what, you’ll have to read on.  What a tease!  Continue reading

Tarfessock and Kirriereoch

Jazz on summit of Tarfessock

The first walk of the year, so something not too demanding to break us in.  These are the middle hills in the “Awful Hand” stuck between Shalloch-on-Minnoch (highest in Ayrshire at 768m) and The Merrick (highest in south-west Scotland at 843m).  (You’ve just got to love the names of the hills in this part of the world).
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