The Mull of Galloway Trail | Day 3
Well today was short, sweet and simple. Just 7 miles between Stoneykirk and Stranraer.
The route was simple, virtually a straight line following quiet country lanes, farmers livestock fields and a woodland before reaching the coast at Stranraer.
Last night I slept terribly. We slept together in a double bed with Eve spending all night kicking me in the kidneys. Eve however slept like a baby.
Eve woke with energy, enthusiasm and a spring in her step when the alarm went off. I stumbled out of bed feeling like I had just woken from a wild night out from my teens, but in the body I have now. I told Eve what she had been doing all night and she repeatedly said “I’m sorry” whilst giggling! I didn’t know which one was the truth, her sorrow or humour.
We had an epic breakfast and started walking feeling full and warm. Eve is like a hot water bottle constantly running close to boiling point. Her hands are like a radiator whilst mine are like blocks of ice. I planned on making myself ‘feel’ warm today, so I removed a layer of clothing and started walking without my windproof jacket on.
Within 10 minutes I had my windproof jacket back on plus gloves and a hat and Eve was offering to hold my hands to keep them warm. Eve is awesome and she does try to help when I’m struggling just as I obviously help her when she is having a hard time.
The route this morning started by following country lanes for just under 4 miles. The landscape between Stoneykirk and Stranraer isn’t the most exciting. It’s not bad it just doesn’t have much to look at or get excited over.
However the West Freugh Airfield was very interesting with the whole area being a major WW2 training area for the RAF that was even used by the Dambusters under the leadership of the famous Guy Gibson. I have always been slightly fascinated by the story of the Dambusters as it combined bravery and guts with engineering and science. Eve was not as excited as I was but she did attempt to read the information board with some help.
The walking today was mainly flat so we made extremely good time reaching the end of the road walking by about midday (we didn’t start walking early).
We spent most of the road walking section singing songs form Disney’s Aladdin, very loudly and very out of tune!
The second half was nicer, as we crossed fields and walked though a woodland.
We walked past a small house with a child bouncing on a trampoline in the garden. As we walked past he kept saying ‘hello’ again and again. We replied saying ‘hello’ but in the end I had to stop when we so far away and I was having to shout ‘HELLO’ back… I thought I might sound a bit odd shouting ‘hello’ to a child I didn’t know.
We entered a field with several warning signs of a bull and advising walkers to use a stile to walk on the adjacent field. I liked this a lot as it clearly shows the farmer appreciated the feelings and safety of walkers. Thank you. However there was no bull in the field today.
We stopped for our first and only break of the day, had a drink and wrote a post for social media. We stopped right beside a huge gorse bush that was covered in the most beautiful and vibrant yellow flowers.
The yellow petals of the gorse bush are edible. Eve and I have a long running tradition of eating one petal per day. How this started I don’t know but what I can tell you is that they taste horrid (in our opinion), hence why we only have one a day!
I know somebody will ask ‘why do you eat any of you don’t like them?’, and I have no answer except we do because we always have. Not a good reason I know, but there it is.
We carried on walking going through a small woodland with loads of evidence of badgers searching for earthworms.
Another field, a small road section and we were into the ‘Big Plantation’ which according to another information board was the site of an old barracks from hundreds of years ago. All that remains is a doorway, which looks sad on its own in the middle of the huge trees towering above it. We didn’t stay here for long before carrying on.
One thing we both noted however was hundreds of thousands of snowdrops that blanketed the woodland floor. Most of them were unfortunately going over, but just a week or two ago the whole area would have looked like it was covered in snow or a satin blanket like a picnic rug for giants (I like that metaphor as we’re currently watching the BFG). It would have been spectacular.
Crossing the railway line we could hear the traffic of Stranraer in front of us. Walking through a small residential area and along a street we could see the sea coming into view before us. It was a welcome and refreshing sight.
Arriving at the seafront we saw another information board that we read before crossing and dropping down onto the front to walk along the concrete coastal defences.
At this point we were walking off trail and away from the direction we will be walking tomorrow.
We made our way through the busy high street and we could feel our stress levels rising. We (I in particular) find any busy place stressful and I felt particularly stressed this time.
We went to Tesco grabbing some food for dinner and breakfast. We have enough food left from the last few days for lunch tomorrow.
Our accommodation for the night is an air b&b. It’s small but clean and warm which is perfect for us. We are looking forward to using our little tent soon when the temperature starts to warm up 🥶
We’re about to eat some yogurt for pudding and FaceTime Sarah to see how her day has been.
Tomorrow we are heading around the coast towards Cairnryan and we are both excited for it.
Until tomorrow sleep well and we’ll see you back in the trail tomorrow
Ian & Eve
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