Yesterday we took advantage of beautiful blue skies to head up ‘The Merrick’. It’s been nearly a year since I was up there and 18 months since Fay was. Fay has never been up when there has been snow, and I’ve only been up with snow when there has been zero visibility, so it was with great anticipation that we set out.
During the lockdown easing and since the opening up of travel and other restrictions, we have visited all of the local gardens. Today, the last one, Glenwhan. Just a short distance along the A75 from The Stables, it’s very different. Small, but a bit of a chaotic layout meaning you can easily explore a smaller area but it seems much bigger. You can end up approaching the same point several times, all from difference angles, meaning you get surprised by where you are, and where you end up 🙂
Fay decided to get out into deep water when we had a guest who liked a bit of open water swimming. I, however, declined the offer 😂. I’ve not taken my titanium shoulder into the swimming baths yet, so given I have no idea whether I can or cannot swim, thought it best to watch, and take photos .
Lovely guests visiting us take a detour to see the Red Deer at the Red Deer Range and get a great picture of Arran the Stag looking magnificent just before the rut starts.
And yesterday. . . a day out at Culzean Castle Gardens, and beach. Quite busy it was too. This is just over a hour’s drive from The Stables, along the very pretty and very windy A714 Girvan Road.
The other day Fay and I did a cycle/walk/cycle activity, up to RSPB Wood of Cree. We often don’t see much up there, but you hear the birds having a real chatter. They are so invisible when there’s leaves on the trees.
Sometimes, people are more inspiring than they themselves realise. This last week, we were visited by David and his friend and helper James. David is in his early 60s. He was a headmaster in Yorkshire but is now retired. He used to be involved in all sorts of sports and even used to participate in competitive fell-running.
In recent years he has been diagnosed with a neuropathy that slowly wastes the muscles below the knee. He has a specially adapted car and rides, as he can only do now, an E-Bike.
Whilst here he successfully completed the Big Country Route, a 35 mile cross-country route which is almost all on forest tracks. This is an amazing achievement. Even for an able-bodied person it is hard work.
Although challenging, the Big Country Route is spectacular, with jaw-dropping scenery and a quiet isolation that is only possible in areas like this. There are plenty of ups and downs.
Very well done David & James.
Oh my, it’s so unfriendly having to wear masks and gloves when dealing with people. I really hate it, but we have to do it just now.
Pleeeaaaaase lets have a vaccine soon.
There is an off-road route, ostensibly based from Glentrool visitor’s centre, which passes not far from The Stables, so is easily picked up in Newton Stewart. You can then either choose to take the detour to the Glentrool visitor’s centre (making 36.1 miles) or leave that out (making 35 miles). This is the route map. (click for bigger version). This version does not include a trip to the visitor’s centre.
A PDF map and description from Forestry and Land Scotland is available for download at : GlentroolBigCountryRoute
A gpx file is also available for download : Bigcountryroute.gpx
Fay and I went up Cairsmore of Fleet yesterday. 4.7 miles drive from The Stables, and a lovely walk to get the heart and lungs working.
Unfortunately no visitors to see them 🙁
A 3.8 meter drop, matching pattern and slopping ceiling. Plus difficult ladder placement ? but generally successful operation. Fay in charge of technical methodology, Dane in charge of ‘working at height’ operations ?? I think the light fitting needs an upgrade now.
oh, and a new bannister too ?
After a small leak, and damage to the dining room ceiling, we decided to do a bit of extra decorating.
This is the new paintwork and wallpaper in the dining room:
It’s been a busy few days with decorating work, but Fay has also completed some ‘phone rounds’ of elderly and vulnerable people for the Food Train. Unfortunately, the list she was working from was for people in a different part of D&G so we’re not likely to bump into them when this is all over, but Fay enjoyed the chats. Made a change from talking to me
A wee solo jaunt up The Merrick today. Saw a couple of other people too. The photo doesn’t do the wind justice. Let’s just say I had to approach the summit cairn on all fours.
Snow in the hills, but none in Newton Stewart so far this winter.
Soooo much plastic after all the storms.
The snowdrops are out at Castle Kennedy Gardens. A bit blowy today, but a nice bit of blue sky too.
Arran the biggest stag at the Red Deer Range on the New Galloway road out of Newton Stewart. We use the Red Deer Range as a good turning-round point for cycle rides from The Stables.
Pleased and very proud that Fay has been interviewed and accepted by the local ‘Food Train’ volunteering organisation, as an elderly person ‘befriender’ in the local community. She will be terrific at it, and hopefully will bring a smile to people who have no one locally to visit them. ❤️
After 1 year of running The Stables, our new stickers and posters from booking.com have arrived. We’re very pleased as the rating has improved over the year, which is lovely as we’re new to the hospitality business.
Tour of Britain passing through Straiton, up from Newton Stewart. Mark Cavendish and the Dimension Data team whizzing through.