Stranraer to New Luce, 24Km
I intended to include a photo of each day’s porridge to give the blog a Scottish theme but I’ve abandoned that idea. Porridge is not photogenic and after two days of facing an inedible mess, I’m reverting to scrambled eggs on toast. If eating porridge was an Olympic sport, I might have won a bronze medal today for eating a third of the bowl. Did you see that Austrian woman this morning winning gold on the bike? What a moment to witness, and in such humidity, without even stopping at a vending machine for a bottle of Aquarius. Or Pocari Sweat. What an incredible performance.
This morning I passed two women out for a Sunday morning run but I still haven’t seen another walker on the SUW. I ambled along for a couple of hours until I reached Castle Kennedy, home to the Earl and Countess of Stair. I paid my £4.75 concessionary admission fee and went straight to the tea room where the Countess made me a cappuccino without chocolate.
The gardens are reasonably impressive, particularly if you like to embrace a giant sequoia, shoot off some Kodachrome in the walled garden or wander past the stately pile, facing one of the lochs. The original 16th century castle was destroyed by fire and is now a “romantic ruin”.
These first two days on the Southern Upland Way have been a gentle warm up. My guidebook describes the SUW as “the UK’s most remote waymarked trail”. I’ll find out what that means from tomorrow when I start with the Galloway Hills. Better fill the flask with coffee.