Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Seventy Miles A Day!

Thursday 8th July 2010

So awoke at Ken Dee Marshes, birdwatched for an hour putting off leaving because I knew that today would be tough. Almost same birds and mammals as last nigth but breakfast supplemented by wild cherries.

A phone call from Mersehead had told of the possability of a boat over to Ailsa Craig but only on the 10th of July. That gave me 2 days to get to the Wood of Cree, the Mull of Galloway and then to Girvan to get the boat. 140 miles plus. HELP!!!!

Well, got to Bruce's Stone and it's attendant cafe reasonably quickly seeing 40 odd species of birds whilst doing so. The stone is supposed to be where Robert the Bruce celebrated the victory over the English at Bannockburn. In fact the information board next to this large lump of granite states that it might not be the actual stone but what the hey.

Hot chocolate in the nearby cafe and a look at the reconstructed iron age maison before setting off over the moors, through the large planted forest landscape to the Wood of Cree RSPB reserve.

Now why do Scottish graveyards have such immense grave stones? Hid my panniers and camping gear in such a place and got to the reserve quickly due to the lack of weight on the bike.

Walked the trail around the reserve; first down to the river but no otters. Then through the wood along a beautiful beck with many waterfalls. Met Will Cranstoun, the RSPB assistant warden for this and four other nearby [!] RSPB reserves. Walked around with him a few people out carrying out a bat survey for a couple of hours before leaving to cycle on. Now how many times have I mentioned the wind, the SW wind, the strong SW wind. Well, into the wind again and a very long bike ride to eventually the Mull of Galloway. Now somewhere along the way I dropped my road atlas page so with no map I had no clue how far it was going to be. Mind you gratefully and with little incident other that seeing a large roe deer doe dead by the road, i reached a field just short of the Mull RSPB reserve and set up my tent before collapsing in it.

A 50 bird plus day but a strenous one.

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