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To the Mull of Galloway

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Tuesday 21 May, to the Mull of Galloway

Today will be the first day to explore the Rhins of Galloway, a narrow, elongated peninsula on the southeastern side of Scotland. What stuck with me afterwards are the modern windmills I have actually seen from every angle because we had to drive every single road on this peninsula.
Standing stone, Kerb Cairn Palm trees in the garden, ArdwellBut first we are going to view a standing stone, the only remaining stone of a larger cairn. We have to walk half a kilometer through the meadows to get to the Cairnweil viewpoint and luckily for Teije there are no cows.
Then we drive to the south and in Ardwell we can see with our own eyes that the Gulfstream has a lot of influence here: palm trees can grow outside in the garden and grow quite high. I'm jealous...
Mull of Galloway Mull or Galloway lighthouseAlong the eastern side of the peninsula we drive to the southernmost point, the Mull of Galloway. This is also the most south-westerly tip of the Scottish mainland, if you can speak about mainland and there is of course a lighthouse. I believe that we only have not yet seen the most northwestern spot. There is a strong fresh wind and a scarf and thick coat are necessary to walk outside.
At the Mull of Galloway lighthouse PuffinThe coast consists of high and steep rocks and on its walls must be a lot of puffins nesting but we do not see them. There are several places in Scotland where they are supposed to live, but just as with the dolphins, we have never had the luck to spot one. And they must surely stand out with those colorful beaks. The whole area here is a nature reserve.
Mull of Galloway A break at Mull or GallowayA short distance in front of the lighthouse is a restaurant and because the sun is shining brightly, we sit in the sun and out of the wind to drink a cup of coffee. From this spot we can also see how high we are on the rocks and how steep they go down to the shore.
Mull of Galloway Walk against the wind, GallowayWhen we walk a bit in the neighborhood, especially because we like to see those puffins, we are almost blown away by the wind.
A while after we have left the place, Teije suddenly realizes that he has left a map and a travel book at the restaurant. Fortunately it was not THE map on which he keeps track of the roads we have already driven in Scotland and the travel book was not that great, so we will not go back for them.
Harbor in Port Logan, Rhins of Galloway Clouds over the Rhins of GallowayThen we start driving all kinds of roads again because we have not been before on this peninsula except for once to Stranraer. This means that Teije keeps track of the roads we have already driven and just enters every road that is new. It also means that we often end up at the same point or have to drive whole pieces back. We cross through all sorts of places that are typically Scottish but nothing reaaly very interesting. Near Port Logan is a large botanical garden but we will visit it tomorrow, we do not have time for that today.
Rruins of Dunskey Castle near PortpatrickSo we cross the entire southern part of the Rhins or Galloway until we arrive in Portpatrick on the west coast.
It takes a lot of time to ride all roads in an area, take that from me, and it is not always equally fun or relaxing on all those narrow roads! And we also do not see many interesting things. Oh yes, here a castle ruin in the distance, and I have seen a lot of these ugly modern windmills.
Caravan park at Port Patrick PortpatrickNear Port Patrick we see a typical English/Scottish caravan park: a whole row of caravans put together in tight rows on a bare plain. We can not imagine that people would like to stay in a caravan at such a place and we hardly ever see people there. But we usually go to Scotland outside of the holiday season, so perhaps it is overcrowded here when it is holiday.
Portpatrick PortpatrickPortpatrick is a cozy town dominated by a hotel that looks down from a high rock on the harbor and the village. We sit in the sun at The Waterfront for a hot cup of soup and then we calmly drive home. Teije wants to catch some side roads, but I forbid him, we have been on the road since early morning and I am fed up with all this driving around without a goal.


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