Saturday, April 10, 2010

Big Sky Country

The weather forecast for today was good. What to do? Those who read this blog regularly will know that I enjoy my garden, and walking, and photography and even doing a bit of Geographing. Well, the first will be there tomorrow, so I set out this morning for a drive, with the aim of exploring somewhere new.

I ended up in Galloway, on the little road between Glenluce and Barrhill, up the valley of the Cross Water of Luce. (I'm sure there should be a Happy Water of Luce somewhere, but anyway the Cross Water of Luce joins the Main Water of Luce at the little village of New Luce.)

I abandoned the car near Chirmorrie, and set off across the moor.

Now, perhaps you are thinking that I was heading for one of the many archeological sites in the area - chambered cairns, hut circles, burnt mounds or standing stones.

Don't be silly. This was what I wanted to see. The Railway Touring Company's Great Britain 111 excursion ran from Glasgow down to Stranraer and back today.

LMS Class 5MT 4-6-0 no 44871 leads LMS Class 5MT 4-6-0 no 45407 in this double header. It was just great listening for the train. I saw the smoke first, way off in the distance, then the sound of the locomotives working hard, then slackening off for the run down the glen towards Glenwhilly.

I passed the next couple of hours taking some pics to upload to the Geograph site next week, then found a good spot to watch for the train's return. If there was a prize for the most isolated spot trackside on the line from which to photograph the excursion, I think I might just have won this one today! Mind you, I wonder what the (paying) passengers think of all these daft people who line every mile of the way to watch them?

Again it was the sound today which was spectacular. One minute there was only the birds singing. Then for minutes before they came in view was the sound of the two Black Fives working really hard up the incline. It got louder and LOUDER. I just loved it. It was quite unusual to see them working tender first.

With nowhere to turn at Stranraer, 45407 is in the lead on the return leg.

The chambered cairn must wait for another day!

Pics © Skip Cottage. The top pic was taken near a little hill called Drumahastie.

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