Long Distance Walkers on the Trail
The Mull of Galloway Trail continues to attract long distance walkers to the area coming as far as from Toronto. At the end of May, Craig McCabe flew from Toronto to Glasgow and after travelling by train to Stranraer he was taken by Rotarians Alistair McCulloch and Tom Stevenson to East Muntlock Croft B & B. After a good night's sleep he was transported to the Mull by John and Diane Gilmour to start running the trail with his aim being to end up at John O Groats! The weather was favourable initially but by the time he reached Sandhead it changed for the worse and for the rest of the day he battled against heavy rain and high winds. He left the trail in the Culhorn woods joining the Southern Upland Way with his first stop being at Chlenry Farmhouse B & B where he was welcomed by Rotarian David Brinton and his wife Ginny.
After the wind and rain it was a delight for him to have a hot bath and then enjoy a very welcome pint of beer in front of a roaring fire.
The following day he ran as far as Bargrennan but found the going much harder than the Mull of Galloway Trail and thereafter he continued on the Southern Upland Way, walking rather than running. After Peebles he headed to Edinburgh and after stops there and Linlithgow he made for the West Highland Way which took him to Fort William. The next stage was on the Great Glen Way to Inverness. From Inverness it was a case of walking on roads to his destination but traffic was light and the coastline scenery spectacular. Craig arrived at John O Groats exactly 30 days after setting off from the Mull.
In expressing his appreciation of the help and encouragement from Rotary members Craig added "I have fallen in love with Scotland and look forward to more adventures here inhe future. I cannot say exactly when I will be back, but return I will and know that it will be epic."
Frank (Freddie) Alexander who is a retired engineer from Portpatrick, walked the entire length of the Scottish section of the International Appalachian Trail leaving Cape Wrath on 10th May and touching down at the Mull of Galloway on Tuesday 9th June. He had 25 walking days in the worst May that he could remember, with conditions being really bad.
Frank who is an experienced walker said "I do these walks solo, staying in as many bothies as I can and collecting food at drop-off points along the route. The logistics of a walk are just as enjoyable as the walk itself and even more enjoyable if well planned."
He commented that he enjoyed the Mull of Galloway Trail the most which he found to be well marked out and very scenic to walk. He also mentioned the fact that the Mull of Galloway Trail pamphlet describes the route both North and South which he found to be very helpful as everything written on all the other trails is for people walking south to north.
It has also been reported that two ladies from Sweden had walked all the way from Cape Wrath arriving at the Mull after 24 days. They said that it was too far to walk the whole length of Sweden and decided that it would be easier to walk Scotland from north to south!
The photo on the left of Craig McCabe was taken at East Muntlock B & B with the Mull of Galloway in the background.
The one on the right shows Craig enjoying a well earned pint at Chlenry Farmhouse B & B after the end of his first day on the way to John O' Groats.