I have always been keen on walking and exploring the countryside. From a very young age I have played in, and explored, the woodlands surrounding the little village I grew up in. Nature, as a child, created a sense of not only awe of it beauty, but also a sense of magic. A moss covered stony mound could be a dragon, or an ancient castle where King Arthur held his court. The idea of walking in the country was an exploration into a mythical kingdom within your imagination. I suppose that is, to some degree, why so many people still enjoy it as adults; it evokes that sense of childlike wonder. To some it may make them reminisce about a happy childhood; to others it may still give them some sense of magic (which I personally feel we all need some of).

Yesterday I agreed to walk a small section of the Southern Upland Way with my mum from Castle Kennedy to New Luce. This is supposedly 9.5 miles although my pedometer said it was closer to 14. My mum has always wanted to walk the Southern Upland Way and had started a few days ago with the first section with a couple of her friends; however, they couldn’t make today and you need two cars. This is so that there could be a vehicle at the end of our walk for us to get in; as well as one getting us to the start, or at least that’s the theory.

We set off from Castle Kennedy at around 1:30pm and immediately went the wrong way. Rather than carrying straight on up the dirt track from the gates of Castle Kennedy we instead decided to walk all the way down the driveway and around on the road. This added an additional mile or so to the route. I have to comment though that the detour was well worth it; looking out over the loch with the sun high in the sky was a picture perfect scene. There was a family sitting eating there lunch on the bank, perched on stones and stumps, they looked like something out of an Enid Blyton book. That was the first of many awe inspiring and heart tugging scenes on a long walk.

We passed through fields of tiny spring lambs basking in the bright sunlight. It made an unusually nice start to the lamb’s life considering the usual freezing cold conditions that they normally have to bare. It is remarkable how content, excitable, and although I’m not exactly sure how you could tell, happy, the lambs appeared. I suppose most people would feel the same if they knew nothing but sunshine and food; having no worries about the affairs of the world, money, or even time. It is strange how one can be almost envious of a creature that will be lucky to live more than a year or two and will make no difference to this world.

Through the bogs, rocky terrain, and grasslands we marked until we came across a stunning moss covered valley with a gushing waterfall running through the centre of it. On either side of the waterfall there were old oak trees surrounded in moss covered boulders. It appeared as a one would imagine a mystical vale in a Merlin inspired movie. I was peaceful, tranquil, and involving. Perhaps involving isn’t quite the right word, but it made you feel as though you belonged there; it felt somehow familiar. I generally find that kind of sight does.

Towards the end of the walk we went passed the ruins of an old farm stead. I always find it slightly sad seeing ruins. The sense that there will never be memories made in those buildings. They have become buildings unable to fulfil their purpose, and I find anything that is stopped from fulfilling its purpose somewhat sad.

Now if you note that earlier when I spoke about cars I said that it worked “in theory” this is because I left the keys to the car we were heading to in the car we came from. It is fair to say I majorly messed up. Fortunately for us a lovely women offered to drive us back to the car we walked from. Not only that, but she also took me back in order to get my car once I had retrieved the keys. It is heart-warming to see the kindness and generosity of people when so much evil is highlighted to us all of the time. The few violent atrocities make the news, but little do we here of the thousands of good deeds that are done every day.

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