We thought we’d be in Ireland by now but we’ve still got some items to check off the to-do list and we’re thwarted by a couple of bank holiday weekends and the usual frustrations of the nomad life. While we get it all sorted we’re just meandering around Dumfries and Galloway, the area of southwest Scotland that many of my ancestors came from. Even while I’m trying to get through our list I’m still enjoying being in this place and thinking about how different it might have been 250 years ago. Probably not much.
As always we have no itinerary and just stay overnight wherever it’s most convenient to what we need to accomplish. On ANZAC Day, we walked to a local village and found a beautiful manicured park.
I always read the names on memorials in this part of the world to see if any of our ancestral family names appear, but of course our people emigrated long before the 20th century wars.
We thought this bench was the perfect place to sit and have our own private ANZAC Day remembrance.
One day we drove to see the Milennium Cairn, one of the local works by nearby resident Andy Goldsworthy, one of our favorite artists. There are three other works close by but all of them require a significant hike and the weather isn’t dry enough for long enough to seek them out. The Milennium Cairn is easy to find and beautiful.
You can see more of Andy Goldsworthy’s land art here or find either Rivers and Tides or Leaning into the Wind on a streaming platform. It’s inspiring to watch him work.
We revisited Kirkcudbright, a small town on the river Dee that we’d come to last year for the castle. The castle was closed so we left but this time we stayed for a couple of days even though the castle is still closed.
The river is subject to a wide tidal range. At low tide the boats sit directly on the mud. Many of the boats have twin keels so they sit upright but those with a regular keel list onto their sides until the water rises again. We know this is common in the UK but it’s the first time we’ve seen boats stranded like this in wide mudflats in extreme tides.
Occasionally we find the perfect pit stop. A day before our appointment for the required annual safety inspection we drove to a tiny village by the sea that provides black and gray water disposal, freshwater fill up, and rubbish bins. It’s provided at no cost; I’d have made a donation for upkeep if there’d been an honesty box or QR code. There’s no overnight parking allowed but the view was beautiful so after we serviced the van we stayed for lunch and then some. The next couple of days will be busy and we intend to enjoy the rest of our time in Scotland.