Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Skin's watertight ...

... fortunately. From about 11.00 onwards it didn't stop raining. And at times it was torrential. I tried sheltering under trees on a couple of occasions, but the drips became as bad as the real stuff, so I set off again. Finally made it to Gretna where I quickly found a B&B. That's my policy now - I don't intend to camp if I'm wet through.

So, not the best way to spend my final day in Scotland. A pity, because I visited several harbours that I'd not been to before. The first, at Rockcliffe, preceded a free 'full Scottish' breakfast at the Baron's Craig Hotel. I'd had dinner there last evening and the manager, impressed with my story, had offered me breakfast 'on the house'. A lovely, imposing hotel, built in 1880 for some eccentric Merseyside solicitor as a holiday home. The jetty and some other cottages were all part of the estate.

Although the day had started promisingly, the heavens opened after I'd left Carsethorn - and stayed that way.

Over the years Britain has tilted slightly, with the south-east of England now lower than it was. The area around the Solway Firth has risen, leaving many of its harbours high and dry. The rivers Urr and Nith, once busy waterways, are now largely silted up and former navigable channels no longer exist. Such harbours as Annan and Palnackie are now just about unnavigable, except perhaps at high water spring tides.

Tomorrow will be a long day, though mainly flat. I'll be heading westwards, so I'm hoping that the prevailing wind and rain ease up.

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