Our journey to Scotland started at 7a.m. We avoided motorways as far as possible making our journey northwards to Belfast swift and uneventful and so fast that we were able to catch an earlier ferry to Stranraer than the one we had booked to travel on. The Stena Voyager is a catamaran in design with four powerful pumps that push it through the water at a superb pace. The interior to my mind is plush to say the least and we always find ourselves some seating in the quiet area away from the noise of piped entertainment. Up for'ard you get good visibility of the sea, plus a small coffee bar with sticky buns and sandwiches as there is nothing like a snack to pass the time away. Except this time because I wasn't driving, only being the navigator, I took myself to the bar on the mezzanine for a couple of pints of Bass ale and they slid down like nectar.
Disembarking was smooth and we were soon on the A75 heading towards the village, a short journey which took 1 hour 10 minutes and into the welcoming arms of our hostess.
The next day we hit the shops in Castle Gregory, The Gatehouse of Fleet and Kirkcudbright all of us picking up some great bargains; mine were a leather coat and trousers plus a denim cap. Refreshments were needed after shopping & a hotel provided me with a pint of McEwans Export ale revitalizing my tired parts.
The following day saw us heading into the Craigdews of the Galloway Hills, to a place special for our hostess. Our first stop was at "The Grey Mares Tail", a waterfall where three of our members were visited by a familiar in the shape of an Tawny Owl. From there we made our way to a place of high energy where we celebrated Bealtaine in a forest glade close to a fast flowing river and we arrived back to our holiday home with sufficient time to visit The Cream O Galloway; My first visit was two years ago and the taste of their wonderful ice cream cannot be beaten and I have sampled lots of different brands over the years. We are now planning a return visit sometime next year.
During the rest of of our stay we visited beaches and bays along the shoreline, explored, relaxed and sampled the haggis.
Our ferry to Belfast on the MV Caledonian the journey was 3 hours long this time as opposed to 2 hours on the outward voyage. We returned to our home in the Irish midlands both tired exhilarated.