Affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain
through the Northern Counties Photographic Federation

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Trip to Caerlaverock Castle

March 25, 2017

So off we head on another camera club trip, this time to Caerlaverock castle in Dumfries and Galloway in bonny Scotland and then onto Kagyu Samye Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. 

We were away from Ashington on time a couple of minutes before 8.0 clock and the weather was bright with blue skies and turned out to be a super day for photography. The bus was full with 17 people on board and to be honest the back row of the bus was a little bit crowded as the seats are very close together, poor Susan was the last one on board, so had to squeeze on a back seat and although she was squeezed in did seem to have a big smile on her face, think this was because all the other occupants of the back row where men.!!!!. 


After journeying for about 80 minutes we pulled in for a quick pit stop / comfort break at a garden centre, when we then returned to the bus some of the members did a bit of seat swapping with some of the ladies swapping seats and sitting on the back row, (think the idea was ladies are smaller than men so not so crushed in) unfortunately this left Steve Tumilty (new member) still on the back seat surround by 5 ladies that never stopped chatting from when they got on the bus until when they got off, poor old Steve, but more of this later. 


Some 40 minutes later we arrived at Caerlaverock Castle which was bathed in bright sunshine and blue sky with wispy white clouds, what more could we ask for.  Jim Buglass (thanks Jim) had checked with the castle beforehand and they agreed to a group discount, so we advised them of this when paying and sure enough this was all in hand, we then tried to get even more discount and low and behold the lady on the till agreed to let members in for Oap prices and Oap’s in for child prices, not sure why but we did not argue just paid our money and hurried off in before she changed her mind... 



Although the weather was superb I must admit the sun could have been in a better place for our photographs, it was right over the castle above the main entrance which meant you could not really get a decent shot from the front, never mind not to worry we all headed round to the back of the castle which in my opinion turned out the best place to be as the rear was more derelict and you could see inside the castle itself and still get a turret and part of the walls in the shot as well as the interior which made for better pictures.  Once the picture taking was done we strolled back up to the onsite café and sat at the outside tables on the lawn and had a cupper and spot of food while soaking up the sun and admiring the view before Keith then rounded us all up for a group photo before boarding our bus for the next destination. 


Photography by Keith Saint. 


The next stop was The Kagyu Samye Tibetan Buddhist Monastery which we arrived at after about a 60-minute journey from the castle.  


Founded in 1967 the Centre is located in a peaceful valley on the banks of the river Esk in Scotland. Kagyu Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to have been established in the West. 

It is currently under the guidance of Abbot Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche 


Upon arrival, we were a little disappointed to see the temple covered in scaffolding and plastic sheets, not what we expected at all, anyway we disembarked the bus and made our way down towards the temple passing on the way a medium size pond with a Buddha and snake in the middle plus there was a smaller pound with Buddha and dragons for decorations to photography. The door to the temple was locked so we could not gain entry which was again disappointing. 



Then to everyone’s delight we discovered that this thing covered in scaffold was not indeed the temple and only some kind of tower and the temple / monastery was located further back hidden away behind some trees. This was a very peacefully place which you could enter after taking your shoes off and with people doing yoga and excises in the main square in front of the building made for a very tranquil setting. 


Unfortunately, I have to say that not everyone including myself found this temple as we had wondered off in the opposite direction to seek out another Buddha and nicely decorated entrance way and did not discover the nice café and temple until we were due to leave. Never mind myself and others got some great shots from some woods full of birds and a couple of monks walking about clothed in red robes. There was a lady feeding the birds which attracted lots of them, so I started snapping away only to receive a severe ear bashing from said lady who told me in no uncertain terms she did not want her photo taking, although I assured her I was snapping the birds and not her she was not happy and told me I was on private land, well enough is enough so I just did a runner out of her way. (was tempted to give her a slap mind). 




Well after finishing at the temple time was now up and we had to leave bonny Scotland and head back home to Ashington, needless to say we had our normal stop on the way home for our usual fish and chip supper which was acquired at Haltwhistle. 


Now heading home after a long day you would think it would be quite but no, we still had the group of ladies sitting at the back who once again started chatting, first of all mundane stuff but then needless to say the ladies start to up the risqué of their conversion and talk about all things ladies like to discuss when on their own, of course they were not on their own and once again I feel sorry for Steve who is still stuck in the corner seat surround by said ladies. 


Anyway, all I can say is according to the ladies if you want a good time you need prosecco, a fit bit and a man, I dare not say more so if you want to know you will need to find out which ladies were sitting at the back and ask them yourself !!!!!!! 


Well that’s all for now, will just say though we all had a cracking trip and can’t wait for the next one, thanks also to the driver Mr Keith Saint.

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