/ Scotland2016

Tues - the flavour is orange

The Castle Douglas campsite is council owned and part of a larger municipal park alongside the loch. It is mainly for long term, seasonal caravanners and pitches are quite cramped. We elect for one on hard-standing, i.e. one end of a tarmaced place that at one time might have been a car park.

There had been an interesting thread on Small Motorhome Forum recently about being forced to have electricity if that is the only pitch available, and the fixed cost per night versus a metered cost. This site has electricity to all pitches and it is metered. But the metered use is only for seasonal hires, for tourers there is a fixed nightly rate should you elect for electric. To enable the electric the warden had to come along and insert his card, so if you don't pay for it your electric point is disabled by default.

Tuesday we take the couple of minutes walk into town. It seems a much more interesting place now all the shops are open. The shops look small but once inside you really many go back a long way and are really quite considerable retail spaces. The art and wool shop being a good example, where, at last, Liz found the bamboo needles she's been searching for since Orkney.

Castle Douglas' claim to being a food town is now more evident, 3 or 4 small bakers, a similar number of independent butchers and a couple of fishmongers, shops that it is generally rare to find even one of in most towns. From one baker we buy a brodorinsky loaf, bread of Russian origin that we'd not encountered before and the whole-food shop provided us with some Cuban coffee beans.

Off in search of some LPG, a local garage not too far away is supposed to be Gaslow direct-fill friendly. Alas we'll never know, it's one of those tiny family run petrol stations of yesteryear and the LPG retailing is the sole domain of hubby who won't be back for another hour or two. Unfortunately it'll be a lot longer before we are back, we must press on to Kirkcudbright, the artists town. A pretty little town, but then again artists tend not to colonise tower blocks. Like St Ives it is not only arty but also seaside-touristy so a mix of shops. Nothing really to captivate us but we did get a more than decent lunch in one of the coffee shops.

We had planned one or possibly two National Trust visits but time is getting on and we have an appointment with a brewery. Now, lest anyone should deem it necessary to tar me with the sobriquet "old soak" I should explain that one of the great joys of traveling for me is finding small brewers whose wares are unknown to my palette and sampling such wares. Apart from last night's sneaked half pint, Sulwath Brewery was such an unknown which is a surprise as it is one of the UK's oldest microbreweries, having been in existence 20 years. It is also one of the few that still uses real hop flowers. Most brewers have moved to compressed hops in the form of pellets or even hop oil. Using flowers possibly limits Sulwath to more traditional style beers with English Hops such as Fuggles or Goldings rather than the new higher alpha acid (i.e. more bitter tasting) US or New Zealand hops that are so prevalent in many UK beers. In any case I'm not sure what it is but most Sulwath beers aren't to my palette, there's a raw graininess that just doesn't work for me. With the exception of Solway Mist, described as a wheat beer the style is closer to Belgian Wit (think Hoegaarden). Sulwath's version has a hint of banana that characterises most wheat beers but that is totally overpowered by a beautiful spicy orangness. Delicious and perfect for a hot summers day (well it would be if it wasn't quite so strong at 5.5%). If you are ever that way try it, don't be put off by the murkiness, wheat beers are normally cloudy.

So after the orange tasting beer back to the van for dinner, Bavarian sausage with orange butternut squash and sweet potato - another whole lot of orangness. No potatoes, we have that unusual brodorinsky loaf. It's a rye sourdough with coriander and had a distinct sharp orange tang to it

The flavour of the day was indeed orange.