Tuesday, 18 December 2012

12 December Rowantree Hill, Largs

Andy, Allan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert & Ronnie

            On the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the century twelve Ooters gathered for their Wednesday walk. What a great introduction to today’s walk this would have made but even as yours truly was composing it, Andy arrived to swell our number to thirteen and destroy what would have been a great introduction. Anyway, we hung around in the frosty sunshine at the Gogo Burn car park in Largs until we were sure that nobody else was arriving then we set off for a walk that was new to most of us, to Rowantree Hill and back.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Rowantree Hill Largs.

Here are a couple of pictures of the Ooters before the weather began to deteriorate.

Monday, 10 December 2012

5 December: A promenade, pints, pies and pool

 Distance 15.1 kms

There was a good turnoot of Ooters (Alan, Allan, Rex, Davie x2, Paul, Ian, Robert, Ronnie, Malcolm, Johnnie) at the car park at Greenan Shore for an Ooters' favourite (perhaps because it's relatively short), the ascent of Brown Carrick Hill.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

More pictures from an excellent day on Millport.

Cumbrae 28 Nov

Allan, Andy, Davie Mc, Jimmy, Johnny, Malcolm, Paul, Peter, Rex & Robert

When is an agreement not an agreement? Apparently it’s when it’s made by a bunch of merry Ooters in a pub on a Wednesday afternoon. While some, including yours truly, thought that an agreement had been reached that we follow Davie’s suggested horseshoe route on Cumbrae, others had different ideas. Oh dear! What was accepted by all though, is that we were going to Cumbrae again. So on a late November morning with clear blue skies, frost-rimed trees and still, frosty air, ten of us gathered at the slipway in Largs.

It must have been on the ferry that an arrangement had been made for when three of us turned southward from the slipway on the island, seven others turned northward. They were for a shorter walk round the island while we were for the horseshoe. Here was another schism. However adamant the seven were, the three were determined to do their own thing.

Group 1 
Davie Mc, Jimmy & Paul

The sky was clear and the late November sun was beginning to take the chill from the air as we strode out along the shore road towards Millport. Birdlife was plentiful along the water’s edge though there was nothing out of the ordinary. A seal popped its head out of the water to watch our passing and a buzzard ‘meowed’ above the tree to the inland. And the sun still shone. The few miles from the slipway to the outskirts of Millport were covered without us really noticing the distance.  Then, on the outskirts of Millport, we turned away from the shore and started the climb inland.

As we came along the shore, a bank of thin cloud had been gathering and now this came between the sun and us. But this didn’t stop our enjoyment of the walk. Indeed it probably kept us cooler for the road now rose towards the highest point of the island at The Glaid Stone and the effort was warming. And, as we rose the landscape opened out for us. Firstly it was across the water to Largs and the Ayrshire coast but when we reached The Glaid Stone we had the whole panorama of the firth of Clyde before us. We stopped at The Glaid Stone for a bite of peece and to take in the view.

To the east was the Ayrshire coast running southward to the Galloway hills showing blue in the distance; to the south lay the expanse of the firth with Ailsa Craig providing a stop on the horizon; to the southwest the rugged mountains of Arran looked particularly Alpine with their caps of fresh snow; to the west lay the low-lying Isle of Bute with the hills of Knapdale beyond; to the north the firth ran up into the snow-covered mountains of Cowal, Arrochar and the Lennox, Bens Lui, Ime and Lomond were the landmarks; altogether a superb view for so little effort. And the sun blinked out again. Paul attempted to capture the whole panorama with the camera and we look forward to seeing the results.

But the November air was beginning to chill and we moved on. Down from the Glaid Stone we came, down into Millport. As we did so the sun made a re-appearance and by the time we had dropped to the town, the day was warming again. Jackets were removed for the first time today. We walked south-westward through Millport enjoying the warming air. What we hadn’t realised at that time was that we were sheltered from the northerly breeze that was beginning to stir. When we rounded the corner at The Lorn we found to our discomfort that this breeze was now in our faces. But the sun was warming and the pace brisk and we could tolerate the chill for a wee bit yet. Eventually, though, the jackets had to be put on again.

The pace was kept brisk until we reached the tearoom at Fintry Bay where a halt was called for another cuppa. That was where Davie announced that there was no three o’clock ferry. It was now twenty past two so we had more than an hour to cover the last couple of miles or so. We took our time, enjoying the views, watching submarines and warships and ferries come and go on the firth and admiring the aeronautics of a couple of buzzards. We arrived at the slipway at three o’clock by which time we knew that the seven had been in the pub in Largs for half an hour already. We look forward to hearing a report of their day.

Group 2

Allan, Andy, Johnny, Malcolm, Peter, Rex, Robert

When is a compromise not a compromise? ……When there is no compromise.

With Johnny having been warned off another big  walk by she who must be obeyed, with Robert still tired after  a weekend of plasterboarding*, and with the rest of us happy enough with the usual walk, we took the anti-clockwise route round the island in, what to begin with, was a raw and overcast morning. By 11.15 we had reached the Fintry Bay CafĂ© (closed for the winter) and had coffee on the picnic benches by the beach. Since we were cooling down quickly we did not delay and were soon on our way. We had decided not to follow the path up to the golf course but follow the road round to Millport as keeping the feet dry was a desirable outcome.
By the time civilisation was reached the sun had come out, blue skies were above and the world was a better place. Lunch was taken at the shelter next to the football pitch whilst the views were enjoyed. Many a morsel was offered in expectation that Holly would be there for her snacks but, alas, Davie had her tellt that she was to show him the way today. We had to eat all our food ourselves. How we missed the dug!
Some discussion took place as to whether we should then have a coffee in the Garrison but it was too soon after lunch so we continued up past the Cathedral of the Isles and made the steady climb up to the Glaid Stone. On our way we observed our second submarine of the day as it made its way down the Clyde deciding they hadn’t been Trident boats as they were too wee. Glaid Stone allowed us terrific views up towards Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps and it confirmed our notion that, on a day like this, Scotland cannae be beaten.
The ferry slipway was reached about 2.20 just as the sun
was starting to go down in the west and the temperature was dropping again. We therefore reached McCabe’s in Largs for our FRT an hour before Davie, Jimmy and Paul joined us.
*This is a new sport to rival skateboarding and snowboarding. Unfortunately, the technology has not been fully developed yet and there is still too much friction between the plasterboards and the ground, hence Robert  being so tired. He did complete the course without the aid of a helmet or knee pads but kept his stabilisers on for the first hour. Next week he is going to raise the ceiling by doing a dry wall run down the Gyprocs.