Friday, 17 July 2015

July 22nd - Cycle/Walk/Fest

In the absence of any counter-proposals(to my knowledge) it stands that on the Wednesday 22nd of July 2015 an excursion shall take place from Bank Street with the usual hospitality.
1. Meet Chez Moi at 1000 for coffee/tea/cream scones.
2. (a)  1030 Cycles set out for Ardrossan and return  (2hours30Minutes - 3Hours)
    (b)  1030 If there exists a wish to walk rather than cycle then a sub-group will do an Eglinton walk.
3. Reconvene Bank Street 1330 -  The house speciality (stovies/fresh bread/Nythva brews) will be on offer.
4. Usual departure around 1600 latest.
 Watching a lot of Judge John Deed at the moment.
Look forward to see as many as can manage.
I know Allan and DaviD C have tendered notes of absence. If anyone else is mindful not to come could they please inform so as to make catering arrangements as efficient as possible.
               Johnny (Think I could have been a lawyer? I can talk a lot of .....)

Striding Arches Walk

In the absence of any other reports here are a few words and pictures .The weather was cool and sunny,perfect for walking.A group of eight assembled in Moniaive  at 9.30.a.m.The group consisted of :- Gus ,Robert,Ian ,Paul,Rex, David M,Jimmy and Peter. We proceeded to Cairnhead along the rough track and inspected the cottage before setting out for the hills.In due course Colt Hill arch was reached where the group spent a few minutes discussing the various hills on the horizon as the visibility was excellent. From Ben Lomond inthe north to the Isle if Man and the Cumbrian fells in the south, from the Merrick in the south-west to Tinto in the north east the hillscape of southern Scotland was available to as. Near at hand the high Galloways and the New Cumnock hills appeared closer than usual and our topograhpic expert took delight in pointing all of them out to us. But the breeze was beginning to chill and we moved on.

The arch on Benbrack beckoned and was reached with the minimum of fuss following the Sothern Uplands Way footpath. Here we sought some shelter to have lunch. The route down through a break in the trees proved to be a bit easier than last time. FRT was taken in Moniaive as some people had used the Carsphairn route to get to Moniaive. The drinks were consumed in a tent-gazebo affair equipped with soft chairs and couches,very pleasant in the warm conditions out of the wind.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Pentland Hills 8 July

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert
It's a hard life being an Ooter
We met at Paul’s flat in Dalmore and were treated to bacon rolls and coffee on our arrival – none of this ‘You’ll have had your tea nonsense’. Many thanks to Paul and Margaret for their hospitality.
Our guide for the day, Paul, had promised us a fairly gentle walk in the Pentlands and so we set off for our starting point at Flotterstone Visitors Centre. This was to be new territory for us and the earlier rain had not dampened our enthusiasm. The first stretch, in which we met intermittent brief showers, took us from the Centre towards Glencorse Reservoir before heading up across Phantom’s Cleugh. At this point the rain became heavier and stayed so for about twenty minutes before going off and staying off for almost the rest of the day. The track we were following took us gently up across the countryside until a smaller path was taken up to the top of Capelaw Hill. By this time the weather was clearing and views across the Pentlands and over to Edinburgh began to emerge from the gloom.
A dreich view of  Glencorse Resevoir
The well-defined path network could be seen and our route was to take us down Capelaw Hill and straight up Allermuir Hill which at 493m was to be the highest point of the day. Coffee/lunch was called for in the gully between the two hills and in the shelter of a wall, but Allan decided to do the climb first before stopping. Johnny joined him and they reached the top before having a break and enjoying the ever-improving vista.
Is Abramovich in town?
Looking back as we climbed Allermuir Hill
The castle emerges from the mist
Johnny surrenders
Next stop is Allermuir Hill
Spot the bridges
Once the whole gang had assembled at the top, the path was followed down and then up again to Caerketton Hill where, lo and behold, Margaret, Paul’s wife, was waiting for us. Paul had turned sixty-five the previous day, so Margaret had brought up a bottle of Prosecco and birthday cake. A lovely touch, and we toasted Paul’s health and wished him a happy birthday. Maybe next time Margaret could see her way to bringing up a barrel of beer!!!
Seriously, thanks again Margaret.
As our Sherpa set off down the path back to her car, we continued on our track down the hill. This was a steep descent which tested all the old knees and ankles, but nonetheless we made it without mishap and congregated at a signpost. After a short discussion about which was the best path to follow, we, not surprisingly, took Paul’s advice and headed along a damp track which bordered Boghall Plantation. At this stage thoughts were turning to the pub, but the walk back to the cars was to prove longer than expected. “The cars are parked below that hill in the far distance. The one that looks like a bum”. “You mean buttock summit”, was the cheeky reply.
The walking was not proving to be easy as we followed the way markers over farm fields, on sloping ground, and along muddy paths before we stopped for a breather at the Tytler Monument(s). Tiredness was approaching and we were happy to arrive at the Souterrain at Castlelaw which meant that we were nearly home. Nearly was not enough though as, not like us, we lost the path and headed down an open field before being confronted with a jaggy hedge and slippy, challenging wee slope to negotiate before emerging on to tarmac. This not-to-be-recommended route did however bring us out a quarter of a mile nearer the cars than the path we should have taken – every cloud etc.
The weather was beginning to deteriorate again and we were glad to avail ourselves of the shelter of the toilets of the Visitors Centre to get changed. The walk had taken a full five hours and we made the short journey to the Flotterstone Inn for FRT.
Well done Paul on organising this grand day out.

When's the next bus back to the cars?

Arthur's Seat

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Maybole to Kirkoswald 1 July

At Drummochreen Cairn

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Malcolm, Rex, Robert

Believe it or not, the last time we did this walk was three years past in April when we were ‘treated’ to some lunchtime entertainment by watching Souter Johnnie’s Inn going up in flames.
Today promised the highest temperatures of the year so far so with a plethora of shorts, an ocean of sun cream, and an amazing assortment of hats, some of which were possibly the fashion many moons ago, we set off down the Coral Glen and up Allan’s Hill before following the path up past Kildoon Hill. The monument to General Sir Charles Fergusson (Governor-general of New Zealand and Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire until he died in 1951 at Maybole) stood proud on the top of Kildoon Hill but as on previous occasions we ignored the path to the monument and continued on our way. It was hot with many sweaty bodies, but, thankfully, there were plenty of occasions where we had some cloud cover to make things a bit easier.
Our descent allowed us to take to grassy fields beside the overgrown path and it wasn’t too long before we hit tarmac again taking us past Sunny Brae and into the Ghaist Glen. A short stop in the shade for coffee was called for, but, in truth, most replenished the fluids with water or juice.
Looking back to Fergusson's Monument
Eventually we ran out of the track and continued on a damp grass track beside the Green well before emerging on to open landscape just prior to Drummochreen Cairn, a reminder of Carrick’s bloody past. By now we were on a decent track and had a view down into Dailly, but Kirkoswald was our target and we pressed on. As we encountered a gate, Holly decided to hop over the fence at its side only to get her leg trapped on the fence and for a second or three dangled upside down until she freed herself. Sympathy and compassion was shown to her on a scale unknown when an Ooter meets misfortune, but thankfully there was no visible damage done and she was soon on her tireless way again. At the end of the track we came to the gate where on our last outing here, there was some friction involving a local farmer and his wife, but the less said about that the better.
Back on tarmac, we walked along this quiet road until we reached the main road heading for Kirkoswald. Taking a left soon after we found the grass track down in to the village. Unfortunately, this path had become somewhat overgrown and those i.e. the majority, wearing shorts had a difficult job trying to avoid the nettles. At the bottom of this track we found the ford over the burn and made our way up past the church and down past the now rebuilt Souter’s Inn.
As we lunched in the graveyard, three hours after having set off, thought was given to how we would get back to Maybole. Given the temperature, even Holly was wabbit by now, the decision was made to travel back by bus. We decided to take our time over lunch and let the first bus go, giving us time for a lazy and well-deserved beer in Souter’s. The next bus duly arrived and dropped us at the station in Maybole, a stone’s throw from the cars. Needless to say, another beer was called for at the Greenside, but since meals were being served, Holly was not allowed in, so we went round the back to the less than salubrious beer garden with its array of waste bins and broken down garden furniture. It did its purpose however and we stayed there long enough for the first drops of rain to arrive. The rain came to nothing and we headed home after another guid day oot.

April 2012
July 2015
P.S. A fuller description of the walk can be got by reading Jimmy’s post of 26 January 2011 and also by Googling ‘Maybole Walks’ for the full route map and detail.