Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Semple Trail, 16 March

Alan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Kenny R, Kenny T, Rex, Robert.

It was a bit grey when we met at Castle Semple car park in plenty time for a 10am start. Setting off along the lochside, our first stop was at some carved trees, similar idea to the ones in New Lanark but not quite as ornate. After a few photos, we headed up into Parkhill Wood as an alternative to the cycle track.
The path climbed a wee bit and just before the Collegiate Church we came across a small group of brown and white calves.  Those of us with a little knowledge of matters bovine decided they were called Herefords. On closer inspection of their ear tags, most of them were called Sandra or Annette.
Inscriptions were read and photos were taken at the church. Coffee break? Not today. Kenny T had greater. global plans.
We followed the cycle track for a short distance and then went off-road again taking the path towards the Temple on the hill but instead of going up the hill we followed the path round and had a well earned coffee break on the seats at the sculpture of a globe.
A muddy path led us along the side of the Black Cart and then to a road into the village of Howwood. Following the signposts to Newton of Belltrees, we climbed up up up out of Howwood before heading off-road again.
There was some discussion of where to have lunch and Robert the Usurper announced that he would find a suitable spot. A suitable spot was found on a grassy bank. Last of the Summer Wine.
It was downhill all the way now, well the trend was downhill. To keep spirits up, wondrous tales of masses of snowdrops were spun. "Where are they?". "Are we at them yet?". "That's no all that many". "Aye that's quite a lot". "Aw look at that". "They're no very symmetrical!". That's galanthus nivalus for  you.
It now really was downhill all the way back to the cars crossing the A737 and then pavements and paths.
FRT was at the Brown Bull where some fine ales and cloudy cider were sampled.

Distance 14.9km
Walking time 2h 53min
Height of climbing 192m

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