Thursday, 30 March 2017

Annbank Circular 29 March

Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Kenny R, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert

There were no arguments about not going to Conic Hill today, as the weather forecast was for rain. And so, we set off from the Bowling Club in Annbank for a walk down one side of the river and back up the other, in a clockwise direction.
The outward journey is much longer than the return due to having to negotiate the big bend in the river, so after forty minutes a coffee stop was called for at a fisherman’s shelter. As we finished, the first spots of rain began to fall and it continued for the next hour until we made the Burns and Wallace Monument for lunch. The underfoot conditions had been good until we met the incline about twenty minutes from lunch. This proved to be the only tricky and extremely muddy part of the walk, but all negotiated it successfully. As we sat at the monument, the rain disappeared to be replaced by pleasantly warm, watery sunshine meaning that jackets could be removed for the return.
Crossing back over the river, it only took about thirty-five minutes to reach the cars (the big bend having been cut out), just as light rain began to fall again. ‘Three hours and three minutes’ was the call for a walk of about seven miles. The walk today had been sufficient, certainly for Jimmy, who was still in recovery mode, and the weather had been better than anticipated.
FRT was taken at the Tap o’ the Brae, where the barmaid was glad of our custom. A good day out with a reasonably early finish!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Arrangements for the 12 April

Alan is happy to lead the walk from the village green in Maybole. Meet at 10.00.a.m. ready  to depart. The walk is circular . FRT can be had in the Maybole Arms which has customer parking.

Conic hill can be included on our programme sometime in May.

Arrangements for Wed 5th April

Meet in Dunure at 10.00.a.m. Walk from Dunure to Culzean and back.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Alternative arrangements for Wed 29.

Sorry guys we have just missed the good weather,pity. Rain forecast for Balmaha from 11.00.a.m. onwards. Meet at Annbank bowling club at 10.00. a.m. We can walk to Ayr and get the bus back or walk to Auchincruive one side of the river and back on the other side.

Alan McQuiston is willing to lead us on another 8-10 mile walk from Maybole on the 12 th April if you are happy about this idea. Let me know tomorrow what you think and I will pass on our opinions . Arrangements will be posted for the 12th before I go skiing.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Cumbrae 22 March

Allan, Dougie, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert

Seventies rock group: The Glaid Stones
On a clear morning with a chill wee wind, we took the 10.15am ferry to Cumbrae for our familiar route march. Leaving the slipway we made our way up to the Glaid Stone in double quick time, took some pictures, and decided it was too cold and windy to stop there for coffee. Making our way down, thankfully sheltered from the elements, a stop was called for at some roadside benches. Johnny decided it was still too cold to stop, so he ventured on, with Allan in tow, until the usual lunch shelter was reached at the helipad.

I wandered lonely as a ...!
They were soon joined by the rest and a question was posed i.e. ‘Could we make the 2pm ferry back?’
Leaving at 12.25 we marched up the far side of the island straight into the chill wind, trying to follow the pace set by Rex and Dougie. We didn’t stop until the slipway was reached, just in time for the aforementioned ferry. Ten and a half miles in three and a half hours including the lunch stop. It’s amazing what can be achieved when a certain man and his dug don’t hold you back! Seriously though, there were some sair feet by the time we had finished. It’s also maybe just as well that Alan was away fishin’.
FRT was taken at Wetherspoon’s in Largs, just in time for their beer festival. The banter was good, as were the chips!
Head in the clouds

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Arrangements for Wed 29th March

The plan is to walk Conic Hill near Balmaha. Meet at 10.30 in the Balmaha car park for a roundabout walk up Conic Hill. Minimal food required as lunch is planned in the pub at the foot of the hill. In the event of a disastrous forecast check the blog for a more local sheltered walk around 7.00p.m.on the Tuesday night.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Seven Peaks 15 March

Alan, Allan, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Rex, Robert

We’ve done the four tops in the past but today saw us pursue a new goal – the Seven Peaks. This would require stamina, determination, and above all, a realisation of knowing when to stop!
After a leisurely coffee at the Concert Hall, we took the relatively short walk over to Glasgow Cathedral to take in the wonders of the building. We had access to most of the building but the main area of worship was holding Hutchesons’ Grammar School Founders’ Day Commemoration Service. Before too long, this came to a conclusion and we watched as the great and the good exited. We then went  in ourselves for a look-round. As we left the Cathedral we were joined by Rex who had been delayed in arriving due a doctor’s appointment, and the eleven of us headed up to the Necropolis for a half-hour’s wander. From the highest point, we were able to observe our next challenge i.e. conquering the Seven Peaks of the Drygate Brewery.
Recommended by Rex, Dougie had, through his contacts, managed to obtain a discount for us, albeit we had to be honorary members of Prestwick Cricket Club Walking Group for the day. Seven Peaks is the Brewery’s logo and is representative of the seven peaks of the brewery’s roof. Having been seated, we were each treated to four samples of their beers (a third of a pint each) whilst the brand ambassador explained the differences and the history of the brewery and restaurant. Well done to him! (Sorry, your scribe has forgotten his name). Most of the beers were approximately 5% in strength, but he did advise us that their Fourteen Peaks ale was approaching 10%. Where’s Davie C when you need him?
Having sampled the beers, and beginning to feel the effects, the food came at the right time, just in time, you’ve guessed it, to accompany a further round of drinks. We were sensible today and left the brewery, refreshed, but still compos mentis.
The facility was similar in many ways to the West Brewery, but maybe a bit more convivial and the food was good. This was a really good day out with another height scaled for the Ooters
Thanks to Rex ‘Slips’ Porter for the recommendation and to Dougie ‘Long Leg’ Muir for organising the lunch and demonstration. We need to return, at some stage, with Davie ‘Short Leg’ Clunie!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Arrangements for Wed 22nd March

Meet in Largs at the ferry terminal around 10.00.a.m. The walk will be our usual Millport circular.
The walk for the following week is Conic hill near Balmaha.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Ness Glen 8 March

Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Kenny T, Malcolm

Meeting at the dam on a dry morning, everyone decided that it would be sensible to do the Ness Glen walk today rather than the Four Lochs one. We were soon on our way and were glad to get some shelter from the chill wind.
This walk has been described many times before so, suffice it to say, we did the familiar figure of eight route, going high first.
Underfoot conditions were variable, ranging from dry tarmac to extremely muddy off road sections. Care was taken when stepping on stones as they were slippy.
Coffee was taken at our usual benches and lunch devoured beside the ruins of Berbeth, a spot sheltered from the wind. From here we had a great view of ‘the Beoch’ and reminisced of the day, not so long ago, that we were up there.
As we reached the gorge we encountered some light rain but, all in all, the weather had been kind to us. ‘Three hours and fifty-five minutes’, said Davie, and the technology said nine and a bit miles.
FRT was taken at the Dalmellington Inn where there were only a few local punters in and no racing on the telly. In fact, the telly was showing a music video channel and we were perplexed for a while as to why the sound didn’t seem to match the pictures. We then realised that the telly was muted and the music was coming from the wee juke box. Aye, auld age disnae come itsel’. Nonetheless, a good hour was had.


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Arrangements for 15 March

Meet at the Concert Hall café at 10am.
We intend to walk to the Drygate Brewery for some drinks and a bite to eat. Route can be decided on the day but may take in the Cathedral and Necropolis, or a riverside walk, or both.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Arrangements for Wed 8th March

After some heated discussion and eventually a vote ,the following was more or less agreed:-
Good forecast - the four lochs walk ,with cars parked both ends of the walk.
Poor forecast- Ness Glen .
Meet at the Loch Doon dam around 10.00a.m.

Prestwick to Troon 1 March

Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Paul, Peter, Rex, Robert

This was to be a reasonably short walk today as we were going out in the evening to celebrate Alan’s seventieth. Meeting at Dougie’s in Prestwick, we were treated to an array of Irene’s scones* to complement our tea and coffee. Many thanks to both for their hospitality!
Dougie led us first of all down to Bruce’s Well before we continued on to the prom at Prestwick adjacent to St Nicholas Golf Course. The morning was chill to begin with but was beginning to brighten up and warm up as we made our way in the direction of Troon. Passing KidzPlay, we met Johnny’s daughter-in-law with daughter Fia and we spent a few minutes with her whilst trying to attract Johnny’s attention. He had taken the high road whilst the rest had taken the low one, but was soon aware of the situation and came down to greet the folks.
Moving on, we skirted the Old Prestwick golf course before moving inland a bit to cross the Pow Burn and, later, the Rumbling Burn at the entrance to the caravan park. Robert left us at this point to return to his car as he an appointment with his grandson in the afternoon. We rejoined the Pow Burn just before it met the sea and took advantage of a spot on its banks for a stop. If not exactly idyllic, it was as close as you could get at this time of the year, and a leisurely lunch was taken.
From here it was on to the beach for the walk  past Old Troon G.C. and into the town itself, but before long we encountered Jimmy Begg (of Ayrshire Coastal Path fame) and his colleague who were out surveying this part of the route. An interesting fifteen minutes was spent listening to Jimmy and learning about the trials and tribulations of maintaining the Path. Thanks must go to him and his team of volunteers for their efforts which have made for many a satisfying Wednesday for the Ooters.
We made Troon in plenty of time for the one o’clock bus back to Prestwick and arrived back at Dougie’s three hours and twenty minutes after having set off. Taking into account the walk from the bus up to Dougie’s, today’s walk amounted to nearly seven miles.
No FRT today but, being joined by Davie C, Gus and Malcolm, we enjoyed an excellent night at the Jewel in the Crown and at a rather cold Wetherspoon’s. Happy birthday to Alan!
*The scones were so good that comparisons started to be drawn and even a scone competition mooted. One of our own celebrity chefs declared that Dougie’s scones could not be included because his wife had made them. However, it can be exclusively revealed that Dougie was allowed to lick the bowl, meaning that he had in fact had a hand, or at least a tongue, in their production. What has not been established is exactly at what stage of production he licked the bowl!! A definite case of scone, but not forgotten, or maybe even here today, scone tomorrow!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Some images from the Prestwick to Troon walk

Bruce's Well

Walking down to the shore with Arran in the background
The sky clearing over Arran
The Pow Burn

The Pow Burn in the oposite direction.

Allan at our coffee stop at the Pow Burn

At the coffee stop lookin towards the sea

Arty-farty type of image - footprints

Arran from our coffee stop

Snow showers over Arran