Thursday, 27 April 2017

Failford to Gadgirth 26 April

Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny R, Kenny T, Paul, Peter, Rex, Robert

The morning was bright and dry, and with no real rain for nearly a fortnight, the prospect of dry underfoot conditions made for a pleasant change. We weren’t to be disappointed!
Setting off from Failford we, as a group, followed the River Ayr Walk up through the gorge until the access to Peden’s Pulpit. Jimmy, Kenny R and Gus decided to take a look, but the rest of us, having seen it before, continued up the path. There were plenty of bluebells on display, and as some paused to take pictures or just to take stock, the group got scattered well before the steps to the lower riverside path were reached. Peter and Allan stayed high whilst the rest went low and the twosome took their time awaiting the arrival of Peden’s Posse.
Nearly there!
They met up at the second flight of steps adjacent to the bench, waited whilst breaths were caught after the climb, and then set off at a leisurely pace down towards the diversion at Daldorch. From here they could just see the rest of the guys 500m in front of them as they headed left from the we windmill. We all met up at the road-end at Yett, took coffee and made our way down towards Stair but turning right on the road to Enterkine House. Passing the mill, we made our way up through the grounds before turning left down to Gadgirth Bridge where we took lunch at our usual spot. The temperature was warm at this stage and, being out of any wind, lunch was very pleasurable. Apres lunch entertainment was provided by the weans as they threw skiffers across the water and before long a competitive edge took hold. Ian exhibited great technique and Peter was nonchalantly good. Peter has challenged us all to a slate skiffing event in the future!
Another view of the idyllic lunch spot
From here we followed the riverside path under Enterkine Viaduct back to Stair, where we paused momentarily, before continuing on up the riverside path to where the landslips had occurred. Because of the recent dry conditions, these were traversed without any great alarm, although care still had to be taken. Good progress was made as we now retraced our steps back to Failford, keeping high to ease the wearying limbs. By the time we reached the cars, the temperature had dipped again, but we couldn’t complain as we had had a good walk in excellent conditions. Eleven and a half miles in four hours fifty minutes – not that anybody was counting!

FRT was taken in the Black Bull in Mauchline, a very agreeable hostelry.

Some images from Failford to Gardgirth walk

Walking along the path by the side of the river.

The rock-cut steps to Peden's Pulpit.

In the full sun on Peden's Pulpit
A scramble for Gus after laeving Peden's Pulpit.

A much easier par of the walk

Just a nice view.

The auld mill near Enterkine.

Gadgirth Viaduct

Lunch stop at Gadgirth Brig.

Under Gadgirth viaduct.

Coming through a grove of wild cherries (Gean)

The most common flower today - Wild Garlic

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Arrangements for Wed 3rd May

Meet at ten o'clock in the car park behind the shopping precinct ( the co-op) in Bridge of Weir. The walk will be led by Kenny T ,and will amount to approximately 8 miles taking in Quarriers Home and Kilmacolm.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Galawhistle Wind Farm

Alan S, Davie Mc, Doogie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Robert & Rex

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare

We were warned. We were well warned. Jimmy warned us that the first mile was uphill, steeply uphill from Glenbuck Loch to the top of Harehill and we were ready for this. But what we weren’t warned about was how quickly Davie would set about this steep climb. Off he went, head down, the rest of us trailing on behind, never stopping for a breather or to take in the view. Not that there was any view to be had anyway for the mizzle had clamped down on the surrounding hills and the dampness was blown into us on a stiff breeze. Jimmy had promised to post his pictures from the last time he did this walk so there was no reason to stop to get the cameras out. Just slog on upward, ever upwards. By the time the slope eased towards the top, the party was split - Davie leading the bulk of the group with Jimmy, Johnny and Malcolm bringing up a distant rear.

                When the slope eased off Davie led us away to the east. At a fence crossing the hill we decide to wait for the tardy trio only to see them away to the left and making for a different top. We hailed them to show them the error of their way but when Jimmy indicated the way-marker on the top of their rise, we learned the error of our – well Davie’s – way. We decided to ignore Davie’s direction and join Jimmy’s group. We came together at the information board on the top of Hareshaw Hill.

                Now we were into the Galawhistle wind farm with the first of the giant turbines just to the right and the service road leading us downward. The going was now easy, the mizzle, or what was left of it, was on our backs and a good crack was had as we walked down the road. Not too far down coffee was called and in the lea of one of the turbines we sat and re-caffeinated. The drizzle went at this point and the sky was brightening. We anticipated a pleasant afternoon.

                Taking the track along the old railway we had seen from our coffee stop, we came past the wind farm offices. No halt here but onward yet. A brief halt was called on the top of a slope to look down on the old farm of Monkshill. Then it was on again. While the rest of us walked on, Alan, Jimmy, Kenny and Paul took a detour to a viewpoint on Arrarat Hill. Despite Kenny’s hill naming phone app, the hills, apart from Tinto, remained unidentified. We were sat having lunch when the foursome re-joined us.

What a pleasant place for lunch: We looked across the moor, listened to the skylark singing and delighted in the approaching sunshine.

Post lunch we still followed the service road down to its junction with the A70. Despite this being marked as a walking route, there was no pedestrian egress from the service road. And the only gate was locked. We had no option but to climb over it much to the consternation of some. Then we crossed the road and found the track of the old Ayr-Edinburgh railway.  We were to follow this back to Glenbuck Loch.

The way was now level and generally easy but some obstacles had to be negotiated. Old rusty gates and fences had to be climbed. At one point the track was overgrown with saughs and we had to take to a wee path through the trees. But on the whole the going was easy and level.  At Parish Holm we left the old track, crossed the road and found the path round the North side of Glenbuck Loch. The sun was now warm and the going was good and we wandered around the loch and back to the cars.

The walk started in mizzle and finished in sunshine taking just over four hours to complete the circuit.

FRT was taken in our usual howff in Muirkirk, The Empire Bar.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Advance notice for a curry night

The 24th May has been identified as a possible curry night to celebrate Kanny T reaching 59. The venue might be the Jewel in the Crown if we can not come up with a better suggestion. Nothing has been finalised.

Arrangements for Wed 26th April

Meet in Failford across from the pub at 10.00a.m. The walk will be along the river Ayr to about Stair and return . It will be necessary to scramble over one or two land slips en route.

Some images of today's walk taken in February.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Maybole 12 April

Alan McQ, Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Malcolm, Peter, Rex, Robert

Setting off from the Green in Maybole on a dry, but coldish morning we made our way out of the town and headed towards the cut-off for Kildoon Hill and Kirkoswald, a route well known to us. Alan was leading us today as, yet again, he was on holiday (teachers!), so we followed on past this turn-aff (not the Ga’ston wan, Davie!) and continued on the road up to the wee bridge across the burn. Crossing over, rather than following the road, we followed the track until the remains of Craigfin Farm beckoned on our right. Coffee was called for here.
At Craigfin
Above us was Craigfin Hill (228m) and this was our next port of call. Having crossed over a field we found the well-defined track that took us up the trig point. Great views were to be had from there of the Ayrshire countryside and beyond, with Fergusson’s Monument in plain view and Lochspouts below us. Continuing on the track, we headed roughly westwards and encountered a short, sharp shower of rain, before meeting our only obstacle on the day’s walk i.e. a swollen burn. The advanced guard struggled across with varying success but Peter found an easier crossing to the left and the main body followed his lead. We eventually emerged on the path at the Green Well just at the Drummochreen Cairn, and we were now on familiar territory.
As we headed down the soggy path a discussion took place as to the merits of doing Craigdow Hill (254m). Easy access could be made from our track and it would be straight up and down and then back on to the path we were following. Allan, Jimmy, Johnny, Malcolm and Peter decided to give the hill a miss and continued up the path for five minutes, found a place for lunch and watched as the rest of the guys made the quite steep ascent to the top and then come half way down before stopping for their lunch. Their journey to the top had only taken about ten minutes for those in front and a wee bit longer for the rest.
G'on yersels!
The five boys (remember the chocolate?) continued down the Ghaist Glen track and waited at Lower Burncrooks for the rest to catch up.
There was now a further parting of the ways with Alan, Dougie, Gus, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny and Rex going left up to High Burncrooks, and then taking the track up to Kildoon Hill and up to Fergusson’s Monument. The remainder went right and followed the road to where they had cut off earlier in the day before re-tracing their steps back towards Maybole. On the way back, they could clearly see the seven sisters brothers at the monument above them. Unfortunately, it was about this time that the rains came again, heavier and more prolonged than earlier, but by the time the cars were reached it had dried up and the sun was back out. Four hours and twenty-five minutes for the first back and another twenty minutes for those who had come over the hill. The distance, if all the hills had been done, was just over eleven miles and Alan was congratulated for a good walk, one which we’ll repeat in the future.

Grainy image of the guys at the monument
FRT was taken in the Maybole Arms, a much more convivial establishment, which will be our regular from now on when in this area. A lively hour was spent there finishing off a good day out. The weather had been generally kind to us and the underfoot conditions were, in the main, very good.

Some images from the Maybole walk

Coming up though th whins (Or gorse. Or Furze.) on the way to our first top.

Approaching the summit of our first top.

Looking back from our first top.

It's that dug again!

Looking down from or first top to the abandoned farm where we had our coffee.

This one is just for Peter.

The gang on the top that the wimps ignored.

A panorama from where some of us had lunch. We are looking at the top where the intrepid ventured.

The Monument on Doonhill to one of the Fergussons of Kilkerran though why he deserved such an edifice is beyond us.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Arrangements for 19th April

Meet at 10.00.a.m. Glenbuck Loch car park. Auld Davie and young Jimmy to lead the walk. 4.5 hours.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Dunure to Culzean and back 5 April

Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Johnny, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Peter

There was a chill wind and overcast sky as we set off for Culzean from Dunure. We were pleased to see that Jimmy Begg and his band of volunteers had been at work on the muddy steep slope on the path, the result being that steps were well defined and a start had been made on laying gravel. A work in progress, but much appreciated. Leaving the path, we headed for the fields, which had dried out nicely, and made the track down to the beach after about forty-five minutes. Coffee was called for at our ‘usual’ wee rock outcrop just before the caravan park.
The Beach Boys
There were no issues with the tide, so the walk along the beach to Culzean was relatively easy. At the castle, lunch was taken on benches overlooking the gardens below, which were closed due to work taking place.
Culzean beefs up its security
Leaving our lunch spot, we made our way up to the book shop and courtyard, before trying to continue to the next set of steps down to the beach. However, the way was blocked due to extensive works being done on car parking. One of the workers recognised us, as we had spoken to him when we were at Chalmerston, and we were greeted as old friends. He was able to tell us that £3.5 million was being spent on reconfiguring the car parks and that the Forest of Dean stone slabs they were using came in at £1300 a pallet. Since there was no heavy plant moving at the time, we were let through to continue our journey, pondering as to where next we would meet up with him.
The journey back along the beach saw skies clearing and the temperature rising making walking conditions ideal. We took a short stop back at our rock sit-ootery before tackling our climb up the cliff and the undulating, but mainly upward, walk over the fields back to the track down to Dunure.
About four hours and ten minutes and 9.8 miles made for a good step out.

Turn right when you reach the water, Davie!
FRT was taken outside at the Dunure Inn in extremely pleasant conditions. The beer and chips were fine but, Oh, the coffee!

Davie's photos:-