Thursday, 27 July 2017

Culture Club 26 July

Allan, Davie Mc, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny T, Kenny R, Malcolm, Paul, Rex

As we dried out and had coffee at the Concert Hall we wondered about the whereabouts of our leader for the day and his Cumnock Cronie. ‘Maybe he has, after all, gone on the Annbank walk’. ‘Maybe the dug didn’t let him oot the hoose’. However just as we were beginning to contemplate moving on to Kelvingrove without him, the twosome arrived and without due delay, we set off for the subway at Buchanan Street. Allan and Kenny T were the last to get their tickets, so it came as a bit of a surprise to them that as they descended to the platform, it was empty. There were some naughty words said. They caught up with the rest at Kelvinhall station, accepted their ‘sincere’ apologies, and made their way to the Art Gallery and Museum.
An hour and a half was set aside for the visit, with each going his own way to discover the various displays, before moving across the road to Mother India’s CafĂ© for lunch. The menu was tapas style, but not, Johnny, as you know it. The food was very good indeed.
As we made our individual ways back home, the weather had picked up enormously. A guid day oot, and a nice wee change.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Some images of the walk from Annbank to Ayr featuring Alan McQ, Davie C, Gus and Robert.

    Definitely a day for umbrellas, but Gus seems to be having
     some difficulty in getting his up!

    Starting off our walk from Annbank and it's wet. Very wet.

    The trees helped to shelter us from the worst of the weather,
     but watch out for those big drips.

    Alongside the River Ayr...

    ...into Auchincruive.

    Taking a new route through the Newbarns Wood,

    and through the glaur!

    "This weather messes up my hair!"

    Taking a combined coffee and lunch stop beneath the A77
     at Holmston.

    It had certainly brightened up by the time we reached Ayr.

    In fact, it was shorts and T-shirt weather!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Alternatives for Wed 26 July

Option 1. Meet in the Concerthall at 10.00.a.m. Make your way to Kelvingrove Art Gallery ,spend an hour or two there then find some where for lunch and a few pints. Contact D Mc Meekin.

Option two . Meet at Annbank Bowling Club at 10.00. Walk to Ayr and get the bus back . Change into dry clothes and have a drink in the Tap of the Brae. Contact R.Mc Garry if going on this option.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Dunure Culzean 19 July

Alan McQ, Alan S, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Kenny T, Malcolm, Peter

Across the grass
It was a fine, warm morning, but with the potential of rain and thunder arriving late afternoon, Sergeant Major McMeekin declared that we should set off ten minutes before ten, dismissing the notion that Peter might turn up. So, with a brisk step, we set off for Culzean, only to get a hundred yards from the cars before a plaintive cry was heard from the car park. Peter had arrived. Compassion is the Ooters’ middle name, at least when some of our members are elsewhere, so we waited for Peter to catch up and chastise us for leaving before the allotted hour. Davie was immediately demoted to Private, as, to a man, we all, remembering the motto, took no responsibility and blamed him for the discretion.
Peter describes his brick and slate collection
The route was one we have covered many times before and needs little description, but the wee climb up to the road has benefitted from the new set of steps. Those taking a short cut across the fields encountered some long, but dry, grass and, after forty minutes or so, we were ready to descend to the beach. Coffee was taken at the usual spot, but Allan, with one eye on the weather, decided to stroll on. The tide was receding and didn’t cause any issues as the rest soon caught up. Lunch was taken at our favourite spot on the benches overlooking the gardens, still closed for repairs.

Some pink flowers, just because they matched Davie's FRT shirt

When two scientists get together!!!
We retraced our footsteps back to the rocks for a juice stop, only for Peter to pose a question. ‘What was the name of that film, you know the one with a good story?’ ‘What was it about, Peter?’ ‘I can’t remember’. ‘Well, who was in it?’ ‘Can’t remember that either, but it was in colour’. That certainly narrowed it down! Peter then walked away on his own whilst the rest rested. We caught up with him as we crossed the fields and, by the time we emerged from them, Peter had remembered: Far From The Madding Crowd, 1967, directed by John Shlesinger, and starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Prunella Ransome. (No, Peter didn’t remember all of this, Mr Google did).
The cars were reached four hours and twenty minutes after having set off, and the fitbits said about ten miles. FRT was taken outside at the Dunure Inn where nobody ordered a coffee! We had won a watch with the weather which had stayed fine and dry but, as we walked back to the cars, there was a spot of rain.

Some images from the walk between Dunure and Culzean

     Setting off from Dunure

    Holly leads the way

    Lookout! Here come the Ooters!

    One dog and her stick

    Can you see Malcolm's hat? It's not on his head.

      Approaching Culzean

    Ready to start the walk back from Culzean

    Down to the shore past the old gas house

    Along a short wooded section to Segganswell cottage

     Back on the beach

      There's that man and his dug again

    Reaching the end of another great day oot

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Arrangements for Wednesday 26th July

Rankinston to Waterside

Meet in Burns Statue Square, Ayr at 08:45 for the 09:00 bus to Rankinston (service number 347).
The (mostly downhill) walk starts from the top of Rankinston, follows the line of a dismantled railway round to the site of Lethanhill village and then down through the Dunaskin Glen to Waterside for the bus back to Ayr. Total distance in the region of 10 miles.
Park in Ayr at the public car park adjacent to Morrison's supermarket. Don't forget bus passes!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

12 July Low-level walk

Allan, Dougie, Johnny, Rex

Simply for the record, the Bank Street Four met at Johnny’s for coffee and scones, with cream and jam, or was it jam and cream (the folks in Devon and Cornwall get agitated if done not to their traditions) prior to our walk. Rex was recuperating from his eye surgery and reports that all is hunky-dory, saying that his consultant considers that his eyesight, without the need for glasses, is now 110%. Things are much bigger than they used to be, or so he boasted. Dougie was recovering from the excesses of the previous night at the Cricket Club. Allan and Johnny .. were just recovering.
Dougie was keen to show off his new orange trainers, bought just in time for today i.e.12th July (more of these later), so it was with a certain swagger that we set off towards Eglinton Park. The route was the usual one, i.e. up through the scheme, over the bypass and on to the park. We didn’t go via the standing stones as this would have added another forty minutes on to the walk, and this suited all present. Soon we were through the park, and very busy it was too, given the glorious day and it being the summer holidays, and passed through the Dirrans and on to the cycle route taking us back towards Irvine via the town moor. We were noting the ever-increasing amounts of giant hogweed beside the path when Johnny shouted for us to avoid a female cyclist, ‘Watch out for the bike lads’. The said cyclist, whose number has been taken, made a derogatory comment about us considering ourselves to be lads. The next female cyclist commented, ‘Is this a boys’ day out?’ We liked her.
When Dougie was calling for a wee break we stopped at the bench overlooking the railway bridge over the river only to be aware of a potent and all-enveloping smell. Where was it coming from? It was honking! Well, remember Dougie’s new trainers. They had been well and truly christened with dog shit. (No pictures have been published in case anyone has just had their tea.)
And so, we made our way back into the town and up to Johnny’s, three of us together carrying a red warning flag, and Dougie keeping a safe distance behind us. The boy managed to get himself cleaned up at Nythva and related the fact that he was famous for collecting such material. It had taken us two and three-quarter hours to complete our walk, done at a sober pace, at least for three of us!
Johnny provided us with a fine selection of craft beers (a three-pint day, hair of the dog etc) to go with pies, crisps, and salad (see us, see healthy eating!).
Many thanks again to JM for his hospitality.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

July 12 - The Beinn Bharrain Horseshoe

The annalists in our midst will know that the Ooters have twice done this walk - remarkably, both expeditions occuring within a period of 4 months in 2008.   Some have nothing but fond memories, for others the memories have largely been repressed.

Thus it was that seven Ooters were prepared to rise in the middle of the night whilst others lay a-bed dreaming of Johnnie's scones and ale.

Gus, Davie C, Kenny T, Allan M, Ian, Davie M and Paul gathered at Ardrossan in varying degrees of bright-eyed and bushy-tailedness from 0630 hours onward, ready to board the early morning ferry to Brodick. Thoughts quickly passed to rolls and sausage. Once in Mariners Cafeteria (for there has been a rebrand) thoughts even more quickly passed from rolls and sausage to the full Scottish and the majority was soon tucking into their choice of any 6 from 9 with great relish and pretty good brown sauce.

Having negotiated the new bus terminal at Brodick we were at Thundergay/Thunderguy/Thunderguay by 8.50 and after the putting on of boots and the application of sunscreeen we were on our way at 9.

It was already a scorcher and as we climbed gently towards Coire Fhionn Lochan the views over Kilbrandon Sound and Kintyre became increasing expansive. The lochan was reached by 9.50 and we lingered a while.  For different reasons Davie C and Kenny had not been feeling 100% and at this point they chose not to go on. They would take their time, descend and meet us at Pirnmill for the 3.20 bus.

Now reduced to five, we bade farewell to our colleagues, skirted the lochan and started to climb the shoulder of Beinn Bhreac. Davie was heard to remark that this climb above the lochan had become considerably steeper since the Ooters were first here. By the way, it's amazing how far the sound of a sneeze will carry, and from high up above the corrie, and across the full length of the lochan we could hear Davie C's sternutations.

Although Davie and Paul are ever-presents on this walk there was to be no leading of the youngsters who accompanied them.  They were up ahead climbing the rocky outcrop of Meall Donn for an even better view of the azure waters of the lochan. The young bucks were left to it as the the senior ones plodded on towards Beinn Bhreac.

Historical note 1: It's interesting to note that in Jimmy's account of the first walk, an early LUNCH was taken at Meall Donn!)

Historical note 2; On our second visit we had found the only clouds in the south of Scotland and the tops were shrouded in mist. Rex and Paul were in possession of their new GPS gizmos and looked on in alarm as our leader that day (who shall remain anonymous) and his dog, mistaking Meall Donn for Beinn Bhreac, headed off in the direction of the drop into the corrie. 

We were soon back together again but as we hit the upslope to Beinn Bhreac the youngsters sped ahead.  Allan S's famous invocation was heard for the first time from the rear of the group, but there was to be no divine intervention.

We had a coffee stop on the summit and took in the wonderful views out to Jura, Ben More on Mull, and the stunning Goatfell range. At this point a woman and her dog raced by us in a most impressive fashion. Your scribe's research suggests she is one of the leading Scottish hill runners in her age group with (he added cryptically) herpetological connections to his Ayrshire home town.

Our next objective was in view, the shear grassy wall of Mullach Buidhe, the easternmost part of Beinn Bahreinn. We dropped down off Bhreac, observing the runner on top of Mullach Buidhe and the usual peching order was resumed as we zig-zagged our way up the grassy slope.

On the top thoughts were drifting towards lunch but we chose to press on a bit more to  the rocky outcrops on the western end of Ben Bhareinn. We had almost descended from Mullach Buidhe when Ian became aware that he didn't have his stick - yes, he'd left it on top of the Mullach. Allan, not being aware of Oooters' traditions, offered to wait for him and look after his rucksack whilst the stick was retrieved. The rest of us went on our way determined to bag the best viewpoints for our lunch amongst the rocks.

And what a view it was. I don't think I can improve on Jimmy's description of the view towards Goatfell  "The horizon was formed by Goat Fell and its ridge, Stachach, running on to North Goat Fell. The nearer line consisted of the granite tors of An Casteil, the jagged peak of Cir Mhor, the ridge of A’Chir, the higher Ben Tarsuin and the end-stop of Ben Nuis. With all of this above the defile of Glen Iorsa and Loch Tanna lying beneath us..."  And that was just in one direction. We now had Ailsa Craig and the faint Northern Ireland coastline to the south as well as the aforementioned western view.

The bad news for Rex is that we still couldn't find your bunnet.

We reached our lunch spot at around 12.25 which seemed remarkably good going, but our taskmaster told us our descent would take a good two hours so we were allocated 25 minutes.

The descent to Allt Ghoblach was indeed slow. We had to pick our way through boulders then through hummocky grass and finally, as we approached the burn, bog. But we still found time to pose.

Gus picked up the day's only injury as we descended through the bog. A slip, a fall and a bloody finger. He seemed more concerned about a chipped fingernail, though.There have been big changes at the foot of Beinn Bharrein. A wide bulldozed path now leads from Pirnmill to the crossing point of the burn - enabling access to what might be a very mini hydro plant. There is now no need to cross the burn ... but of course we did.  Davie assured us the road was boring and the path across the burn was far more interesting. No one had thought to tell Allan who was 400 yards down the road, but we called him back and we picked our way across Allt Ghoblach to the far side.Davie was right, of course. The path down to Pirnmill led us past cascades and ravines. We reached shore at 2.40 - a good 40 minutes ahead of the bus. An Ooters record?  Davie C and Kenny rejoined us from their walk, both feeling better and it was a merry band who soaked up the sun in Pirnmill, buying copious soft drinks from the village store. The bus duly arrived and we were entertained watching paragliders landing very close to the bus at Catacol. From Corrie onwards it was standing room only.

The ferry which had been so quiet on the way out was mobbed for the return. After a little deliberation we decided to have a drink or two. It had been a fabulous day ... and it wasn't just Davie who thought so.
Distance:8 miles, 3,200 feet of climbing