Thursday, 30 November 2017

Alteration to the time for the 6th of December walk

The high tide will be around 1.30.p.m. We therefore need to leave Dunure around about 9.00.a.m. to ensure safe passage past Croy shore on the return route.

Some images from Eaglesham

Eaglesham in the sun

I am a country chappie,
AndI’m servin’ at Polnoon,
A ferm near tae Eaglsham,
That fine auld-fashioned toon,
And wi the milk each morning
A wee bit efter three,
We tak the road richt cheerily
The auld grey horse and me.

One of us said ‘By the law of averages we are due a decent day’. This was it. The sun shone from a clear blue sky and, though the ice crystals still rimed the grasses and dead leaves where it hadn’t reached, there was a certain warmth in the late November sun. It was still cool though when we gathered in the shade of the trees on the common in Eaglesham.
Ten o’clock and Bob had us off up through the trees that line the Banks of the Eaglesham Burn and on to the B764. A few hundred yards of this and we were turning right onto a quieter road by the new housing estate of Polnoon and on towards Bonnyton Gold Course. The sun was now on our backs warming us nicely as we walked past the golf course, left the tarmac behind and followed the farm road for East Moorhouse Farm and on through south Moorhouse Farm.
From the rising ground we had magnificent views over the Clyde valley to the mountains of the southern Highlands. Ben Lomond was easy to pick out: Then came Ben Ime, the Cobbler and the Arrochar hills: The gap of Strathblane  was to the right of the high Ben and through this the hills of the Trossachs: There were more, many more still to be identified tops to the left and right and all gleaming white under their blanket of snow. We thought ourselves lucky to be out here on such a day.
Just beyond the farm, advantage was taken of a few boulders, the remains of a dry-stane dyke, to have coffee. We were just beginning to enjoy sitting in the sun when He-of-the-itchy-feet decided it was time to move on.  So move on we did.
As we approached  the Bennan Reservoir the view was enhanced by the appearance of the snow cover alpine-like peaks of Arran to the south-west. We stopped for a few minutes on the reservoir dam to take in the views. Now we had sight of our goal for today - Ballageich Hill rising steeply in front of us.
We left what had been easy walking on road and track and took to the rough hillside. The going was now tough through great tussocks and deep hollows but we all made it to the top and across the rough top to our goal. Just behind a wee crag overlooking a panoramic landscape of wind turbines of and on the leeward side of the hill, we settled down for a longish lunch break. During this the hills of the south were identified from Cairn Table at Muirkirk through the Cumnock hills to the higher summits of Galloway, all seen through the whirling blades of hundreds of wind turbines.
But all good things must come to an end and we decided, somewhat reluctantly in some cases, to move on. A few hundred yards of steepish slope brought us back to tarmac on the B764. Now it was just a matter of following this back to our starting point in Eaglesham.
An eight and half miles of leisurely (well mostly leisurely) stroll was enough for the day.

We returned to Kilmarnock to take advantage of Wetherspoons  for FRT today.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Arrangements for Wed 6th Dec

Meet in the car park behind the Dunure pub at 10.00 a.m. (CHANGED TO 9 AM to beat the tide)  The proposed walk is from Dunure to Culzean and back. Dervel Davy is going to check that tides are not a problem.
In the event of an absolutely dire forecast forget walking and meet in the Kilmarnock Wetherspoons for lunch and a few pints around about 12.30 p.m.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Arrangements for Wed 29th

Meet on the left side of the grassy area in the middle of Eaglesham around about 10.00 a.m. The walk will be a repeat of previous walk from Eaglesham, provided it is not chucking it down again.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Alternative arrangements for Wed 21st.

In view of another diabolical forecast for Wednesday I have altered the walk as follows:-
Meet in the car park at the front in Prestwick at 10.00a.m.
Walk towards Troon out past the golf course and the caravan park for as far as we like and return . The underfoot conditions should be better than Backsideend.
FRT can be had in Wetherspoon's .

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Some more snaps from the Gogo Burn jaunt

No, it's not what you think. He was actually taking a photo.

Gogo Burn - 15 Nov. Some snaps

Gogo Burn 15 November

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Rex

The morning was dry, still and overcast, as we met at Douglas Park in Largs for the day’s walk. This is one of those walks where you get little time to get into your stride before climbing fairly steeply, and so, before too long, view stops were called for. It became obvious right away that it was going to be wet underfoot, and those donning gaiters had chosen well. The slippy steps were negotiated successfully before we set off over the hill, following the path. As explained earlier the going ranged from the good, to the wet, to the boggy, but we made the cairn, our coffee stop, by about eleven fifteen.
Stepping out!
The next section was a bit wetter, but we eventually saw our turning point i.e. the new bridge over the Gogo Burn adjacent to the new wee dam, and made our way down to the relative comfort of the road, meeting a couple of mountain cyclists on their journey down to Largs. Twenty minutes or so later (at about twelve forty) we stopped for lunch at the Greeto Falls and by this time the sun was trying to break through meaning that the stop was very pleasant indeed.
Mist the bridge? No way. But Gus loses footing.
Lunch at Greeto
The walk back into the town was straightforward, and the cars were reached three and three-quarter hours after having set off with the fitbits suggesting we had covered about eight miles.
FRT was taken in Wetherspoon’s where Davie the Younger didn’t take much persuading to splash out with the kitty money and buy us chips.
Another good day out!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Arrangements for 22 November 2017

Meet in the Sorn Church car park at 10.00 am.  From there we will drive to Laigh Brocklar and then go up Blacksidend (...and perhaps beyond!).

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Glenbuck 8 November

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

A very healthy turnout of Ooters assembled at the fishery carpark at Glenbuck on a dry, fresh morning. There was a chill to the wind so little time was spent blethering before the group split into two to go their separate ways. Your scribe, Dougie, Jim, Jimmy, Malcolm and Peter would do a low-level walk leaving the other eight to do the Hareshaw Hill walk.
The ‘Walking In More Pleasant Surroundings’ group set off round the loch in a clockwise direction, taking about fifty minutes to complete this section at a steady saunter. As expected, underfoot conditions were not the best in places, but, by and large, the going was easy. The next section consisted of joining the River Ayr Walk and walking towards Muirkirk. Small sections of this track very definitely wet and those with gaiters had chosen wisely. Peter bemoaned the fact that his boots were letting in – time to splash out, Peter! We stopped for coffee at what remains of an old bridge over the burn (river) and were entertained by the efforts of a couple of farmers and their dogs who, across the main road, were trying to herd reluctant sheep into a pen.
Marching on, we continued until a fence across the path signalled our turning point. Retracing our steps, we were back at Glenbuck at one o’clock, having covered six miles, and, having studied Bill Shankly’s memorial and the ‘sculpture’ which marks the start of the River Ayr Way, we made our way down the wooden hide for a leisurely lunch.
Making our way back up the carpark, we got changed quickly and were just about to settle into the cars to await the rest when Holly appeared, closely followed by the guys. Their walk had taken about three hours and forty-five minutes and had been nine miles in length.
As we made our way to the Empire Bar in Muirkirk, light rain began to fall, but we had got the best of the day and thoroughly enjoyed the FRT, complemented with Alan's cakes and biscuits (many thanks, Alan!). The wisecracking was up (or down) to its usual standard. 
A good day out!

Some images from Glenbuck

A bench with a view.

The first bridge on the River Ayr

Just for Peter

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Arrangements for Wed 15th Nov

Meet at the gates to Douglas Park ,Largs around about 10.00.a.m. The walk is up the hill as far as is desired and return via the track beside the Gogo burn.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cumnock to Dumfries House 1 November

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Peter, Robert, plus guest appearances from Jimmy and Kenny R

It had been raining for hours and the forecast was for it to continue for the rest of the day, so it was not the most enthusiastic bunch* of Ooters who assembled at the swimming pool car park in Cumnock. Jimmy arrived to say that he wisnae that weel and would not be walking, but would catch up with us in the pub later. Kenny R wanted a longer walk to maintain his fitness, so he departed to walk from Troon to Irvine and back. After some deliberation it was eventually agreed that we would walk to Dumfries House, have a coffee, and then return.
Suitably adorned in wet weather gear and with umbrellas in abundance, we set off along muddy paths, braving a smelly discharge into the river from the sewage works, and continuing into the grounds of Dumfries House and making for the coffee shop. As we devoured our scones and coffee, not to mention rolls and sausage, the rain got heavier and any notion of the brave to extend the walk soon dissipated. Peter suggested returning a different way via the new entrance gate and Auchinleck, and convinced most to join him. Allan, Davie Mc (who was a bit under the weather, literally), Malcolm and Holly retraced their footsteps and were back at the cars about twelve twenty -five, twenty minutes before the rest. Out and back was five miles, Peter’s route about six.
After getting dried off and changed, no mean feat given the conditions, the Black Bull in Mauchline was our choice for FRT, and true to his word, Jimmy rose from his sick couch to join us. As usual, the banter was lively, and a good laugh was had.

*What is the collective noun for Ooters? A quarrel? A mincing? A confusion?
Answers on a postcard!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Arrangements for Wed 8th Nov

Meet in the car park at the start of the river Ayr walk beside Glenbuck Loch around 10.00.a.m. Decision regarding where we will walk will be made on the day to suit the weather forecast.