Thursday, 20 September 2018

Crookedholm to Galston 19 September

Alan, Allan, Gus, Ian, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert

The forecast was horrendous with the central belt going to suffer from the effects of storm Ali, so it was pleasantly surprising that so many Ooters turned up at Crookedholm. It was dry as we set off along the Grougar Path, but we were well sheltered from the strengthening wind, so progress was good. A fallen tree on the path didn’t trouble us too much and before long we got the tarmac at Milton Road and we decided to stay on the road rather than take the riverside path.
A large tree had come down blocking this road, but we were able to get past easily. By this time, though, we had to have one eye on the road and the other watching for falling debris above us. We really felt the force of the wind in the exposed sections but marched on regardless.
After fifty minutes or so, Kenny who had brought Jim’s dog, Amber, turned back (this had always been his plan as that had been enough for the dog), and within minutes our luck changed as we were hit by heavy rain. This continued for about twenty minutes until we reached Loudoun Kirk when, as if by magic, someone flicked a switch, the rain went off, and the skies turned blue. We were sheltered from the wind, so coffee was taken in relative comfort and by the time we set off again, we had dried out.
We stayed on the road and turned down the A719 towards Galston, stopping at the bus shelter next to the Co-op to decide our next move. The gusts were ferocious by this time, so we agreed not to walk back against the wind on the exposed cycle track. There was a suggestion to walk to Newmilns and get the bus back from there but, in the end, we decided not to chance our luck any further, and take the next bus back to Crookedholm from where we were. We had walked nearly five miles in two hours and were back at the cars at twenty past twelve.
FRT was taken in Wetherspoon’s which was unusually quiet, not surprising given the conditions.

Alternative walk for 26 September

For those not wishing to go to Ben Lomond meet at the car park at Irvine shore (the car park at the toilet block) at 10am. We will walk for an hour and a half towards Barassie/Troon and then retrace our steps. Can be amended on the day depending on conditions.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Curry night 10 th October

The new date for the curry night is 10th October as the previous date is the date we were supposed to be travelling to the Borders to visit Alan McQuiston's Bothy. The Taj in Prestwick has been booked for 16 persons arriving about 7.00p.m. Please confirm your intention to attend with R.McGarry.

Arrangements for 26th Sept.

For those interested Ben Lomond walk is back on .If the BBC weather forecast is correct a week in advance then we should have no problem with attempting Ben Lomond. Meet in the Rowardennan car park around 9.30.a.m. Car sharing can be arranged on Tuesday evening. R Mc Garry will coordinate things.

Allan Sim will coordinate the alternative low level walk from Irvine.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Map: Fisherton to Brown Carrick

Dunure to Alloway via Brown Carrick

New weather update

In view of the wild ,windy forecast and possible problems either crossing or return crossing of the Erskine bridge the proposed walk is now not an option. The walk arrangements for Wednesday are now :- meet at the Bowling club in Hurlford at 10.00.a.m. Walk to Galston and either get the bus back or walk depending upon how we feel. FRT. can be accessed in Wetherspoons Kilmarnock.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Weather update

Ben Lomond is a no go this week . Heavy rain and 50 mph winds. Perhaps the walk could be postponed until we get a favourable forecast.
 Meet at the garden centre beside Erskine bridge for a walk along the canal to Clydebank and a fish supper. Meet at 10.00.a.m. for coffee.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Dunure to Ayr 12 September

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Peter, Rex, Robert

The rush hour traffic on the Ayr by-pass meant that we did not all make it to Rex’s for 9am, but all arrived in time to catch the 361 bus to Dunure from opposite Burns Cottage. Fifteen minutes later and we were in Dunure ready to start walking. The weather was bright with a stiff breeze blowing, which fortunately would be on our backs for the duration and, being a new walk for most of us, we set off in good spirits.
As we reached the harbour, Gus, Ian and Rex decided to return to Ayr via Brown Carrick Hill, so we bade them farewell as we made our way onto the beach, and they set off up towards Fisherton. This part of the coastal walk consists of a variety of surfaces i.e. sandy beach stretches, rocky (and sometimes, slippy) beach stretches, and inland stretches when the terrain on the beach is too difficult to cross. (Just a note to say that we had checked the tide situation before deciding on this walk as it can’t be done at, or near to, high tide). Fortunately, there are plenty of white markers on rocks and posts to keep you right, and good progress was made, so after an hour we stopped for coffee at a sheltered spot on the beach. The weather had been kind and offered us some great views along the coast and over the firth, meaning that we took our time and enjoyed the surroundings.
Our next incursion inland took us up a steep flight of steps (well done to the volunteers who built and have maintained this) which led us to an open field and then on to some easy walking down the old railway line, which our resident guru informed us went to Turnberry. This path skirted the Heads of Ayr Caravan Park before doubling back down to the beach, allowing us to walk round the Heads of Ayr, marvelling at the threatening nature of the cliffs, whilst Jimmy pointed out a peregrine falcon. Next stop was the beach entrance to Butlin’s, sorry, Craig Tara, where we sat down for lunch and awaited the arrival of the Brown Carrick Three, who had indicated by phone that they were only a few minutes away. When they arrived, they indicated that doing the hill from the Dunure side was easy and straightforward, something we will no doubt do as a group in the future.
As we made to set off towards Greenan we had the slightest of showers but, within a couple of minutes, the bright conditions returned and stayed with us as we passed Greenan Castle and marched up to the Millennium Bridge to cross the Doon. From there we headed up to the Honda garage, crossed the road and continued up to Burns Cottage and then to Rex’s.
All agreed that this had been a good walk, with plenty of variety, and an abundance of views. We had been extremely lucky with the weather and had missed the heavy showers encountered elsewhere in Ayrshire. It had taken about three and three-quarter hours and was about nine miles all told. The hillbillies probably walked nearer ten miles.
FRT was taken at Wetherspoon’s in Ayr where Johnny bought the first round to celebrate the birth of his latest grand-daughter, Skye Elizabeth. Congratulations, and thanks! Both mother and baby are well. And you’ve guessed it, it was a tpd. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that we were on a time limit due to pre-paid car-parking, it might well have been an fpd. Who said this was a walking group?

Some images from the Dunure to Alloway walk

Panto 19th December

19th December was confirmed yesterday as our date.
Please make sure you buy your ticket(s) for the 12pm, i.e. midday, performance.
As usual, we'll assemble at the Concert Hall at 10am before heading out by Underground to Byres Road.
Those deciding to walk on the day, rather than see the panto, can decide nearer the time as to where they want to walk.
As Robert stated, we'll meet up in the Jewel in the Crown for a curry at about 3.30pm..

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Multiple arrangements - dates for your diary.

Please correct any mistakes in the following :-
19th Sept.
Proposed walk Ben Lomond. ( weather permitting) Anyone interested contact R McGarry to arrange transport
Alternative walk  Conic hill  ( weather permitting ) meet around 10.00 a.m. Balmaha car park .
Poor weather alternative -- meet 10.00 a.m. In the garden centre beside Erskine Bridge for a walk along the canal to the Clydebank fish and chip shop.
Tuesday night 18th ,R.Mc Garry to initiate a phone round in the event of a poor weather forecast.
19th .Both groups could perhaps keep in touch by phone  to arrange meeting up in Balmaha.

17 October
Proposed Curry Night -- The Taj Prestwick 7.00.p.m. ( provisionally booked for 16 persons )
Please confirm your likely attendance with R.McGarry.

19 th December
Oran Mor Christmas Panto or Glasgow walk followed by a curry in the Jewel in the Crown Kilmarnock.  ( Provisionally booked for 16 persons arriving around 3.30 .p.m. )

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Images from Linlithgow Loch, Union Canal & Avon River Walk 5th Sept 2018

Christmas is coming! Oh yes it is...!

Oran Mor's panto tickets are now on sale. I suggest we (that is those of us who want to) go for the midday performance on Wednesday 19th December. Have a think about it and we can finalise our plans next Wednesday.
As last year, it would be every man for himself when it comes to purchasing the tickets.

Linlithgow 5 September

Allan, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Paul, Rex, Robert

As scheduled, we met at Harthill services before continuing to Linlithgow for our walk. Different parking spots were found, some in the car park next to the fire station and some on the Bo’ness road, but we soon assembled and started our customary clockwise journey round the loch. After ten minutes, fleeces came off and shirt sleeves were to the order of the day as the temperature was pleasantly warm and there were blue skies overhead. The Palace was looking good in the late summer/early autumn sunshine, quite a contrast to our last visit in March 2105 when conditions were misty, although they did improve later on.
Having circled the loch, we made our way up the main street for a photo-shoot at the fountain and then climbed up to the canal basin where we stopped for a leisurely coffee break. Some of our discussion centred on the recent news that part of the canal system was to be closed due to insufficient funds to keep it weed-free. Speaking to a couple of canal boaters, they confirmed that weeds were an issue. It seems crazy that after spending the money a number of years ago to clear the canals and open them up, money for regular maintenance has gone. Shades of the River Ayr walk!
Anyway, the walk along the canal (part of the John Muir Way) to the Avon Aqueduct was straightforward and at a sensible pace, and as we walked we could indeed see how the weeds were impacting on the canal. Lunch was taken on the steps down to the Heritage Trail, and again we took our time and enjoyed the conditions. The walk along the trail back to the viaduct at Linlithgow seemed to take no time at all and we emerged into the houses. A debate took place as whether to turn right or left into Mill Road, but we went left and then right up Falkirk Road and back to the cars which were reached at twenty-past two, exactly the same time as three years ago.
Eight miles or so and about three and a half hours were today’s details. Conditions made this a very enjoyable day out rounded off by FRT back at the Kings in Fenwick, having decided to try and miss the worst of the motorway traffic.
Approaching the aqueduct, weeds narrowing the canal width

Don't fall in!

Step brothers

What was this in the loch, Alan?

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Arrangements maybe for 19th Sept.

Suggestions for the 19th include Ben Lomond perhaps,weather permitting. Alternative walks nearby could be Connich hill  or stop at Erskine bridge and walk to the Clydebank fish and chip shop along the canal .( Alan Sim's suggestion )

Arrangements for Wed 12th Sept.

Meet at Rex's place at 9.00.a.m. The plan is to catch the bus to Dunure and then walk back. This should be possible as we have checked high tide times and should be past any problem areas beforehand. The walk is relatively short to suit auld Davy. ( bus passes required.)

Linlithgow walk pics

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Some more images from Cumbrae

Cumbrae 29 August

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

Ten Ooters were at the booking office at Largs when the wee ferry pulled in at 9.30. Assuming it was the 9.45 ferry, they decided it was safe to board and wait for the rest there. No sooner had they sat down than the ferry departed. What is the Ooters motto again? Anyway, whilst crossing, contact had been made with the five boys* who followed soon after and all were united at the Cumbrae slip by 9.55.
Like last week, overnight rain had given way to bright dry conditions, and with a breeze blowing, no time was wasted in setting off in an anti-clockwise direction. Progress was good, but at a more sensible pace than we normally cover this section, as normally we are racing up the road to catch a ferry. As we approached Fintry Bay, a splinter group took to the beach and took a coffee break, whilst the rest stopped at the picnic benches next to the toilets for their sustenance.
Fifteen minutes later and we were on our way again and entering Millport just after midday. It had been previously decided that we would head for the Garrison café and take a light lunch there, and so we continued through a very quiet Millport to our lunch stop. Most of us partook of the food on offer, and good value it was too, whilst those who had brought a packed lunch ate theirs in the gardens at the front. Robert was keen to add our steps to the Moon Walk total and found the paperwork hanging on the wall. At a conservative guess, if there was fifteen of us each doing about twenty thousand steps on the day, that would equate to three hundred thousand in total. Good effort!
By this time the sun was pleasantly warm, and it was a thought to leave the café and get the legs going again. Johnny tried, in vain, to entice us to take the bus, but he reluctantly joined us as we left the Garrison. A further change to our routine followed in that we did not take the road up to the Glaid Stone but continued along the front and veered off up Ferry Road. This shortened the walk back and reduced the climbing by a fair bit, and so we made it back to the slip at five past two. The sage said four hours and ten minutes, the technology averaged out at just over nine miles.
FRT in Wetherspoon’s finished off an enjoyable day out.
*Fry’s Five Boys chocolate was sold from 1902 until 1976. There was only one boy, Lyndsay Poulson, but there were five images of him showing different expressions in anticipation and experience of eating the chocolate bar: Desperation, Pacification, Expectation, Acclamation, Realization.