Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Some pictures from wed 28th Feb

I am getting to grips with the camera on my phone so they are not all up to standard. I have managed to get the pictures from my phone onto my desk top which is an achievement for me. The first three were taken while waiting for Gus to arrive.

 Lunch /Coffee stop
 Approaching Hurlford.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Castle Semple and Howwood 21 February

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Rex, Robert

The route followed today was exactly the same as reported on the walk of 8th February 2016.
The weather was calm and dry as we made our way to the Collegiate Church and back on to the cycle track. Kenny R had to return to his car at this point as he had child-minding issues to attend to, so we bade him farewell and made our way, at least some of us did, up to the folly whilst the rest stayed low and partook of coffee at the ‘globe’.
Robert comes down from the temple
Enjoying the peace, and the piece!
Making our way into Howwood, some of us took the opportunity to reduce the layers before the climb up the steps and onwards to Bowfield Country Club. The temperature had risen a few degrees and the sun was trying to come out by this time, as we turned right, went down the hill a bit, and went left, following the new signage to Newton of Belltrees and Lochwinnoch. At least most of us did! Wee Davie and Rex were too busy talking to notice the sign and, since, as usual, we were all spread out, they continued on their merry way down the hill. The first part of the ‘proper’ route was wet and muddy, but soon the dry, harder surface was found and the walk towards Belltrees was pleasant. Being creatures of habit, we lunched beside the road at our usual spot realising, only then, that we were two down.
Contact was made by mobile phone where it was discovered that the deadly duo had reached the main road, A737, but since it was inadvisable to walk along this busy road, they would make their way back to the big roundabout by traversing some fields. Sounds a simple plan, doesn’t it?
Having finished lunch, the main party strolled up to Auchengrange House to admire the snowdrops before going down to the roundabout and heading back to the cars and meeting Kenny R who had brought his grandson with him. Three hours and thirty-three minutes claimed our timekeeper, and just over nine miles.
Now, we had fully expected that Davie and Rex would be there to greet us, but when contact was made, we realised they were still a good bit away. When we had changed and were ready for FRT, Robert decided to drive back up the road and see if he could pick them up. Ten minutes later he returned with a slightly traumatised pair in the car with him. Walking across the fields they had encountered wet, muddy conditions with high fences and hedges blocking their path. Not to be recommended in future! And they hadn’t even stopped for lunch.
The Brown Bull was our chosen hostelry where Alan, belatedly, was presented with his trophy for winning the pool competition.
A good day out for ten of us. A challenging day out for the other two!
And the moral of the story? Stick together on the walk!
G'on yersel, Alan

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Ayr and Pool 14 February

Alan, Alan McQ, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Jim, Johnny, Kenny T, Peter, Rex, Robert

The Walk
Given that the forecast was for wet and very windy weather, today’s walk had been changed to a circular walk from Chez Rex, a walk that could be adapted en route to cope with any worsening of the conditions. We accepted Rex’s hospitality and enjoyed coffee and scones/buns before, reluctantly for some, it was time to make a start. Well-wrapped up against the chill wind we crossed over into Rozelle Park and made for the Maclaurin Galleries to check out the Glasgow Group’s exhibition, featuring our very own Peter. Next stop was Rozelle House to take in the Lego exhibition and the display of Goudie’s Burns inspired paintings. From here we followed one of the many paths through the estate before coming out at the Loaning. We marched up Laughlanglen Rd and turned right into Whin Hill Rd which eventually took us on to Maybole Rd and the cycle track near the A77. Turning on to this we followed the track down to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum cut-off where Peter, having things to do, left us. So far, so good, as far as the weather was concerned, very windy and chilly in exposed areas but, since we had been sheltered for the most part, not an issue. Since conditions were better than expected it was decided to extend the walk from here, so we followed the track up to Dunure Rd, which we crossed, and turned and headed for Greenan, staying on the path. We crossed the Millennium Bridge over the Doon and headed up to the Honda Garage at Doonfoot and crossed over into Belleisle Park for a stop at the Conservatory. From here we crossed the golf course, re-entered Rozelle Park and reached Rex’s house three and a half hours after starting out. 7.7 miles was the call, and it felt like it since most of the walk had been on hard surfaces, and the feet knew it. Nonetheless, we had got our exercise in much better then hoped for conditions.

The Pool
It was about two o’clock before the pool competition began, and since, given the varying skill sets on show (let’s say no more), the games were taking some time, we were beginning to wonder what Rex had laid on for our supper. Nevertheless, the cream rose to the top and the final was a close-fought tussle between Alan and mine host, Rex, with Alan edging it to take the title.
Well done to Alan, and indeed to all the guys, for participating in an enjoyable afternoon which ended at about half past four.
Special thanks to Rex for hosting the competition and for procuring the pies and being head cook and bottle washer.
And yes, for some, it was a three pie day!
Footnote: The competition took place on the 14th of February, exactly 14 months after the last competition on 14th December 2016. Pity there hadn’t been fourteen of us. Mind you, if there had been, the competition would still be in progress!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Arrangements for Wed 21st Feb

Meet at 10.00 a.m. in the visitor car park Castle Semple, Lochwinnoch. The walk will take in a short section of the cycle path ,the folly and circle  round through Howwood to the start point.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Glasgow Canal Walk 7 February

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny R, Kenny T, Paul, Rex, Robert, and a fleeting appearance from Peter

On a bitterly cold morning, we met at The Counting House for coffee and a thaw-out, having made our way to Glasgow on different buses and trains. There were a few suggestions about the nature of the walk but the one that won the day was the canal walk.
On leaving The Counting House, Peter bade his farewell, as he was off to explore some murals on buildings, and so he disappeared into the sunrise. The main body made its way up to the canal via North Hanover Street, the A804, and Craighall Road and started the canal section at Speirs Wharf. By this time the sky was blue, and although still cold, the walking conditions, other than a few icy patches, were excellent. Good progress was made until we reached the Maryhill Locks, where we paused for ten minutes. At the aqueduct, we turned down and followed the Kelvin Walkway, extremely busy with joggers and runners, on to Kelvingrove Park at Eldon Street. Here there was a schism with some taking the pavement down onto to Woodlands Road and down to Sauchiehall Street, whereas the majority continued into the park and climbed up to Park Terrace before following Woodlands Terrace and Woodside Terrace down to the walkway over the motorway at Charing Cross. Both factions met up at The Hengler’s Circus (Wetherspoon’s) on Sauchiehall Street.
The place was extremely busy, but we managed to find some tables reasonably close together for a couple of beers and a lunch before we made our separate ways back home after a fine day out. It was reckoned we had covered six or seven miles and had got the best of the day for our walk.

It's behind you!

Some more images from the canal walk

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Failford 31 January (Oh, when will we see the lunky hole again?)

Allan, Davie C, Gus, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Kenny T, Paul, Rex, Robert

The Prologue
In this country, some wad say
Four seasons, easily, in wan day
When snaw and crash shut aff the brae
A vice in the caur was heard tae say
Aye! The best-laid schemes gang aft agley

The Journey
As the Irvine duo head towards Mauchline the wet roads were turning to slush, not really surprising as the forecast was for wintry showers. They took the decision to ignore the Sorn road and stick to the main road to Cumnock and then the A70 to Muirkirk. The road conditions were becoming tricky, but they could see Rex behind them. As they approached Muirkirk a phone call told them that the Killie crew had been turned back from the Sorn road as there had been an accident on the hill just outside Mauchline, and had decided to do a walk from Failford. So, Allan, Johnny and Rex turned round at the petrol station in Muirkirk, and gingerly made their way back to Cumnock. By the time they got there, road conditions had improved since the outward journey, and Failford was reached in wet and dull conditions.
Sorry for the poor picture quality, but the sun was shining!
The Walk
It must have been close to half past ten by the time we set off heading along the River Ayr path towards Stair. Overhead conditions had improved stretches of the path were extremely muddy and no attempt was made to negotiate the wee landslip at the river. Instead we headed over the field at Daldorch and found the road which we followed to the Daldorch road end. We stood here for a few minutes whilst hail and rain battered us, but it soon cleared, and we walked down to the wall at the road junction for a pleasant lunch stop.
This would prove to be our turning point today, and we walked back up the road towards Train’s nursery before turning right at the Daldorch sign and retraced our steps towards Failford, taking the easier high route on the path. The weather had been kind to us, but as we reached the cars about half past one, the heavens opened again, just when you needed it dry to get changed.
(Robert managed to contact Davie Mc to find that he had gone to Muirkirk but had ended up on the Smuggler’s Trail.)

The fire was very welcoming in the wee lounge in the Failford Inn as we spent a good hour listening to the rain falling and watching it dripping through the ceiling. Had we gone any further on the walk we would have been well-drookit by the time we got back to the cars.
Nonetheless, we had got some badly needed exercise, in better than hoped for conditions, and enjoyed the usual banter in the pub. An eventful day out!