Thursday, 31 May 2018

Lochranza to sannox - Even more photos

Lochranza-Sannox. More photos

Lochranza to Sannox 30 May

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Ian, Johnny, Kenny R, Malcolm, Paul

The pronged great spell of weather continued for today’s familiar walk from Lochranza to Sannox via Laggan Cottage. Most of us had not seen the new ferry terminal in Brodick and were impressed by its structure, but we didn’t delay as we made our way quickly for the No 324 bus which would take us to our starting point. The bus was standing room only when we eventually left and stopped constantly to pick up more passengers as we made our way out of Brodick. It was 11.45 by the time we got off in Lochranza, so we wasted no time in getting underway. Given the extremely dry conditions, the driest Davie Mc had ever seen on this walk, the going was easy as we made our way up the hill stopping at the top, after about an hour or so, to take in some fluids. Davie the Younger was escorted down to Laggan Cottage by his minders and within another half an hour we were enjoying lunch in the shade of the building. We had met and passed a succession of other walkers and, at the cottage, we were joined by three ladies who were to walk on to the Cock of Arran. Johnny couldn’t temp them with a wine gum, his chat-up lines were rubbish anyway! Maybe he should have offered a cool glass of Prosecco, that might have won the day.
Mindful of the bus timetable, we left Laggan at 1.45, and made our way down the coast, dreaming of that ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ moment. The front runners got to North Sannox and decided to cross the burn by using the stepping stones, or just wading through in some cases, and got to the bus stop just after 3.25, plenty of time to change shirts and chill. The back markers, Davie Mc, Paul, and Kenny, imagine that, who had gone up the side of the burn, crossed over and had come back down the other side, arrived at 3.45. There was a debate about how long the walk had been, with estimates ranging from seven and a half to ten miles. Next time we'll take a trundle wheel! (Your scribe's uneducated guess would be eight and a half.)
The bus was busy when it arrived, five minutes late at four o'clock, and was choc-a-bloc by the time the terminal was reached, with no time to spare for us to board. We were just on when the boat moved off.
Much needed FRT was taken onboard. If the crossing had been longer it would have been a tpd!
A splendid day out!
Footnote.It apparently was Bobby Collins, Celtic, Everton and Leeds, who was known as ‘wee barra’.
Taking stock

Onwards and upwards

A glorious place for a break

Yes! Just glorious!

Who needs the Med?

Obligatory picture of Laggan Cottage

Nearly there!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Knock Hill 23 May

Allan, Davie C, Gus, Ian, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Paul

Eight of us met beside the Gogo Burn, Largs, in the expectation of a glorious day’s weather, and we were not to be disappointed! Heading off up the esplanade, we eventually turned up to the right and joined Routenburn Road. By this time any fleeces had been discarded and it was to be shirt sleeves for the rest of the day. Moving up the road we were gaining a bit of height as we passed the golf course, first on the left and then on the right, and we could see the top of Knock hill beckoning. But we continued on down the road and past the entrance to Knock Castle before Kenny T directed us off to a track on the right. We followed this track which led on to open fields with the hill some distance away on our right hand side. 
We took a break at the far end of the field next to trees which bordered a path and, since there was no-one present to hunt us on, we took our time. However, we did have to move eventually, and we followed the path for a bit before Kenny took us off over slightly rougher ground and up towards the grass track that would take us up the hill. As we approached the track Davie issued the immortal words ‘See the hill, it disnae seem so far away, noo that we’re closer tae it!’ From there on the going was straightforward as the ground was drying out nicely. The top was reached two hours after having set off from the cars and our lunch spot overlooking the Clyde was idyllic. Such was the day that the views were hazy – we could not make out Arran – but it was difficult to contemplate moving on, although Wetherspoon’s was beckoning!
We didn’t follow the circular path off the hill but went down the face that took us on to the grass track. Rather than follow this round and down to the farm, Kenny took us straight across the open ground, cutting off a big loop, before rejoining the path. From there we walked steadily past the farm and up and on to Brisbane Glen Road for the last lap down to the town centre.
The next question was whether we would go straight into Wetherspoon’s or go and get changed first. We went straight to Wetherspoon’s! It had taken us three and three-quarter hours to cover the seven and a half miles or so and all agree that it had been a lovely walk in ideal conditions.
This turned out to be a three-pint day, with chips, and, for some, with slices of cake with their coffee (not for nothing has Davie been recently installed as Chancer of the Exchequer). For a few minutes we were joined by a random wee wummin frae Saltcoats (her own words) who had had a few and was just passing the time of day with us. She did insist in showing us her tattoo and it is just as well that some of our more elderly and delicate members were missing as they might have got over-excited and had a stroke, or two! As she left with her jug of cocktails (she said it was a ‘Woo-Woo’, vodka, peach shnapps and cranberry juice) we wished her well and her intervention certainly added to the conviviality of the afternoon.
A great day out!
Coffee time

Making our way up to the grass track

We could have sat there all day

Cutting out the loop in the track on our way down

Piece of cake!


More photos of Knock Hill

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Arrangements for 30 May

The walk will be from Lochranza over to Laggan Cottage and then down to Sannox. Be at the ferry terminal at Ardrossan in plenty of time for the 9.45am sailing. (Remember bus passes!)
In the event of a dismal weather forecast an alternative will be posted on the blog by 6pm on the Tuesday evening. Check the blog!

23 May 2018 Photos from Knock Hill, Largs