Thursday, 5 July 2018

Muirkirk Circular aka The Lunky Hole Walk 4 July

Alan, Alan McQ, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Malcolm, Peter, Rex, Robert

The brilliant spell of weather continued as we set off from Kames (or is it Kaimes?) on the path out to Tibbie’s Brig. The bench in memory of Councillor James Kelly gave us the opportunity to have a team photograph before we continued, skirting the Garpel, and taking the path on the old railway line down towards the Covenanters memorial. As per usual, coffee was called for, but, today, this shaded spot was infested with midges so little time was spent before we continued past the River Ayr and up to the opencast site which has now benefitted from landscaping. We reminisced that it was not too long ago that we could see to the bottom where men and machines were still working and wondered how deep the water was now. Peter left us at this point and followed the A70 back to his car. Crossing the main road, we stopped briefly at the bridge over the Ayr to take on fluids in preparation for the next section which would be the hottest part of the walk. We followed the road across the Sorn Muirkirk road (closed at the moment for some works apparently) and passed Netherwood Farm, before making our way up to the entrance to Burnfoot Farm. In a change to tradition, we stopped here in the shade of the trees and took lunch. The aforementioned shade and a wee breeze made for a pleasant fifteen minutes and allowed the more sweaty of us to change shirts.
Continuing on, we crossed the bridge over the Greenock Water and made our way up the track to the site of the old opencast, now covered in trees. Indeed, some tree felling had already taken place. It is not too long ago that the whole area was barren. Given the dry weather we, for the first time in a while, were able to take the lower road (usually flooded) and before long we emerged at the Muirkirk to Strathaven road and turned right towards Muirkirk. Our junior member was underwhelmed by the lunky hole in the drystane dyke and matters were made worse since the information board had been vandalised and the details had gone.
Almost to a man, the decision was to head straight back to the cars from here rather than take a detour through the woods to the churchyard, and so Kames was reached at ten to two, three and three quarter hours or so after having set off. The distance was averaged out to have been nine and a half miles, quite enough on such a warm day.
FRT was taken in the Empire Bar, where old friendships were renewed.

Tibbie's Brig

Today's starting eleven

The guid auld days?

The big hole in the ground

Holly cools off (normally the track is flooded at this point)

No comments: