Thursday, 28 March 2019

Dunure to Culzean 27 March

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

A baker’s dozen of us met at the car park at the Dunure Inn (currently closed) for our walk to Culzean. The weather was dry, and on the coolish side, as we greeted new boy, Hugh Quigley, to the fold before setting off.
As we made our way up beyond the steep steps leading away from Dunure a familiar and welcome figure came to meet us. Yes, it was Holly. Davie had been at the doc’s and, having arrived a wee bit late, had parked his car on the lay-by and waited for us there. Underfoot conditions were good, given the dry weather we had had since the weekend, so the fields were negotiated easily, although Holly had to be put on the lead where we encountered sheep with their new wee lambs. After three-quarters of an hour we were on the beach, or at least the cobbles and shingle which was not easy to walk on, but before too long we managed to get on to firm sand for our approach to our usual coffee stop at the rocks just shy of Croy Caravan Park. Not for the first time have we commented on how money could be made by setting yourself up as a dog-walker, as we encountered one lady with about half a dozen, of all shapes and sizes, on the shore.
It was here that Jimmy and Peter, who had come from Culzean, joined us. Jimmy was still recovering from his bad back, so was happy for a shorter walk.
The walk down to Culzean was straightforward, other than having to negotiate a couple of streams, but the tide was out, and the going was good. Lunch was taken where we normally take it i.e. at the benches on the grass overlooking the gardens at the castle. It was becoming pleasantly warm as we sat, particularly as we were out of the breeze, but needs must, and it was time to leave Jimmy and Peter and retrace our steps back to the cars.
On the return journey the breeze was at our back and the pace picked up meaning that there was a fair distance separating those at the front from the back markers. By this time the sun was breaking through and, with the smell of freshly cut grass at the park, we trusted that spring was well and truly on the way.
Nine and a half miles in four hours ten minutes (including stops) were today’s figures, that is for those who did the complete walk.
FRT was taken at the Maybole Inn where the drinks were accompanied by chips.
A good day out!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Arrangements for Wed 3rd April

Meet beside the waterworks building in Glen Afton at 10.00.a.m. The walk will be Windy Standard.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

21 March 2019 - Dailly and Barony Hill

Ian, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Dougie, Robert, Alan, Davie C, Gus

We gathered in Dailly Main Street with just a soft smirr in the air.  Full waterproofs were donned by just about everyone but they weren't needed, for after our departure no rain fell.  But Allan's warnings from  afar were heeded and waterproof trousers spared us from the worst of the glaur on the walk. In fact overall it wasn't quite as muddy as we anticipated, and even the stretch beyond Whitehall Farm was negotiated without much trouble.

It might be a Dailly walk but it's pretty much an annual excursion. The blog shows this was our 8th visit. And yes, Ian, you have done the walk before. The route is so well known that your scribe has decided to cut and paste seamlessly various descriptions of previous walks.

It was pleasantly warm as we assembled in Dailly for today’s walk, so much so that shorts were the chosen attire of the brave. Moving out of the village, we followed the marked path until we took a left and over a style into Lindsayston Wood. It was here that the first nettles of the day were encountered, but undaunted we moved on and soon left the canopy of trees to emerge into an area that had been felled. We could see the way marker ahead and the style further up at the fence, but finding any sort of recognised path was difficult. No matter, our pathfinders led us with aplomb. (Given Gus’s account of how his garden is doing this year, he might lead us with a plum later on in the summer).

2013  Robert's living room has had a makeover. He won't employ those cowboys again.

As we came out of the wood and prepared to follow the old track downhill, Peter asked where the track went to in the opposite direction. As one, we replied; “Up there”.

 Down on our right were some pigsties, one complete with satellite dish. ‘Sty Television’, was the comment of our resident wag. Suggestions for the programmes that pigs might watch should be e-mailed to Ian.
By this time, the newcomers were beginning to question whether we were lost again for we appeared to be heading back towards Dailly. But we knew where we were going all right. The road took us down to another signpost directing us up the farm track of Whitehill Farm.

 Up past Whitehill Farm and along the coo keech covered track. The majority cut off across the field towards Machrikil whilst the virtuous kept to the path and were rewarded by the sight of the farmer driving into the field on his tractor. Sadly, he only waved at the miscreants.
Machrikil– supposedly the site of a cell founded by St Machar - is our customary coffee halt and today was no different. By now the weather had deteriorated with a strong wind blowing and a few drops of rain in the air, so what remains of the walls of this hallowed place provided welcome shelter.
Coffee, liquorice allsorts and fruit pastilles duly consumed, we made the run for the summit. What is a pleasant stroll on a fine day became a test of endurance in the strong cross wind which was now driving horizontal rain at us. The sandy ground looked remarkably dry whilst we were drookit.

There was no posing for photographs this time on the top (as he writes, your correspondent is looking at a photograph of 7 suntanned 'professional gentlemen' [© P Kleboe] sporting t-shirts and shorts and gathered around the attractively carved seat at the trig point). Even if someone had actually thought to bring a camera we still wouldn't have posed, such was the filthiness of the weather.


2015                                                               2017

 Having reached the adjacent bench first, Robert was starting to unload his rucksack and have his lunch when the rest of us caught up and advised him that a better option was to lunch at our usual lunch spot down by the limekilns. ‘Oh dearie me!’ was his reply (Aye right) as we bypassed him and headed downhill, taking in the fabulous (how we are missing Davie Mc) views of the rolling Ayrshire countryside

The only difficult piece of navigation on the whole walk is from the top of Barony Hill towards the mineworkings and limekilns. Since it was "Paul's walk" he took responsibility for leading the descent. Not wishing to get his map wet, and being unable to see through his rain-covered spectacles he took a rough guess as to the correct direction. He was relieved to find he had got it right. He trusts he did not convey his anxiety and inner turmoil to the other members of the party.

At this point it is worth noting that Paul had considered doing the walk in the opposite direction from last time - just to make it a little more interesting for Rex and Davie. It turned out not to be necessary since neither Rex nor Davie could recall anything from the original walk! Holly, however, appeared to be aware that she had done the walk before

 While most of us were content to walk the lip of the quarry, the more adventurous were for going down into it to look into the step-sloping mines driven into its north side. We came together at the limekilns where lunch was called.

Lunch was taken, as usual, by the limekiln at the Falfarocher burn.  There was a schism, with 4 Ooters choosing to sit on the left bank whilst the 5 handsome ones occupied the right bank. Greetings were exchanged.  Malcolm was sent across from the rive droite to trade and succeeded in exchanging a bag of half a dozen liquorice allsorts for a full bag of fruit pastilles. The boy will go far.


 Before we knew it, it was time to move on as the midges were assembling. 

As we set off again Robert reminded us that this walk was slightly deceiving as there was still an uphill part to do. This confirmed Allan’s views of the Ooters’ walks i.e. it’s all downhill from here except for the next wee uphill bit.

The track down to the entrance to Glengee wood was in poor condition, given the recent rain, with mud making progress treacherous in places. Having entered the wood, we followed the track for ten minutes before taking the sharp left up the muddy slope and into Poundland Wood, following the path to Falfarrocher Glen and out towards the main road again. Now the Ayrshire Paths website states that ‘It is a joy to walk through Falfarocher Glen following the burn downstream through a marvelous woodland which is the haunt of roe deer, badger and fox’. Well it would be if the path was maintained. The path was overgrown with bracken, brambles and contained many booby traps like hidden holes and tree stumps, not to mention the wooden bridges that would not last another couple of years. This should have been the easy part of the walk but, in essence, concentration had to be kept at all times. Our Austrian correspondent drew unfavourable comparisons with his recent experiences in the Tyrol. 

We wended our way along the banks of the River Girvan, through long wet grass at times and over the shoogly bridge back into Dailly.

Having frightened the natives by stripping down to our underwear in the main street, we donned our dry clothing and retired to the King's Arms, in the village. In this age of the theme pub, the King's Arms has adopted a very convincing 1950s retro theme. When you've just come in from a long wet walk there's nothing like a welcoming genial host to raise your spirits, and mine host at the King's Arms was nothing like that.........

The walk was completed in under four and a quarter hours.  It appears to have got longer with the years. Earlier accounts put the distance at 8.5 miles.  But today the consensus was 9.3 miles, rounded up of course to 10.

FRT and chips were taken in the very hospitable Maybole Arms.

A good day out in the hills.

Some photographs from the Dailly walk

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Arrangements for Wed 27th March.

Meet at 10.00.a.m. in the car park behind the pub in Dunure. We will try for the third time (like Theresa May ) to complete the walk from Dunure to Culzean and back. We have checked high tide for this date and it should not present us with a problem.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

New arrangements for Wed 20th

Forget Dunure walk as the tide might be a problem.
Meet in the middle of Dailly at ten o'clock for our usual circular walk .

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Arrangements for Wed 20th

Meet Dunure pub car park at 10.00.a.m. Walk to Culzean and back weather and tide permitting.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Storm Gareth

Forget walking along the coast into a 50+ Mph wind with rain thrown in .
Meet in Kilmarnock Weatherspoons at 1.p.m. for lunch and a drink.
The proposed walk from Dunure can be rescheduled for next week weather permitting.

Storm Gareth

I don't think a walk along the coast in 50 mph winds with rain is a good idea. We either need a short ,inland walk or no walk and meet in Weatherspoon's for lunch and a drink. Let me know what you  think .

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Portencross Circuit 6 March

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

The forecast had been poor, so we opted for the Portencross circuit rather than Knock Hill. Those arriving early at the car park stayed in their cars for as long as possible watching the rain fall, but eventually, with wet weather gear on, we decided to make a start.
Making our way in a clockwise direction, we took the path across the field to the power station. This stretch was wet and muddy, but not maybe as bad as we had anticipated. The weather was changeable, varying from wet and windy to dry and calm, depending on where we were. We reached Hunterston in no time and thereafter turned on to the track taking us on to the bridle path and the road up to the A78. On a sheltered part of this road (a place we have stopped many times before), we stopped for coffee/lunch. What was noticeable was the amount of water lying in the fields, testament to the rain that had fallen overnight.
Soon we were off again, making the main road and then turning up to Third Part. By this time, it was raining heavily, but it eased off as we headed up the unmade and pot-hole filled road towards Ardneil Cottages, and then the road back to the cars.
Those who had not taken lunch earlier did so at the picnic benches in ever improving conditions, even some sunshine. It certainly makes it easier to get changed when it’s dry.
Our sage said two hours and twenty-five minutes for a walk of nearly seven miles.
FRT was taken at the Kings in West Kilbride where we were royally entertained by Ian, the owner.
Given the dire forecast we had got off reasonably lightly and thoroughly enjoyed our hour in the pub.

Arrangements for Wed 13th March

Meet in the Dunure pub car park at 10.00.a.m. The walk will be to Culzean and back.( high tide will be around 4.00p.m.)

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Revised arrangements due to weather forecast

Meet at 10.00.a.m. In Portencross car park. The walk will be the usual low level circle around Hunterston Power station. Bring a brolly and a change of clothes.