Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Images of the walk up to the Deil's Back Door

featuring Alan McQ, Allan, Davie C, Davie McM, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Malcolm, Rex and Robert.

(image courtesy of Dougie)

(image courtesy of Dougie)

Arrangements for Wednesday 7th August

Meet at 9.30am at the car park on the right hand side as you enter Straiton from Kirkmichael. Alan McQ will lead a convoy from there to the starting point for the walk which will be from Loch Bradan to Tunskeen bothy and return. Distance 9 miles approximately along forestry roads and tracks. Bus passes not required 😄

Friday, 26 July 2019

Dunure to Doonfoot 24 July

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Dougie, Gus, Hugh, Iain, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Malcolm, Paul, Robert

We met in the Co-op carpark at Doonfoot on a warm, but overcast, morning in order to catch the 9.34am bus to Dunure. The last time we did this walk (12th September 2018) we had a schism, where some opted to go up to Fisherton and then on to Browncarrick before rejoining the rest on the beach at ‘Butlin’s’. Today, all were in favour of sticking together for a leisurely walk back to Doonfoot.
The tide times had been checked in advance, so we set off at ten to ten following three other walkers who had got off the same bus. They managed to get a hundred yards or so in front of us as we made our way along the beach meaning that we couldn’t just follow them, but had to keep an eye out for the white markers on the rocks and posts to keep us on the right track. After a while we moved up off the beach and continued on the grass track until making our way back down to the rocky, tricky foreshore. Our three pathfinders had stopped for a breather, so we overtook them and stopped for coffee further along. When they caught up with us, they asked the question ‘Did we not speak to you on the River Ayr Walk a few weeks ago?’ And now that they mentioned it, so they did. They do a weekly Wednesday walk the same as us.
Further along, we found the steep steps which took us on top of the cliffs again and, still following the markers, we made our way on to the old railway line which took us to the Heads of Ayr Caravan Park where we took the track back down on to the beach and round the imposing Heads of Ayr. On reaching the holiday park we noted a group of youngsters in hi-vis jackets doing a litter pick on the grass between the shore and the first line of caravans. It transpired that they were a group from the Ibrox area who were involved in such community projects. Good for them! (Methinks, though, that the owners of the park should have had the area cleared of litter as a matter of course, but there you go!)
We stopped for lunch further down this grassy area only to yet again meet the three guys. They were going all the way into Ayr, so this was to be the last time we saw them today. We could have sat in the warmth for ages but the lure of the pub was too much for some, so we made our way along the beach towards Greenan Castle, but turned off well before the castle and made our way up the path through the barley field to Greenan Farm Cottages and then up past the big house at High Greenan and eventually on to Dunure Road and back to the cars.
We arrived back almost exactly three hours after having started out at Dunure. The gizmos, as they often do, didn’t agree on the distance, but we guesstimated between six and seven miles, although for some it felt longer.
FRT was taken at Wetherspoon’s in Prestwick where it became a three pint, nae chip day!
A grand day out, and a big enough walk, at a sensible pace, in the warm conditions.

Nearly there!

Heads up!

Towards the shore again

Rounding the Heads of Ayr

Heading away from Greenan Castle

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Some images from the Dunure to Doonfoot walk

Rounding Dunure Harbour

Leaving Dunure

A cleft in the rock that we had to pass through.

The boat wreck

Rounding a tricky bit 

Entering a woody tunnel before the steep climb.

The first view of the Heads of Ayr

Nature's garden along the old railway

Back down at sea level.

"We have walked in fields of gold"

Arrangements for Wed 31st July

Meet at Cumnock swimming pool about 9.30a.m. The plan will be to follow Jimmy in convoy to the start of the walk. The walk will access the Diel's back door.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Abington to Crawford 17 July

Alan, Alan McQ, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Iain, Ian, Jimmy, Rex, Robert

We assembled at Starbucks in Abington Services on an overcast morning and enjoyed a coffee whilst welcoming back Robert and Dougie from holiday. The forecast for the day was the same as last week i.e. a chance of lightish rain, but it was dry with a wee breeze when we left the car park to follow Derval Davie to our starting point. At least, that was the plan. The convoy had left before Ian and Gus got to the exit leaving these two cars to fend for themselves. Ian had an idea of where to go and, after initially missing the turn-off, found the rest of the guys at Brigend. Gus, however, had disappeared well into the distance. It took a phone call and assistance from Alan McQ to eventually reel him in, meaning it was about quarter past ten when we got our act into gear and set off back towards Abington.
The road was quiet with a couple of wee sections covered in sheep droppings, but good progress was made into the breeze before a brief stop was called for at the caravan park outside the village. Most took the opportunity to don waterproofs at this stage as the light rain that had begun to fall was getting a bit more persistent. Because of the grey conditions we didn’t see this neck of the woods in its best, but we continued, never far away from the Clyde or the main railway line, until Crawford was reached. To our surprise we didn’t stop here but followed Davie for another ten minutes as he took us to our lunch spot at the old viaduct over the Clyde, arriving at about ten past twelve.
By this time, it was dry again and we took time to speak to a local chap who was walking his dog, a Holly look-alike. Holly, it must be said, was having a rough time of it as she had got herself stuck in a cattle grid on the outward journey and was to have the same misfortune twice on the way back.
Moving on at the half-hour, Davie took us across the bridge and into the outskirts of the village, leaving some locals to sort out an obvious problem, before coming back on to the road back to the cars. The light rain came again on the way back, but it was more of an annoyance rather than an issue. One thing we did notice was a small freight train (engine, freight carriage, passenger carriage) carrying a couple of flasks which we surmised was spent nuclear fuel going to Sellafield. It made a change from the Virgin and TransPennine trains and the odd large freight train on this section of track.
The cars were reached three hours and fifty-five minutes after having set off, with the distance covered being measured at about eleven miles.
FRT was taken at the Empire Bar in Muirkirk where we were greeted by our ‘pal’. The empire has been extended to incorporate a pool area and is now resplendent with a very large screen telly, although some work still needs to be with the furnishings. The choice of draught beers was ‘lager or light’, and the lager was temporarily aff! Most took the light whilst repairs were made to the lager flow.
It was after four when we set off for home after quite a tiring day out.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Images of the walk between Abington and Crawford

featuring Alan McQ, Alan S, Allan, Davie C, Davie McM, Dougie, Gus, Iain, Ian, Jimmy, Rex and Robert

Arrangements for Wednesday 24th July

Meet at the car park behind the co-op in Doonfoot for the 9.30am bus to Dunure. Walk back along the shore from Dunure to Doonfoot.
Remember bus passes.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Annbank Circular 10 July

Alan, Alan McQ, Allan, Dan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Iain, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny T, Rex

Following our decision not to travel down to Abington, given the dreich forecast, we met at the Bowling Club in Annbank on an overcast, but warm, morning. Jim was in a buoyant, but certainly not bhoyant, mood after his team had had a victory the previous evening over St Joseph’s (Academy under 13s).
Anyway, the faint drizzle in the air was ignored by most as we made our way up the road and down towards the River Ayr. Despite the recent rains, underfoot was generally OK, so good progress was made up to the point where Davie Mc gave us an option i.e. follow the riverside path with its difficult wee bits due to landslips or follow the sign up the steps to the higher path. This latter route would take five minutes longer but Davie the Younger opted for the safer higher path and was accompanied by four minders. This option proved, in fact, to be the quicker one, as they had to wait on the low boys at the point where the two paths converged. ‘There were some slippy, tricky bits’, said Derval Davie. By this time the rain had got heavier, but we were relatively well sheltered from it by the trees as we headed up to our usual coffee spot at one of the fishermen’s shelters.
No stopping today, though, as we continued up to our crossing point at the road bridge before starting the second part of our outward journey. By this time the rain had got heavier meaning that most donned their jackets despite it being so clammy. Just before half past eleven, coffee was called for in the shelter of the trees, before heading up to the Burns and Wallace monument for lunch, half an hour later. The rain had stopped, and we were enjoying our break, before we realised that we were two short. Killie Davie and Jim, who had got detached from the main group, had eventually reached Oswald’s Bridge but had turned right and headed for the return leg before realising that something might be wrong. A phone call managed to remedy the situation and they arrived at the monument, just as the rest were ready to move off.
Better late than never!
The return journey, in dry conditions, along the Auchincruive side of the river, only took about forty minutes and we were back at the cars three hours and twelve minutes (according to our official timekeeper) after having set off. Nearly seven miles was the distance and, as we got changed, the rains came again.
FRT was taken at the Tap o’ the Brae where a pleasant hour was spent.
Given the weather, this had been an appropriate length of walk leading to a good day out.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Images of the walk between Annbank and Auchincruive

featuring Alan McQ, Alan S, Allan, Dan, Davie C, Davie McM, Gus, Iain, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny T and Rex