Adventures of the Early Ooters

Thursday, 28 September 2023

Eglinton Park and Curry 27 September


Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Graham, Gus, Hugh, Jimmy, Johnny, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert

It was curry time, so a relatively short walk was proposed, hence the walk round parts of Eglinton Park.

Leaving the car park at the visitors’ centre, we walked out to the bridge at the ford, went round the loch and headed for our turning point just beyond the Sourlie Woods. Recent rain meant that there were some wet areas on the paths, but nothing serious, and much better than we could have hoped for. Making our way up to the ‘standing stones’ for a quick break, some layers were removed as it was still very mild, before we made our way back to the cafĂ© for coffee/early lunch. We had done about three and a half miles by this point and with Storm Agnes forecast to bring heavy rain and winds by early afternoon, we decided that a two-mileish extension would be sufficient. In the event, we covered the best part of three miles and with the aid of Paul’s technology, we arrived back at the cars, in the rain, at about ten to one.

The aforementioned rain had started about twenty-five minutes earlier and was not that heavy, so we had had the best of the day and looked forward to our curry at the Jewel later on. (In the event, Storm Agnes, thankfully, didn’t amount to very much.)

The fourteen of us were joined by Billy and Ronnie for our curry at the Jewel. As usual a good night was had. Many thanks to Catriona for looking after us on her own.

During the evening we raised a glass to George, who had sadly passed away the previous night.


Arrangements for Wed 4 Oct

 Meet at 10.00.a.m. in the bottom car park on Croy shore. The proposed walk is along the coast to Maidens and back. If the weather is difficult we can cut the walk in half by turning back at Culzean.

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Sorn to Ballochmyle Viaduct 20 September

Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Graham, Gus, Hugh, Jimmy, Malcolm, Paul, Robert

The forecast for the coast was that there would be very strong winds, so today’s walk was changed from Croy to Maidens to our familiar Sorn to Ballochmyle Viaduct trek.

The weather was fine and dry, but with heavy showers forecast, we were well-prepared for the rain as we set off over the old Sorn bridge and up the path towards the river and then following the riverside path to Catrine. Given the recent rain, the river was roaring as it came over the dam, but we didn’t delay to admire it, as we made our way to visit Peter. It was good to see him again and it is a pity that circumstances prevent him from joining us.


Having left Peter, we made our way to the Howford Bridge where the backmarkers were expecting to find the rest having coffee. However, they had continued to the old bridge where coffee was had in pleasant conditions. Twenty minutes or so later, and with the group well strung out, the Ballochmyle Viaduct was reached. Some had gone down to their lunch spot, whilst others stayed on the path for lunch and waited for the last to arrive i.e. Jimmy, Graham and Davie. Jimmy had taken Graham down to see the Fishers’ Tryst, hence the delayed arrival. It was really windy at the viaduct, so when lunch was over the decision was taken to retrace our steps rather than extend the walk. A minute later we were in shelter again and were back in Catrine in no time.

Yet again, the group was split, with those at the back taking time to chat to Peter again before walking back to the cars at Sorn. We had been on the go for a total of three and three-quarter hours and had covered about eight miles and had done so in good, bright, dry conditions. Even underfoot conditions had been better than expected.

FRT was taken in the Black Bull in Mauchline where the chairs and benches had had a make-over making for a pleasant and comfy surrounding for our apres-walk deliberations. All things considered, this had been a good day out.


Some images from the Sorn to Ballochmyle viaduct walk.