Sunday, 31 July 2011

Our grandson's 3rd birthday July 2011

We hired a bouncy castle for the garden

It was a great success

Auntie from Perth made the cake.

Adults keep an eye on the bun fights!

The star of today's party.
Confined to barracks today as we had our grandson's 3rd birthday party in the garden with lots of his little friends. We hired a bouncy castle to keep them all entertained and that included the adults. It was a cloudy warm afternoon so most of the time was spent outside watching the kids all enjoying themselves. Great fun was had by all.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

ADRC Queensberry Hill from Mitchelslacks. July 2011

Preparing to leave from Mitchelslacks farm.

One of the many views of today's hills

We turned right here to begin the first climb.

Having a break at the top of Queensberry.(697M)

We still had those two beauties to climb.

"My hat and gloves do colour co-ordinate don't they?"

Today's group on the summit of Gana Hill (668M)

One of the walkers resting in the sunshine.

Looking out from Earncraig(611M) to Daer Reservoir.

Burleywhag Bothy.

Today's walk leader frae Girvan.
Today Ayr and District headed South through Thornhill up to Loch Ettrick and Mitchelslacks Farm where our walk began. The leader explained that it was  an 11 mile circular grade "A" walk with 3 peaks to be climbed. Checking all walkers were prepared with ample water as it was a very warm sunny day sufficient liquids were essential. 17 of us left the farm on a pleasant track up the side of Capel Burn until we came to a sign for Queensberry (697M). Up until this point it had been a gentle slope but the next stretch got us all going as it was exceptionally steep with some tussocks thrown in for good measure. Once at the summit we had a break to allow the group to reform before we dropped down through some peat bogs to lose all the valuable height we had gained before we went all the way up to Earncraig(611M) The views of the surrounding hills were excellent stretching South to the Solway various landmarks were pointed out to us by the leader.Losing height once again much to the delight of some of the group we then headed up a long path to take us to Gana Hill (611m). It was quite tough going in the heat until we were on the top where a gentle breeze was blowing which made it very pleasant to enjoy another wee break. The next part of the walk was a steep descent with no visible path with loads of heather and tussocks. On reaching Burleywhag Bothy most of us agreed that coming down from the summit of Gana was the toughest part of the walk. Aye this leader is well known for taking some tough routes to put his STAMP on the walk.(in joke) Now we had a very pleasant couple of miles back to the start along an old road in the afternoon sunshine. Arriving at the cars the leader was thanked for a well thought out walk in an area a lot of us had never walked in before. He lived up to his reputation of only doing "A" grade walks with a little bit extra thrown in to make it that bit more interesting.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Perth to Luncarty by The River Tay walk. July 2011

One of the two main bridges in Perth over the Tay.

A fine example of a weeping willow tree.

These gates protect the city from river floods.

Inscriptions on bridge detailing the heights of the floods.

I had a coffee break as this tranquil spot on the river.

Great paths provided for fishermen and walkers.

"He only caught a cold!"

One of many fine barley fields.

Highly recommended.

A greenhouse made out of plastic bottles at my grandson's nursery.

This is the reason for my visit.
Today I had the pleasant task of collecting my grandson from Perth to bring him to Ayr for the other grandsons birthday party which is on this Sunday.Not one to miss an opportunity for a walk I decided to take the 6.15AM bus from Ayr to Glasgow and then onto Perth arriving there at 9.00AM. As I did not need to collect the wee one until the afternoon I set off on the riverside walk to Luncarty 6 miles from the fair city of Perth.The weather was a wee bit dreich with  intermittent drizzle which was a bit of a shame after all the good weather we have had in the last week. Undeterred off I went passing through the North Inch golf course following a cycle track which ran alongside the river. My thoughts were that this would be a great day to do some bird watching but they are not as daft as me due to the weather they all went into hiding.Lots of fishermen were out trying their hand at fly fishing some in small boats others were in their waders presumably out for the salmon that makes this river so famous.On the other bank I passed Perth Racecourse which held a meeting yesterday maybe a bit of bad planning on my part. The drizzle eased a wee bit as I approached the village of Luncarty which is really a suburb of Perth. Now I had a choice of carrying on to the next place which was Stanley or I could go for a pint in the Luncarty Inn. The pint won needless to say and then I took the bus back to Perth where I met Anne who had travelled on a later bus. Picking up our grandson from nursery was a first for us both and he was very excited at showing us round to meet all his friends. I was particularly interested in a greenhouse they have built out of old plastic bottles all donated by the kids.What a wonderful project for them to become involved in . Once the tomatos ripen I have been promised one by my boy. Once we left the nursery it was back onto the bus again for the trip back to Ayr. Of course with the wee one we had to sit upstairs in the front seat so he could drive us all home. Geat day despite the weather Anne managed a visit to M&S and I  got a river walk I had not done before.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Three Beinns Horseshoe Isle of Arran. July 2011

View of Goatfell at 8.00AM

The path through Glen Rosa.

Some very steep ravines to cross.

The Kilmarnock Rocket on the summit of Ben Nuis(792M)

Am I colour co-ordinated she asks!

Walk leader on Ben Tarsuinn (826M)

My fellow walkers today.

Steep drop down to Glen Rosa.

P.S. Waverley leaving Brodick Pier.
Yesterday I was kindly invited to join a pensioners group (bar one) to tackle the famous Three Bienns Horseshoe on the wonderful Island of Arran off the West Coast of Scotland.We met at Ardrossan for the 7.00AM ferry to Brodick on a very warm clear sunny day. Even at this time of the morning the mountains were all bathed in glorious sunshine.We left the ferry terminal at Brodick and walked up through Glen Rosa passing a campsite where some of the residents were not even up. The main path carries on  to an area known as the saddle but we branched off  on the first part of the horseshoe to take a very steep track which got us to the first summit of Beinn Nuis(792M). This was quite a difficult climb as none of us are used to the heat we were experiencing today quite unusual for Scotland even at this height.Once on the top the views were superb and a well earned break was taken before we dropped down a path to climb again this time on to Beinn Tarsuinn (826M). The scenery of this part of Arran can only be seen from this altitude, the different mountain ranges were all identified round about us by our walk leader. The next part of the ridge was very steep with  drops on one side so the going was fairly slow here until we all navigated a safe passage  to follow a track to Beinn Chliabhain (653M) This is where there is literally a sheer drop on one side  into Glen Rosa quite scary stuff is you do not have a head for heights. A steep rocky path took us down over Coire Beag and Cnoc Breac back to the safety of Glen Rosa. A long break was taken here to recover and replace all the body fluids we had expended on our wonderful walk. It was so warm that two of our group went into the river for a swim (names and addresses are being withheld for legal reasons) Once back in Brodick it was the usual beer in the hotel gardens before boarding the 7.20PM ferry back to Ardrossan. Thanks to our leader who had done the walk before and was able to guide us on this fairly difficult ridge walk of 12 miles.Look forward to the next Arran challenge which will probably be in the month of August.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Carrick way walking festival. July 2011

Looking back to Maybole.

Monument on top of Kildoon Hill.

Today's walkers at the monument.

This is the remains of Great Granny's house.

Plaque to a murder on this cairn

Lots of gates and fences today

South Ayrshire at its finest.


We were shown round an old settlement .

Our walk leader.
Today on a most beautiful sunny summers day I travelled to Maybole to join their 4th annual Carrick Way walking festival.17 of us met in the Dairy shop, first of all to register for the 10 mile circular walk and have a cup of coffee.On our way out of the town our leader pointed out one of the old public water wells with its engraving in the stonework still legible but too dark for photographing. Our first hill was Kendoon with its statue to Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran on the top who are to this day still major landowners in the local area. Passing Lochspouts which was at one time was Mayboles water supply we arrived Drummochgreen Cairn which was erected to show us all where one of the Kennedy murders was committed last century. This was also our lunch stop before we had a short climb to the top of Craigfin (227M) where we all enjoyed the wonderful views of the South Ayshire countryside and beyond. We then made our way back to the town visiting an old settlement of some 10 houses which must have been deserted over 100 years ago. On reaching a little bridge over a stream we now had a 2 mile walk on a country road back to the start. The walkers gave our leader a round of applause for a most enjoyable walk in the sunshine with lots of bits of local information.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Recce walk of the Barr Hills in South Ayrshire. July 2011

Today's walk start

R.H.S. at the summit of Auchensoul (314M)

The sheep were waiting to be sheared

A lovely old pack horse bridge.

"Salers" are a breed of cattle from France.

This was our lunch stop in the village.
Today along with the Right Honourable Secretary we went to the lovely village of Barr in South Ayrshire to recce a walk in the hills around the village. Our goal was to recce a 10 mile route incompassing hills and woodland areas as RHS had worked out on his 10 year old map! First of all we climbed up to the summit of Auchensoul Hill (314M) which is located just outside the village. It was a beautiful morning so the views from the top were stunning with a wonderful vista of Arran and Papps of Jura in the foreground.From here we dropped down through some fields before we ascended to Kirkland Hill (297M) where we had a coffee stop. At this point we could see down to Tormitchel Quarry when I realised we were on The Carrick Way which eventually takes you to Girvan a walk I would like to do with the Wigtownshire Ramblers one day.A steep descent took us to Kirkland Farm where they were in the middle of shearing the sheep. The shearers kindly stopped at this moment to allow us to pass through. We would both liked to have stopped here for a while but our presence was frightening the sheep making it difficult for the dogs to control. Making a hasty exit to keep the peace we were now on the main Barr to Barrhill road where we  were going to try and work out a route which would take us up to connect into the Barr paths at Changue Forrest. Well this is where the old and trusted map let us down since printing of this edition some kind person had planted a forest, we tried various ways to get through finishing up in a wood with all sorts of obstacles that prevented a safe passage when at this point RHS suggested we give this idea up and head back to the safety of the road. After two miles of tarmac road we were back in th village where we took lunch on the banks of the River Stinchar. This was an 8 mile walk but not suitable for a group but then that is what recces are all about exploring and trying to work out paths that we could lead a group of walkers through. Very enjoyable sunny walk with the odd fly and midgie, one day we will find a suitable 10 mile circular route for the groups we are both involved in.