Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Barr Circular. February 2012

A lone teacher on the bridge over the Changue Burn.
Today Tuesday February 2012 the teacher and myself went on a wee adventure to Barr. I will deal with the walk first this was  one most of us local ramblers have done in the past. I did it last year with the Right Honourable Secretary of Ayr and District Ramblers so I did not bother today taking anymore photos worthy of publication. This was also a recce for Wigtown ramblers whom we are both involved with for a future walk later on this summer.Briefly we took the route through the fairy knowe to Kirstys Cairn returning by way of the devils footprint. It was a pleasant day very mild with low cloud but ideal for what we were doing. Now for the fun part of today which was our chosen method of transportation to the walk start. I got the service bus to Girvan then we went on the My Bus to Barr. This is the little orange bus you see on rural roads mainly transporting disabled and elderly passengers. I contacted their office yesterday and registered for this service I qualify as a bus pass holder. Once registered you tell them what time you would like to travel and they then try to fit you in to  their schedule. As the teacher was not a registered passenger the girl in the office put him down as my PERSONAL CARER. We were given times of 10.00AM at Girvan to Barr returning at 2.30PM. Both journeys were excellent and very punctual with us being the only two passengers on board. Highly recommend this service to all who are fortunate to be over 60 years of age. We are now going to fully explore all the possibilities of using this bus for future walks it must open up areas that are difficult to reach that are not covered in the Stagecoach bus empire. All in all a very successful day with our own wee private bus to take the two oldies on  a wee day oot!!!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Kilmarnock ramblers . Glen Loin to Ben Narnain. February 2012

Preparing for the walk at the Arrochar car park.

A farm relic once used for turning hay.

Lots of frog spawn was seen today.

Looking back down Glen Loin.

One of the many good steep climbs.

View of Ben Vorlich

Serious rain had now started.

Spectacular waterfall.

One of many wooden sculptures in the forest area.

Full information given here on all the local walks.

Tired ,happy and drookit!!

Todays leader is in there.
Yesterday Saturday 25 February I met up with a group of walkers mainly from the  Kilmarnock group who wanted to do a more serious walk than the mainly "C" ones that were available locally today.So 12 of us drove to Arrochar to do the Glen Loin loop with Ben Narnain Boulders thrown in as a wee extra. Starting our walk up through Glen Loin it was a cloudy morning with lots of mist on the hills .The glen is quite an easy part to do on good paths with a few steep gradients but is a more gentler way of gaining some height.As we crossed over the  Inveruglas Water we got a wonderful view of Ben Vorlich(943M) which is definately one to be climbed on another day in the near future( my way of informing the teacher to get himself prepared for a serious day out). Now we went through an area marked on the map as Allt Coiregrogain with Ben Vane (915M) towering above us, here the serious part of our climbing today started at the base of a ridge known as Bealach A'Mhaim which is not quite vertical but extremely steep. Now the heavy rain and wind had started which made the going on this stretch very tough with soft boggy ground to add to the fun . This a fairly short climb but completely zaps your energy levels with its steep gradient. Some of the group had to stop at the top for a few minutes to recover . Here the  wind was blowing a hooly as we looked for somewhere to stop for lunch,nowhere was found so the leader decided to carry on to the Narnain boulders where we would have a later than planned stop.After lunch we then came down the tourist route back to the cars after a very hard 13 mile walk some of it in exrtreme conditions trying to stay upright in the wind we all found to be very challenging. However at the end we were all thoroughly drookit but agreed it was a great experience to have completed the walk in these conditions. Now this group always have a wee huddle at the end of of the day to thank the leader it was decided today to do this in the warmth of the local pub so we all adjourned for a wee drink where the group thanked the leader for all his efforts today he did an admirable job in atrocious weather.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Recce for Wigtown Ramblers. Beneraird circular. February 2012

Site of a 1945 plane crash.
Today I was up early and caught the 6.40AM bus to Glenapp with the teacher joining me at Girvan As this is a recce I wont go into too much deatail as a fuller blog will appear when I am the walk leader on March 31st. On a cloudy mild morning we went up to the summit of Beneraird (424M) before locating the site of a 1945 plane crash which I failed to find when I visited earlier in the month with ADRC. Not too big a problem today and have now put some markers in place for future visits.Sky larks were spotted singing overhead ,they are definately confused with such mild conditions. We now crossed over onto Big Fell (316M) a part of the walk I had not done before so a safe path was worked out and once over Wee Fell we finished up at Crailoch House. Had our lunch at my favourite tree lined avenue before walking back to Ballantrae to catch the bus back to Ayr. An 11 mile walk with some soft ground to contend with but  hopefully should  be a wee bit drier towards the end of March.Thanks again to the teacher who I seem to be dragging out on all my recces recently he was a great help today particularly when it came to locating the plane.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Recce for ADRC . Turnberry to Girvan. February 2012

Preparing the wide drills for the famous "Early Ayrshire Potato"

Then covered in bio-degradable polythene.

Today they use farmyard manure on the fields.In the older times they spread seaweed from the shore but that is now deemed illegal.
Today Tuesday 21st February I travelled by bus to the Maidens and met the teacher to recce the shore walk from Turnberry to Girvan,this is a walk that I have done many times before but today we were going to try and do it at high tide.My walk as leader for Ayr and District Ramblers is on Saturday March 24th when we are going to walk 23 miles from Ayr to Girvan on the Ayrshire Coastal Path. On that day we will be at Turnberry at approximately 1.00PM which coincides with high tide  hence the reason for todays recce. There are a couple of streams which could prove a wee bit difficult to cross depending on the amount of rain we have on the week prior to the walk however after today I have worked out a safe alternative route utilising some farmers fields.Also there is a difficult part beside a couple of the shore cottages where it is very rocky and slippy so again depending  on the tide level on the day we may be able to get through,if not I have another route in mind.Todays tide levels meant that we experienced the most difficult senario so on the day the route should be slightly easier. My thanks once again to the teacher for his assistance today and also for his jovial company we only experienced a couple of showers on our 7 mile walk.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

ADRC Muirkirk to Cairn Table. February 2012

Walkers gathering at the start.

Coffee stop beside the cairn.

A snowy trig point.

Trudging our way through the snow.

Some tricky burns had to be crossed today.

Glenbuck Loch

The home of "Bill Shankly"

The one at the back always likes to make sure you see  him!!

Near to the start of the River Ayr.

Some road walking today

On the railway line passing one of the old stations.

An open cast coal mine

Todays group.

Our leader.
Today Sunday February 19th 23 of us made our way to Muirkirk on a cold very bright sunny morning to do an 11 mile walk up Cairn Table (593M) and over to Glenbuck. My fellow blogger from Newton Stewart did an excellent blog detailing some of the history of this area and is well worth a read.Making our way up to the summit of Cairn Table it was a sheer joy to be out and about on such a crisp clear morning with snow on the ground making climbing quite easy. The views from the top were equally stunning, the golf ball on Lowther Hill in the south to Ben Lomond in the North.The next bit was  a wee bit tricky on the tussocky frozen ground until we reached a track that was used to ferry the grouse shooters around the moors.Lunch was taken on a hillside looking out to Tinto Hill in Lanarkshire with all the planes vapour trails criss crossing across a very blue sky. We then came down off the hills to Glenbuck Loch where our leader informed us this was now a site of special scientific interest because of some rare species of plants can be found here. Glenbuck is also the birthplace of Bill Shankly who certainly put the village on the worlds football map.The source of the River Ayr also starts here and the council have created a river walk to Ayr (44 miles) which many people do usually in small sections at a time.The route took us along the old railway line which once linked this part of Ayrshire with Glasgow . Arriving back at the cars everyone agreed what a wonderful walk which had a lot of variation in it from just going up and coming back down on the tourist route. Many thanks to the leader who had spent a lot of time working out the details  to make it into a true grade "B+" walk.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Cunninghame ramblers . Maxwellston Hill ,Dailly. February 2012

Todays route is well way marked with posts.

Mrs Kilmarnock Rocket scaling a style.

As usual we get well spread out

I just liked this little stream.

The wind farm formed part of our route.

Making our way through the wind turbines.

Todays hardy group.

Hard roads made the going  a little easier for some .

The leader.
Today Saturday February 18th I made my way to the South Ayrshire village of Dailly to meet up yet again with Cunninghame ramblers for an 8 mile grade "B" walk up Maxwellston Hill.This is part of a walk I did recently with teacher when we walked from Dailly to Girvan.Today there were only 8 of us probably due to the stormy weather we experienced last night, today was still windy and cold but at least it was dry except for a couple of snow/hail showers. First we climbed onto Hadyard Hill before crossing over to Maxwellston From here we took  the track down to Penwhapple resevoir and the Hadyard Hill windfarm where we had our lunch break close to those monstrous turbines. Now we headed down the hill road to Barr to enter the forest and pick up the track past the Lidsayston Burn back to the start.Super walk considering the weather we made the best of the conditions and my thanks must go to the leader for allowing me to join the group today.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Elite walking group to the Carrick Hills. February 2012

My two fellow walkers today.
Today Thursday February 16th I joined up with two other members of the Elite walking group to do an old favourite of mine, along the shore to Dunure returning over the Carrick Hills. Unfortunately the weather was not the best ,steady drizzle,  strong breeze and low cloud. Due to the conditions photography was not really possible hence the lack of photos today. We set off past the heads of Ayr to the Bracken Bay caravan site before walking the old railway line to Dunure where we turned up at the old Kibble school (I was not allowed  to give its history today) to Fisherton. Now we were heading for the mist as we climbed up from the village to Brown Carrick. We stopped in the forest for our lunch break where we got some  shelter from the wind. We now made our way now up to the trig point before making our way to the aerials on the summit. We were now in thick mist and  took a wrong turning and followed a fence down a field and eventually decided we were not too sure  as to our exact location. As we entered another field full of sheep we spotted some tractor tracks in the mud and decided to follow them and hopefully arrive at somewhere we all recognise. In actual fact we came out at a farm beside Fisherton Church. If you look the map we were not too far off our intended route but it brought home to me how dangerous the hills are when they are shrouded in thick dense mist. Anyway once again all is well but lessons can be learned from this experience. We now finished our day by making our way back over the heads of Ayr to finish our 11 mile walk back at Doonfoot. Super day out with a couple of wee problems to keep us on our toes.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Cunninghame Ramblers. Big woods Irvine. February 2012

This was todays start

This walker attracts horses!!

Group on Barrassie shore

Including "the teacher"

Irvines answer to erosion.

Todays group

Our cheery leader.
Today Tuesday February 14th I met up with Cunninghame Ramblers for their mid week walk in what was described in the programme as "The big woods ".22 of us met at the picnic area opposite the Beechams factory in Irvine and started off through Shewalton Woods past the Old Hall ponds which were sand quarries in their day but are now form part of a nature reserve. Several species of ducks were spotted before we crossed the main Irvine-Ayr road to take us onto the Barrassie shore for a two mile walk on a very windy beach which to say the least was very bracing. We now crossed over Western Gailes golf course back to one of the ponds where we stopped for a lunch break before making our way back to the start. This was a fairly short walk but ideal for a mid week outing accompanied with the usual good company and humour that this friendly group are renowned for.My thanks to Madam leader today and to the members for allowing me to join you  on a very pleasant outing.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Cunninghame Ramblers. Ness Glen and Craigengillan estate. February 2012

Briefing chat at the start.

What a couple of fine fellas. (not including the rambler)

Coffee stop.

Entering Ness Glen

Making our way along the narrow path.

The reflections on Loch Doon.

More reflections

This fort is for use by Scouts and Guides etc.

War memorial overlooking Dalmellington.

Todays group on a bridge over the River Doon.

Our leader.

Today Sunday February 12th I joined the Cunninghame Ramblers on a 7 mile walk through the grounds of Craigengillan Esate near Dalmellington in South Ayrshire.24 of left the library car park on a cloudy dry mild morning in fact a perfect day for this type of walk. Once in the estate we passed lots of different types of trees and mosses which were pointed out to the group by the leader.After stopping beside the river Doon for a coffee break we entered the highlight of this walk,Ness Glen which is a gorge that runs through the estate.It is only about 1 mile long but the sound of the river and the steep sides of the gorge make this a most dramatic walk. Some of our group were not too keen on the path which is quite narrow in places so there were plenty of stops to assist those that needed help to get through.Once clear of Ness Glen we came out at a very still Loch Doon I personally have never seen it like it was today with all reflections in the water of the surrounding hills . The colours even at this time of the year were quite remarkable and the snow capped hills for a background made it just stunning. Once we managed to pull the group away from this area we took the high path above Ness Glen back into the estate where we had lunch with a view stretching over to the hills behind Dalmellington and beyond. We then passed above Bellsbank back into the village by way of a new path provided by the council to keep walkers off the roads.Excellent walk today with a big thanks to our leader and his back marker who had reccied this new route last month it was very much appreciated by all who were present today.