Saturday, 30 June 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers.Rowantree to Haggis Hill. South Ayrshire. June 2012

Today's merry group.

Always have a picture of the leader.
Today Saturday June 30 I  had the honour of being the walk leader for my mother group to take them on a 5 peak circular trek in the South Ayrshire hills . As my very good friend and mentor will be producing a blog of the walk on his web site I will keep mine brief hence the lack of pictures which when you see the quality of his on "The Newton Stewart Bloggers"page you will understand that  I cannot compete with the professionals.11 of us met at the Bell memorial car park on a cloudy but dry morning before we climbed up Rowantree (552M), Craigenreoch (565M),Pinbreck(549M),Changue(521M) and finally a good old Scottish named hill called Haggis. (507M). Steep descent took us down to the Nick of the Balloch which is a glen cutting a swathe through the hills where we had a lunch stop. At this point we then split into two groups some opting for a 2 mile road walk back to the start whilst the  others went with me on a path alongside the river. We had two very heavy showers during our 7 mile walk but as usual it takes more than that to dampen our spirits. Thanks to all who turned up today I will try and arrange better weather for my next walk with this group.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Second recce for ADRC Straiton to Dalmellington. June 2012

On top of the world!!

That is the teacher in the middle.
Today Tuesday 26 June the teacher and the wee wuman frae Dalrymple joined me on a second reece of this walk from Straiton to Dalmellington.. First of all we climbed up to the Hunter Blair monument before crossing over onto Largs Hill.(327M). From here we used the GPS to get us to Turgany (356M) and finally Auchenroy(367M) without too much difficult ground to cover, a wee bit boggy in places but no real problems.Lunch stop here before we went over to a forest  where I thought we could follow some quad bike tracks down to Craigengillan Estate, this is where it all went wrong ,deep tussocky wet grass was not an area for a group albeit we managed to get through but as you know us youngsters are a hardy lot. Looking back towards Auchenroy an alternative route could be taken which would allow us to keep some height so another recce is planned for the near future for this 2 mile stretch. Once into Craigengillan Estate  there are  tracks and road to take us down to Dalmellington to finish this 11 mile walk , increases every time I do it but hopefully before the next walk planning meeting of Ayr and District Ramblers I  will have mastered this grade "B" walk.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Flight to the Island of Bute. June 2012

The plane in the hangar.

Preparing for take off.

The instrument panel. The orange screen is the GPS.

Over Ardrossan wind farm.

Kingarth standing stones.

A little sparrow joined us for lunch.

An Australian Zimbra microlite.

Plane put away to end a most memorable day.

The "Pilot" was a true leader today.
Today Monday June 25 I was invited by my walking colleague the pilot to join him on a flight in his microlite aircraft to the lovely Island of Bute.The plane is stored in a hangar near New Cumnock on a farm with a small landing strip alongside a hay field. Once he had completed all his safety checks he got me strapped in and in no time at all we were on our way up the 2000 feet.Quick word with Prestwick control tower to tell them we were in the air and our proposed route to Bute  as you don't really want to meet a Ryanair jet at this height..It was a lovely clear morning as we flew over Kilmarnock towards the coast. Passing over the wee Cumbrae we started our descent into the airfield on Bute near to Kilchattan Bay.Having landed safely we went for a short walk on the West Island Way past the Kingarth Standing Stones to take us to the very pleasant Kingarth Hotel where lunch was eaten outside in the warm sunshine.Here we  met a fellow pilot who had just flown in from Strathaven to enjoy the delights of this beautiful part of Scotland.After we were suitably refreshed (the pilot only had a lemonade) it was back to the plane and a very pleasant flight back to New Cumnock again in lovely clear conditions .
    A most enjoyable and memorable day that I will remember for a long time to come, my sincere thanks to the pilot for inviting me to join him.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Wigtownshire ramblers . Girvan/Byne Hill circular. June 2012

Walkers at the Crauford Monument.

These guys made it to the summit of Grey Hill. (plus wee me)

On our way down to the cottage at Drumfairn.

Farmer got his hay wrapped before the rain came on.

Today's well wrapped up group.

We had joint leaders today.

    Today Saturday June 23 a bakers dozen of walkers  left the car park at the south end of Girvan to climb to Grey Hill. (297M). This is a walk that we have done before and was beautifully documented by the Newton Stewart blogger  back in May 2011. The weather was grey and cloudy when we started with the rain not far away when we looked out over the sea towards Ailsa Craig. First we climbed the Byne Hill (214M) before going over the moor towards Grey Hill when the rain came on so some of the group took shelter whilst a few of us went on to climb to the summit. It was really fairly miserable at this point so we returned to the rest of the group to have our lunch stop. From here we went down past the cottage at Drumfairn where we picked up the track to take us back to our starting point. A nice 7 mile walk ,a pity about the weather but when you plan these walks you have no control over the elements. Thanks to our joint leaders today who did their best to keep our spirits up even in the pouring rain.                                                                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cunninghame ramblers mid week walk in Glenapp Hills. June 2012

A view of Loch Ryan

Trig point on Penderry Hill.

A distant Ailsa Craig.

Your truly managed to get in his own blog!!

Todays group at "Wee Ellies Cairn"

Kilmarnock Rocket was the walk leader.
Cunninghame ramblers travelled to Glenapp today for an 11 mile walk in the local hills. This is one that I have led for Wigtownshire ramblers  before and excellently blogged by none other than the Newton Stewart Blogger when I had the privilege of being their leader that day.Today in lovely clear sunshine we first climbed Penderry (309M) onto Carlock (323M) and after a lunch stop we finally reached Smyrton (360M).There were only 10 of us on todays all male walk perhaps the thought of trying to keep pace with the rocket was enough to put our lady members off anyway another super day spent in the South Ayrshire hills.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Recce for Wigtownshire Ramblers.Barony Hill by Dailly.June 2012

Cheer up the teacher will be here soon!

On top of Barony Hill
Just a short blog as we were doing a final recce for a walk with the Wigtownshire ramblers and a full resume will appear on Saturday 7 July when the teacher is the leader and I am the back marker. This is a lovely 7 mile walk which was just super today as it was so clear giving us excellent visibility from Northern Ireland in one direction all the way up to Ben Lomond in the north. Hopefully the conditions will be similar on the day of the walk.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

ADRC Ballantrae Annual barbeque. June 2012

Today Saturday June 16 was to be the annual Ballantrae to Knockdolian outing with Ayr and District Ramblers and   barbeque in the afternoon after the walk.Unfortunately due to exceptionally inclement weather conditions coupled with the fact Anne and I were the organisers of the barbie the decision was taken to cancel which was extremely disappointing for everybody involved. We can only hope that next year will be better or alternatively have it in the winter sometimes we  get better conditions then!!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Dailly to Maxwellston Hill circular. June 2012

Looking down to Girvan and a distant Ailsa Craig.

Penwhapple resevoir and wind farm.

Erecting another turbine.

My fellow walkers.
Today Thursday June 14 together with the teacher and colour co-ordinator we met in Dailly at the square to do a walk and also a possible recce for a group outing to Maxwellston Hill (314M) returning by Penwhapple resevoir / wind farm.This is a 9 mile circular walk two of us had done before with Cunninghame Ramblers back in February 2012.Today we climbed up Hadyard Hill on our way to Maxwellston and Penwhapple resevoir where we had a lunch stop watching anglers trying to catch a bite.Passing through the wind farm some of the turbines were still under construction which made for a bit of fun watching the  guys suspended on a rope at the end of one of the blades not a job for the faint hearted. From here we followed the road down to the Lindsayston woods and back to Dailly.
Excellent walk particularly in the afternoon we  were in the sunshine for quite a while making it a very pleasant walk with climbing ,moorland tracks and road walking providing a little of everything for all to enjoy.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Two Munros in one day. June 2012

Climbing up Ben Narnain.

Our first summit

Lochs Lomond,Arklet and Katrine were all visible.

You could almost touch the clouds.

Waiting for the bus in Arrochar.
Yesterday Tuesday 12 June in the company of the teacher and the pilot we set off on the 6.45AM bus from Ayr to Glasgow to catch a connection to Arrochar. This is a climb I have done before but I felt very fortunate to have such eloquent colleagues to accompany me today.It was a fairly cloudy dry morning when we set off but there were some promising breaks in the cloud cover so we were hoping it would clear before we got up to Munro level .We decided to go up Ben Narnain (926M) first via the difficult route involving a fair amount of scrambling up the rocky gullys .Once on the summit the cloud cover came in and  some drizzle was about we made our way down to the gate that takes you to the path up Ben Ime(1011M) Compared to the scrambling earlier this was a comparitively easy climb and the weather cleared to be rewarded with extremely clear views which included Ben Nevis towering up away in the North.Returned to Arrochar by the tourist route to end a 10 mile strenuous walk , not bad for three pensioners. 6.00PM bus back to Glasgow and the X77 to Ayr ended a marvellous outing with us all agreeing (including the teacher!)to thank "Wee Eck" and his Scottish Government for their continuing sponsorship of the good old BUS PASS.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

ADRC Sanquhar to Welltrees Tappin. June 2012

Starting out on a dry morning.

That sooned changed

Todays group in the gloom.

The pilot was demoted today to "Navigator"
Ayr and District Ramblers met at Sanquhar today for an 8 mile circular walk to Welltrees Tappin Hill (473M). Fourteen of us started out on a dry cloudy morning but not very far into the walk on came the rain light drizzle at first but once we were in the Brown Hill forest it decided to pour down on the walkers.. In the true spirit of things we donned our waterproofs and trudged on through some boggy tussoky ground until we cleared the forest the going became a wee bit easier until we reached the summit Bad light today so quality of photography was very poor hence the lack of photos. Lunch in the rain was enjoyed by all looking out at hills in the distance with sunshine on them. Eventually it dried up and we arrived on  the Southern Upland Way to take us back down to the village giving the walkers time to dry off. A good walk led by the pilot in somewhat difficult conditions.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Recce walk in St John's Town of Dalry. June 2012

Our starting point

The local kirk.

Glenlee power station.

Looking down to the town.

Fish ladder at one of the power stations.

Suspension bridge over the Water of Ken.

R.H.S. reading the gravestones.
Today Saturday June 9th I travelled with the Right Honourable Secretary to the lovely village of St John's Town of Dalry in Dunfries and Galloway to recce a walk for the different rambling groups we are both associated with. On a cloudy mild morning we walked up the side of the Water of Ken passing Glenlee Power station to Dunveoch Hill where we found a track round it before joining part of the Southern Upland Way to Waterside Hill where we had wonderful views back to the village and beyond. Not giving away too many details as this will be a walk for Ayr and District Ramblers and also my mother group Wigtownshire in the future possibly on the winter programme as it is a gentlle "C+" 8 mile route suitable for all members.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Carrick Hills circular .June 2012

Very green "Heads of Ayr"
Today Tuesday June 5th the Elite walkers colour co-ordinator and myself decided to do the old and trusted Carrick Hills yet again. Other members were either away with another group or were caught up in Jubilee celebrations. As I have blogged this so often in the past, hence the lack of photographs I will not dwell on about today for fear of boring you all . We did 12 miles on  a glorious morning  and varied the route off Brown Carrick to make it a different walk. The views of Arran, Mullof Kintyre and Northern Ireland were clearly visible making it another memorable day in the Ayrshire hills.