Thursday, 30 August 2012

Mochrum Hill near Maidens. August 2012

On the summit of Mochrum Hill (270M)
Today Thursday August 30th the teacher and myself decided to climb Mochrum Hill using a route I first did with South Ayrshire Ramblers earlier on this month . Starting at the beginning of this wee tale the teacher and I went to Glasgow yesterday to look for some computer cables and have a good old Indian curry in the Village Curry Restaurant situated on the south side of the River Clyde.Once back on the bus back to Ayr one of us decided to go home whilst the other went for a pint or six in Weatherspoons and eventually arrived home a wee bit Brahms and Liszt at 11.00PM no prizes for guessing who that was. Back to today we set off from the the Maidens on a clear sunny windy morning along the shore to Culzean Castle and through the estate to Mochrum Hill. We had our lunch stop there which was amazing today it was so clear the Island of Arran was only a stones throw away with all its wee houses lit up in the sunshine. We tried a different way down  which was where we experienced some difficulties as the route was very overgrown with ferns which were taller than me made the going a little tough. Anyway we made it to the castle gates to end our 8 mile walk in the sunshine to get our buses home. Fantastic day  with wonderful views all around us.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Cunninghame Ramblers. Goldenberry Hill from Ardrossan. August 2012

Starting at the shore car park.

Only HE could wear a hat like that!

Double click to see the peacock on the lawn.

Elevenses at Portencross.

Portencross castle.

Striding out along the shore.

This contraption is to measure the dust from Hunterston Nuclear Power Station or at least that is what we were told.

Today's group on the summit of Goldenberry Hill.

Our happy leader .
Today Tuesday August 28th I met with Cunninghame Ramblers at the car park on the shore just beyond Ardrossan. Nineteen walkers left on a windy sunny morning to do a 10 mile circuit to Goldenberry Hill above Hunterston Nuclear Power Station .As we went along the shore the ferry to Arran was leaving with all its passengers on board to take them to Brodick over a fairly choppy sea.Once we arrived at Portencross Castle it was time for a wee cuppa overlooking the island known as the Wee Cumbrae.Next stop was that dreadful power station with all it's sinister looking buildings housing all the technology needed to generate nuclear electricity. Quickly we passed by it and climbed up the lovely named Goldenberry Hill with its's wonderful views of the Firth of Clyde looking out to Arran and beyond. After a lunch stop we made our way back down towards West Kilbride  and onto the shore beside the local golf course .A very pleasant windy walk took us back to the start to end a wonderful day in the sunshine ,what a change from yesterday when it rained for most of the day in Ayrshire. Many thanks to our leader today she had a hard job keeping us all together as there are so many interesting things on this walk that makes you want to  wander away and explore.Well done.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

ADRC. Straiton circular to Genoch Hill. August 2012.

We filled the Straiton school lay by.

Bit of a damp start for the walkers.

Tricky fence to cross as it was "live"

Elevenses near to Baing Farm.

Rolf Harris sang about "there is room on my rock for two"

On Genoch Hill. (340M)

Remains of Linfairn Cottage.

This was the remains of three fire places in the centre of this house.

What on earth was causing such serious debate?

Today's group ( my thumb appears to have got into the shot)

Last up was the leader!!!!!!
Ayr and District Ramblers met at Straiton School today Saturday August 25th to do a 10 mile circular walk to Genoch Hill. On a dreich drizzly morning 28 walkers made their way up Monument Hill with its impressive Hunter Blair family's tribute stone on the summit.On crossing over the moorland the rain stopped and there were clear signs of an improvement in the weather as it was quite a warm day we were able to take off our waterproof clothing. Crossing over a very fast flowing Daing Burn we then had a fairly muddy walk on a track down to Baing farm and onto the hard road for a mile to take us to the base of Genoch Hill. Once on the summit lunch was taken overlooking the surrounding countryside which was appearing out of the mist. Passing a couple of old derilict cottages at Linfairn one of the ruins had a central fireplace with three hearths, the one in the kitchen was quite obvious as it had an oven and warming drawer combined perhaps an early version of an Aga cooker. A very pleasant stroll through a forest took us back to the start where a big vote of thanks was afforded to our leader who had demonstrated his leadership skills today, so much so that he has volunteered to lead another walk in the group's winter programme. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Visit to Edinburgh Festival. August 2012

One of the many street artists

Highly recommended.
Yesterday Wednesday August 22nd Anne and I visited the world famous Edinburgh Festival . Going  by bus as usual, if you ever thought of going by car ,DON'T the traffic and  chaos caused by the now infamousTram Project has left  lots of streets  closed off and you really need to know the area to find your way through all the back streets. Anne visited the National Gallery to see  a Van Gogh exhibition whilst I went to a folk concert in a converted church on Royal Mile which was excellent,there was also lots going on in the streets round about with all the  artists advertising their shows in the varius venues throughout the city.We both had a super day out in Scotland's capital along with  thousands of other visitors enjoying the festival in the sunshine.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Boys day out to Aberdeen. August 2012

Union Street Aberdeen.

Our gold coach home.
Yesterday Tuesday August 21st the teacher and I decided to do a day trip to Aberdeen using our trusty bus passes. 7.30AM bus from Ayr connected to the express coach to Aberdeen at 9.00. Arrivied in the granite city at noon, a short walk took us to a Weatherspoons on Union Street where we had a meal washed down with a few pints of the foaming ale. Pleasant stroll in the mid afternoon sun and we arrived at another branch of Weatherspoons where we had  "One for the road" before boarding the coach which took us back to Glasgow for 6.00PM where we  boarded an X77 bus to Ayr and a wee nightcap in ,yes you have guessed it "Weatherspoons". Pleasant day ,we both achieved another goal we had set ourselves to do earlier on in the year. There are still more to come!!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Cunninghame ramblers. Steygail to Lowther Hills circular. August 2012

Covenanters memorial stone.

One of the many valleys on this route.

It is normally shrouded in mist.

Trying to figure out where we were!

Heading up to the golf ball aerial.

Today's group.

The leader.
Yesterday Sunday August 19th I led a walk for Cunninghame Ramblers to Lowther Hill from the Steygail side which is near to the small hamlet of Durisdeer in Dumfries and Galloway,I was not the nominated leader but as the Kilmarnock Rocket is poorly at present I volunteered to help out. This is a walk I did back in April 2011 with Ayr and District Ramblers when Madam Vice was our leader. I must mention at this point as I was a last minute choice as leader and had no  time to do a full recce  Madam Vice provided me with all the waypoints and general guidance of the area to ensure a good safe walk and for all her help and  assistance we were all greatly indebted to her.6 of us went up the first hill on a clear fairly cloudy morning to Steygail (573M) where the views of the surrounding valleys started to open up. A very steep descent took us down to the Dinabid Linn with it's wonderful noisy waterfall. After a quick coffee stop it was up to Wether Hill and onto Lowther Hill with it's golf ball aerial for our friends in Air Traffic Control. After we had our lunch break the next hill was East Mount Lowther (631M) with it's viewfinder showing all the surrounding hills which were becoming hazy as we could see the rain moving up ever closer from the south. Once we reached the Thirstane Hill (583M) the rain arrived but it was more a nuisance than a soaking as it was fairly light. Another steep descent saw us over the Enterkine Burn and onto a track that took us back down to the cars to end this stiff 9 mile circular walk. Thanks to my fellow walkers today you all did very well on some of the very steep climbs and descents this walk is famous for.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Recce for South Ayrshire ramblers. Hare Hill wind farm circular. August 2012

Our goal today.

One of the many good access roads.

An unusual speed limit in the windfarm.

Looking down on the New Cumnock area.

Our little group plus me on the camera.
I was extremely honoured today to be invited my Madam Vice of ADRC fame to accompany her plus two other walkers namely the distiller and a retired call girl (she used to work at BT), what were you lot thinking she did!!As this was recce I will be brief and a full blog will appear in October when the  group do the walk. On a fairly clear humid morning we made our way up an excellent access road to the Hare Hill windfarm (575M) where on a good clear day you can see across Arran to the Paps of Jura and beyond,today we were not so fortunate but hopefully on the day of the walk the weather will be fine and clear. From the summit the route took us down  an area known as the Knipe before going onto the road to get over the Garepool Burn. From here it was through a couple of fields to take us back to our starting point. An excellent 8 mile grade "B" walk which I would urge all members to attend as I can assure you Madam Vice has put a lot of effort and time into working out a route for us all to enjoy. Many thanks for the invite.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Cunninghame ramblers. Garelochhead to Tarbet linear. August 2012

Our starting point.

Walkers alighting the train.

We were heading for Glen Douglas.

A warning sign about red flags.


Coffee stop on the forest road.

Unusual sign on a portaloo door.

Another bloody tale of woe. (see text)

One of our tricky burn crossings.

This was a more unusual one.

A lovely view down Loch Long.

Ardgarten Hotel and campsite.

Today's group.

Mr and Mrs Happy walk leaders.
Yesterday Wednesday August 15th I took the bus to Tarbet on Loch Lomond to meet with Cunninghame Ramblers who were doing a 13 mile linear walk from Garelochead back to Tarbet. Once the group assembled in the car park at the lochside the leader explained the walk which first of all involved taking the train to the start in Garelochhead. he also pointed out if all pensioners showed their bus passes to the fare collector on the train we would get a ticket for the journey at 80p each,all the others of which there were only two number would have to pay £3.50 so there are some advantages to getting older.Once we got off the train we had a climb up a hill to "the yankee road"which was built by the USA forces in the 1940's. A red flag was flying telling walkers this area was out of bounds but the leader explained he had contacted the authorities and as long as we stuck to the roads and paths we would not be shot at,("Very reassuring was heard from the rear!!) As it was a clear warm windy day the midges were having a holiday  much to the delight of the group as we went throught the forest and ferns which is where the little devils live, this is an area renowned for them. Approching Glen Douglas with all its secret naval storage areas deep silos were seen going underground perhaps this is where they store all those weapons of mass destruction. At this point we came across some portaloos (little toilets) with a very unusual sign telling you not to dispose of your used ammnunition down the toilet but to put them in a thing called an amnesty box. As it was such an unusual sign I could not resist taking a photograph of it to use on my blog,sitting down on one knee to get a close up the wind caught the door blew it open and knocked me down onto the ground hence the picture of me complete with  bloody nose. (Thanks Mr Fluorescent for the photo)Now I tell you I got a fright but very soon I had all the lady members producing antiseptic wipes and plasters I was soon up on my feet again bruised but not broken. When I got home I told Anne it was a bash from a lavvy door up in the hills above Loch Long she did not believe me ,I wonder why?After we had a lunch break the rest of the walk was on tracks high above the loch giving us some wonderful views of the Cobbler and Ben Narnain which I climbed a few months ago. Once back at the cars the leaders were thanked for their excellent efforts working out a safe route for us in conjunction with the "armed forces", it was now time for the teacher and myself to board the bus back to Glasgow and then onto Ayr. Super day out with excellent company and may I convey my own personal thanks to all who assisted me when I was bowled over by that bl**dy lavvy door!!