Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Recce for ADRC Muirkirk circular November 2013

Not all of them look happy!!
Yesterday Tuesday November 26 I did a recce at Muirkirk for Ayr and District group with two other members from
Wigtownshire and three members of the
Cunninghame group,we decided this was an excellent example of cross co-ordination between the local groups.It was a damp drizzly morning as we left the village behind and headed out onto the moorland but thankfully it did clear for a while to allow us to complete the walk and catch the bus back to Ayr. A full post will appear on Sunday 8 December when I lead the walk for ADRC when hopefully we get a dry day.Thanks to my walking partners for their assistance in reccing this 9 mile circular walk.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Wigtownshire ramblers. Ballantrae circular November 2013

Shetland ponies enjoying the grass.

He at last found someone to talk to!

Still in bloom despite the recent frosts.

My famous tree lined avenue.
One wind destroyed mobile home.

Now you know how sheep must feel!!

Ah the age of chivalry lives on.

A very fine sunlit Ailsa Craig

Some of us actually got a sweetie out of him

An MG Midget in need of restoration.

Walkers at the base of a sequoia tree

Todays large group

with me as the leader.
Yesterday Saturday November  23 I was privileged to be the walk leader for my mother group on a lovely calm cloudy autumn day in Ballantrae situated on the Firth of Clyde. This was an 8 mile circular walk and as walk leader I have to prepare a report to be published in the local press hence the reason I will not wax lyrical on as my report will be published here once my learned colleague "Lofty" has edited and corrected it to make it fit for publication.I must mention here that usually I refer you to my blog mentors page on the groups walks where you always find a very professional post of the outing but due to his impending holiday to Memphis Tennessee in his quest to find "Elvis" he was unable to attend yesterday, we all wish him well and look forward to to hearing all his stories and blog of the trip.

                                  Walk Leaders report.

On Saturday November 23rd Wigtownshire Ramblers made their way to Ballantrae in South Ayrshire for an 8 mile circular walk in the surrounding hills and countryside.  On a calm cloudy morning 25 ramblers assembled at the shore car park. A short walk took us to the remains of Ardstinchar Castle which was built in the 15th century by the Kennedy family.  It was later was demolished to use the stone to build a bridge over the nearby River Stinchar.
We then walked up the quiet road on the south side of the Stinchar valley.  On entering the grounds of Laggan House via the imposing gates it was noted that the track into the caravan site had been extensively upgraded.  This made for a very pleasant 2 mile walk through the woods which were still bearing some of their autumn colours.  At the caravan site we noticed the remains of one of the large mobile homes that the recent winds had totally destroyed.
Leaving the site we went through the peaceful hamlet of Heronsford where the country road climbs gently up to the large house of Crailoch with its commanding views across the fields to the Firth of Clyde.  Leaving the hard road behind it was now onto an old track which once formed the main entrance to the house complete with one of Scotland’s finest tree lined beech avenues. Our leader told us that, if you used your imagination, you could visualise the wonderful horses and their grand carriages making their way along to the house.  It took some imagination as the cattle had recently been using it for shelter.  The track then followed the contours towards the head of Glen App with wide views over the Clyde estuary.  The islands in the Firth were sporadically illuminated by patches of sunlight which gave an ever-changing scene.
Passing down through the quiet village of Smyrton we entered the estates of Glenapp Castle which were completely carpeted in autumn leaves lit up by the sunlight poking through the large trees.  We stopped to admire two very fine examples of Sequoia trees which are among the world’s tallest, sometimes also known as Californian Redwoods.  Moving down through the woods we also passed several man made dams which were used to store the water for use in producing power for the old mill and castle in days gone by.  
The last part of our ramble was on a minor country road back to car park before adjourning to the local garden centre for the now traditional afternoon tea and scones to round off an excellent day out.
Next week’s walk is a 10 mile circular walk around Stranraer and the local countryside.  Meet at Riverside car park in Newton Stewart 9:30am to share transport.  The walk will start from the Breastworks car park, Stranraer 10:00am.  Visitors most welcome and if you require any further details please telephone the walk leader on 01776 700707.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Recce for Ballantrae walk on Saturday with Wigtown Ramblers. November 2013

The three amigos.
Yesterday Wednesday November 20 I did a recce with the teacher ,the farmer and Spike of an 8 mile circular walk of Ballantrae where I will be the leader for my mother group this Saturday.We started off on  a cold blustery day but once we were into a good stride it fairly warmed up. Nice walk with a couple of difficult areas that we had to navigate our way through,all will be revealed on Saturday. Thanks to my three colleagues I really enjoyed your contributions to the walk which hopefully will lead to another good day out with the ramblers.

Weeks holiday in Tenerife . November 2013

View from our balcony

and at sunset.
Anne and I have just spent a pleasant week in Tenerife getting a blast of warm sunshine before winter really sets in.The island was full of people our own age so you were able to get a swim without children annoying you and the entertainment in the bars stopped at 11.00PM  just the way we like it,perhaps a sign of old age.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

South Ayrshire Ramblers.Hadyard Hill wind farm circular. November 2013

Leaders briefing

Climbing away from Penwhapple Resevoir

A distant Ailsa Craig in the sunshine

Coffee break at the roadside

The turbine soaring up into the sky.

Lunch at an old deserted cottage

Is this not what window sills are for?

Making our way up Green Hill. (277M)

Water leaving the resevoir en route to the treatment works

Group chairperson.

On top of Maxwellston Hill (314M)

Madam Vice with the furry hat was our leader
Today Saturday November 9th I met up with South Ayrshire ramblers for a 7 mile circular walk round Hadyard Hill wind farm high above Girvan and Dailly. 23 of us left from the car park on a cold blustery morning along good roads until we reached Penwhapple Resevoir where the route then took us up a gentle climb to give the group some lovely view looking back over Girvan and out to Ailsa Craig..After a coffee stop we continued on the road until we came to  Maxwellston Hill  where the walk became a wee bit more strenuous up the side of the hill to the summit to allow us a view over the sea as far as Northern Ireland. Taking care on the slippy descent we stopped at an old deserted cottage for our lunch break before the short climb to Green Hill with more superb views this time over the local countryside. Again our leader warned us of the slippy conditions as we made our way down to the resevoir and back to the cars at the start. One small shower did not dampen the spirits of this group as we all gave Madam Vice a vote of thanks for a very pleasant day out when areas close by were obviously  getting the worst of the weather.
 There will not be any new blogs for a few days as Anne and I are off to sunnier climates for a wee holiday but on our return I propose to publish a resume of the holiday.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cunninghame ramblers. Mid week walk at Dalmellington /Craigengillan estates. November 2013

Leaders briefing as the rain came on

Local boy scouts garden.

A dipper was spotted on the river.

A small garden of remembrance.

Striding it out on the estate road.

Dalcairnie Falls were in full spate.

Lovely autumn view towards Bogton Loch

Observatory complete with domed telescope.

We called this the senior management table.

Looking back towards Dalmellington.

Today's group

With Mr. and Mrs. Walk leader. (complete with sweeties)
Yesterday Wednesday November 6th Cunninghame Ramblers met at Dalmelington Community Centre car park for a 7 mie circular walk round Craigengillan Estate. Just as we prepared to start our walk the rain poured down but fortunately it did not last and the rest of the day remained dry. 16 of us ventured out to be welcomed almost immediately with an excellent sighting of a dipper perched on a rock in the middle of a small stream one of the best views I have ever had of this small elusive bird. Once in the estate we stopped at Dalcairnie Falls for a coffee break and to enjoy the roar of the water as it cascaded over the rocks and into the pools below. As the conditions underfoot  were extremely slippy the leader decided to alter the route slightly to try and avoid some of the worst muddy ground. I could not help myself recalling my wee accident of last year as we passed that dreaded spot where I fell and broke my leg. A group member suggested perhaps we could erect a memorial stone on the actual spot of the accident, when I objected that I was very much alive and kicking thank you very much!! Arriving at the dark sky observatory our leader had arranged for a visit inside to see the the telescope which is the centre piece of this visitor attraction. Lunch was taken here with it's fine views over towards Bogton Loch with Dalmellington in the background.At this point the group split into two groups one to walk through Ness Glen and the other to go through the estate grounds back to the start. I opted for the latter as I am going on a wee holiday next week and have no intentions of having another accident, so slippy glens are out for me. Thanks again to all involved and hope to see you all again in a couple of weeks time.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Wigtownshire ramblers. Dailly circular. November 2013

Lunch by the river

Anyone for golf??

We even had a rainbow.

Todays group.

Finished the day with a cuppa in the local tearoom.
Yesterday I was walk leader with my mother group for a walk up Barony Hill but due to the wet weather we switched it to a low level walk in woods and parkland. As leader I have to prepare a press report for publication in the  local paper and as my grammar and speling are not very good it has been edited corrected and altered by my very good learned friend the Newton Stewart Blogger.
  for whom I am extremely grateful for his assistance.

Press report.

Saturday the 2nd of November
On a very wet morning, fifteen walkers gathered in the village square in Dailly, a former mining village in South Ayrshire. With waterproofs donned they started the walk by leaving the village going east to Lindsayston Woods. Here they passed some interesting path markers. These were designed as over-sized curling stones due to the proximity of the curling pond. Once in the forest it was a wee bit drier due to the canopy of the large trees. The path followed the tumbling, bubbling Lindsayston Burn where a heron was spotted taking off. Steady progress was made due to large amounts of fallen leaves making the path slippery. Climbing out of the woods, an unclassified tarmac road was accessed. Turning left down the hill they passed Lindsayston Farm. On a previous visit, a satellite dish had been spotted on top of a pig hut. With the dish now lying against the hut, it’s assumed that ‘Sty TV’ has gone off the air.
 Continuing along the road they reached a crossroads at Gettybeg. Once the back markers had caught up, the walk leader declared it was “decision time”. At this junction, heading east would be up to the summit of Barony Hill, shrouded in wet mist, while heading west was an alternative walk, keeping lower down to avoid the worst of the weather. It was unanimous to stay lower down. A track was now followed back to the village. On re-crossing the Lindsayston burn, the second heron of the day was spotted wading. 
After passing through the village, a trail took the group into the grounds of Brunston Castle golf course, almost deserted due to the weather conditions. Crossing the fairways, a stop was taken to admire some very fine sorbus trees with the groups’ amateur dendrologist explaining that the sorbus is a member of the rowan family. After climbing a couple of fences they entered the woods of the Bargany Estate to walk along the side of the River Girvan. The river was in full spate after all the recent rainfall. A temporary break in the weather allowed the group to sit on the river bank to have lunch watching the water raging past with a backdrop of woodland now in full autumn colours. After lunch the river was followed through Brunston Castle golf course. The river splits the course with a number of foot bridges connecting the fairways, a water hazard for several holes.
After a particularly torrential hail storm, the walk leader wisely decided the plan to visit the remains of Brunston Castle be shelved till the next visit as most walkers were ‘drookit’. A break in the rain brought a highly colourful rainbow into view.  
Arriving back in Dailly and donning dry clothes, the group retired to the local tearoom for some well-earned hot drinks and fresh scones. Apart from the weather it was an interesting and varied 6 mile walk in a part of the country not often visited by the group.
Next Saturday November 9th is a ‘Trail of the Lonesome Pine’ walk from Barclye to Minnigaff.
Meet at the Breastworks Stranraer at 9.00 AM, Riverside Newton Stewart at 9.30 AM for car sharing or at the walk start at the R.S.P.B  Car Park Barclye  (NX 386 697) at 10.00AM.
If making your own way direct to the start please telephone the leader on 01988 840268 who can also give you any further details you may require. New members are always welcome.