Friday, 28 February 2014

Day trip to Edinburgh. February 2014

The trams are coming

After several years they have arrived!!
On Wednesday it was a miserable rainy day so armed with the bus pass I set off for a jolly to Edinburgh.On arriving late morning it was a far better day in the east, dry and sunny as I went to my first port of call ,yes you have guessed it already "Wetherspoons" for a pint. Walking along the famous Princes Street I managed to see one of the infamous new trams being tested a sight many an Edinburghian thought they would never see.I had lunch in a restaurant called Bar Soba that had been recommended to me by a gourmet food critic for one of our national papers,it is a mixture of Far Eastern cuisines beautifully presented complete with chopsticks. Afterwards I had a wander round some of the quieter back streets full of quaint little unusual shops not normally found on the High Street. Bus back to Ayr in the late afternoon and then it got a wee bit daft ,I got involved with friends in Wetherspoons and then off to the local hotel to meet the "Wednesday night boys" getting home at 11.30 PM, maybe I will grow up one day and learn that my body can only take so much food and booze .

Sunday, 23 February 2014

ADRC Turnberry to Culzean Castle . February 2014

One of the most famous golf holes in the world. (9th)

Showing respect to the golfers.

We had a break at the Maidens car park.

Entering Culzean Estate from the shore.

Comfort break at the swan pond.

This is the restored camellia house

One of the many exhibits.

Swathes of snowdrops in the forests.

Culzean Castle in the winter sun.

Lunch at the Home farm.

Don't they make a happy couple.

Todays large group

Our leader for the walk.
Yesterday Saturday February 22nd I travelled by bus to Turnberry where I met up with ADRC who were walking to Culzean Castle and estate. On a clear windy morning 35 well wrapped up walkers left the car park and went down onto the shore to take us along to the world famous Turnberry  lighthouse situated on the more famous golf course.At this point the track took us onto the golf links where we made a couple of stops to allow the golfers to enjoy their game without being distracted by a large group of ramblers.Continuing through the Maidens shore we were soon entering the extensive grounds of Culzean estate which are covered in snowdrops at this time of year.Passing the restored camellia house we made our way to the castle and onto Holm farm which was to be the lunch stop before retracing our steps back to Turnberry. At this point I opted out to catch a bus home to Ayr to see the RBS 6 nations rugby on the telly. (Scotland WON) Thanks to the leader for a pleasant winters walk in the sunshine and also to everyone in the group for making it a good fun day out.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Day visit to World of Wings Nr. Cumbernauld

Me with a Bateleur Eagle

and also a Harris Hawk
On Tuesday February 18th I set off to Cumbernauld for a day visit to World of Wings which is located near Cumbernauld.First of all you are escorted round  the large cages where the birds are kept before viewing an excellent flight display of many of the birds including a Rueppells Griffon Vulture complete with its 9ft wingspan. In the afternoon it was my turn to get up really close to the birds under supervision they would land on your glove padded hand in return for some food.An excellent day out to  something completely different.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Wigtownshire ramblers Straiton Circular February 2014

Group at the summit of Monument Hill
On Saturday February 15th I led a walk for Wigtownshire ramblers at Straiton. As I was the leader part of my duties are to prepare a press report to be published in the Free Press so I will use that as my script for the blog. A full professional blog will be published in due course by"The Newton Stewart Blogger" my rambling mentor. The weather to begin with was a wee bit inclement to say the least so this weeks photography will be courtesy of him complete with waterproof camera, as usual my thanks  for all his help and assistance.Here is the draft copy of my report:

Wigtownshire ramblers. Saturday February 2014

On Saturday February 15th Wigtownshire ramblers headed north to the south Ayrshire village of Straiton. On a wet windy cold day 10 members met at the car park to rendezvous with the walk leader who was going to take the group up their first challenge which was to climb the hill known locally as Monument Hill. After putting on their outdoor protective clothing the group made their way through the village admiring the swathes of snowdrops that flower at this time of year.Monument Hill is a short steep climb up to the summit to admire the structure that is clearly visible from the main road as you drive towards Glen Trool.The monument is to Lt. Col. James Hunter Blair who was killed at the battle of Inkerman in 1854. The weather showed signs of easing and it was not long before the rain stopped and the odd glimpse of sunshine shone through to dry the wet clothing off. Coming down the shoulder of the hill the leader warned of very slippy muddy conditions so great care would have to be taken to prevent any falls. Crossing over the waters of Girvan our next hill was Bennan Hill (283M) which involved a steep slippery climb to take us to the top with its fine views across to the coast and beyond which were now visible due to the improved weather  conditions. Once safely back at the village our lunch was taken at the car park before another short walk on the Lady Hunter Blair trail to a magnificent waterfall tucked away inside a forest which today was in full spate given the amount of rainfall this area has experienced recently. The final walk was a short road walk back to the start before adjourning for a well earned cuppa in the local tea room.
Next Saturday the walk is from Leswalt to Lochnaw a distance of 6 miles on fairly level tracks. Please meet at Riverside Newton Stewart at 9.00AM or Breastworks Stranraer for car sharing . The walk commences at 10.00AM for further details please contact the leader on 01776870441.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Cunninghame ramblers mid week walk. Auchencruive to Annbank circular. February 2014

Looking over the river to Oswald House

The fast flowing River Ayr

One of the few hills on todays walk

Morning cuppa in the sunshine.

Now we get a wee bit close to the water

Come on you can do it

and she did!!

Well I did promise a mucky walk

Me pontificating about something

A welcome seat in the sun
Spring is in the air.

Todays group (I am the one in the shadow!!)
Yesterday I had the honour of being walk leader for Cunninghame ramblers on a mid week walk from Auchencruive to Annbank by way of the River Ayr paths. 15 of us met at the car park and after a welcome introduction to our visitors we made our way across Oswald Bridge and onto the first of many muddy paths after all the recent rain and flooding . Taking our time in the glorious winter sunshine we were able to admire the river and its many glimpses of the birdlife which included dipper ,many species of duck,heron and buzzards.A very pleasant coffee break was enjoyed at the waters edge as we squelched our way to the village of Annbank. The route back to the estate was easier than the first section and a very sunny spot was found to have our lunch watching the river flow by in the glorious sunshine.From here it was a short walk back to the start to end a wonderful winters day with lots of colours and signs of spring in the early flowering crocuses.
At present the groups chairperson has suffered a broken hip and is only managing to get about on her crutches. Everybody who was out yesterday wishes you well Madam and hopefully it will not be too long until we see your bright cheery face again on a future walk.
Also my thanks must go to the groups football fan for his contribution to the above collages.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Cruisers return. February 2014

Hi from the Caribbean

Relaxing in the sunshine

Our ship (the big white one!!)
After a voyage of discovery we have returned to dry land following our cruise to America and The Bahamas. We had a wonderful time on board with plenty of good food and wine , I will not go into the details of our experiences, but to say I am sure when we meet on future walks all will be revealed