Monday, 31 August 2015

ADRC. Annual marathon from Girvan to Ayr August 2015

The ones that started the marathon.(not all finished)
Yesterday saw another successsful marathon with Ayr and District ramblers. Again I was the nominated walk leader as we left Girvan railway station to walk on the road by the golf course just to increase the mileage to make it up to 26 miles. It was a glorious warm sunny morning when we joined the Ayrshire Coastal Path (ACP) to make our way to Turnberry our first major stop on this epic journey. Next we arrived in the lovely fishing village of the Maidens where two of our group called it a day reducing us down to 14. Next was a lunch stop in Culzean Castle grounds where incidentally there was a reenactment army display going on with lots of loud bangs and old soldiers marching about in period uniforms,not the peace and tranquility we were looking forward to.4 of the walkers left us here reducing us to 10 for the next section past Croy shore onto Dunure. We hit a small problem here as we were ahead of the schedule I had worked out we encountered a tide problem with the path along by the rocks was impassable for a short period until the tide ebbed a little to allow us a dry passage through. Arriving in glorious sunny Dunure we stopped for ice cream and drinks to replenish all the salts we were losing in the heat.Another walker left us here leaving 9 on the final leg to Ayr. Limbs were now starting to tire so the pace was a gentle one over the rocks and sandy bays until we reached Greenan Castle and our goal of Ayr town was now in site.The last 3 miles were taken on the prom as we made our way to Wetherspoons for that well earned pint or three. Another successful marathon with my thanks and appreciation to all the walkers  for  the help and assistance afforded to me to make this a very memorable 26 mile day out.

PS. We had the company of the "Duke" with us yesterday who is going to prepare a full "U" tube account of the day and when I receive it I will post the link for all bloggers to enjoy.(hence the reason for lack of photos on my post.)

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Tay Bridges August 2015

The Tay road bridge

Walkers use a path between the two carriageways

It can be quite noisy

Cyclists can also enjoy the crossing

Unfortunately the surface is deteriorating

Looking back to Dundee
Now I caught the train back to Dundee

Crossing the rail bridge by train

Finished this part of the day in Wetherspoons
 Today Saturday August 29 I set off by bus to Dundee ,something I have always wanted to do is to walk over the road bridge and come back by train over the rail bridge. Early start to Glasgow got me on the gold bus to Dundee arriving about 9.30AM .Once I made my way to the bridge trying to avoid all the new groundworks the city is carrying out along the banks of the river I finally found the stairs onto the bridge. It is just under 2 miles long on the path which runs between the two carriageways meaning it was quite noisy at times as the lorries thundered past. Lots of people use this way to cross especially joggers and cyclists. Once at the other side I went down onto the shore to await a bus to take me to Leuchars railway station to allow me to cross the rail bridge. The bus took me all round the wee villages before arriving at the station which was a lovely place all decorated with colourful flowers blooming in the warm sunshine.Train arrives and I made my journey over the bridge for the first time in about 60 years since my  parents took me on holiday to Carnoustie in the 1950's.Once back in Dundee I had a wee refreshment in Wetherspoons before catching a bus to Perth to visit my daughter and grandson. Then it was bus to Glasgow and onto Ayr to end a super day out that I have been planning to do since I retired back in 2009 well worth the wait.

PS Tomorrow is the annual walking marathon (26 miles) so there will be no blog published until I recover sometime on Monday!!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Cunninghame ramblers evening walk in Prestwick. August 2015.

Walkers enjoying a brief stop on the shore.

Two different ways to get around a large puddle.
Last night Tuesday August 25 I had the privilege of leading Cunninghame ramblers on a short evening walk followed by light refreshments in the Pioneer (Wetherspoons) in  Prestwick. 15 of set off along the path beside the shore over the Pow burn until we reached the right of way across the golf course. Joining the cycle track the group then made their way unfortunately in some light rain back to the town where we then enjoyed a couple of pints of beer to end a very pleasant evening .

Friday, 21 August 2015

ADRC .Recce for forthcoming marathon(26 miles). August 2015

Sloes are starting to ripen up ready for the gin in October

A very peaceful Dunure harbour

Dunure castle

A magnificent Culzean Castle.
In preparation for ARDC annual marathon on Sunday August 30 I decided I better recce the route in case of any gates being locked or areas being overgrown with nettles etc.Yesterday on a cloudy mild morning I set off from Doonfoot passed Greenan castle,Heads of Ayr,Bracken Bay,Dunure,Culzean Castle and finally into the Maidens.Most of the walk was relatively easy with some areas covered in bracken and nettles so I decided on the day of the marathon I will permit those walkers wearing long trousers to go in first and flatten the area to allow those of us in shorts a safe passage through.Only got to do the last bit to Girvan now and I will do that next week on a day the tide levels allow me past the cottages that are impassable at high tide.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Cunninghame ramblers. Conic Hill by Loch Lomond. August 2015

Leader  explaining todays route

unusual street names

First views of the Bonnie Banks.

Not every group has a morning quiz!!!!

We are now on the west highland way

Aerial view of the walking path

That is the peaks of Arran in the distance.

What a wonderful place to have a lunch break

Todays group at the summit

Mr and Mrs happy walk leaders.
Yesterday on a glorious warm sunny day Cunninghame ramblers headed to Loch Lomond to climb Conic Hill near to Balmaha. 11 of us set off from the local car park firstly on the road until we arrived at the hamlet of Milton of Buchanan where we took the track up through the forest until we reached the West Highland Way. Many walkers were out enjoying the sunshine as we headed up the side of Conic Hill where we were rewarded for our efforts with most magnificent views of the loch and all the surrounding mountains. After a lunch stop we had a very steep descent back down to Balmaha where the leaders were thanked by everyone for an excellent 7 mile walk taken in the most perfect conditions. What a beautiful country we are fortunate enough to live in.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Wigtownshire ramblers. Gatehouse of Fleet circular. August 2015

Leader explaining todays walk

Going through the Calley Palace woods

Sandgreen shore

Coffee break in the sun

Lovely dry conditions today

Styles were negotiated

Sitting out at the cream of Galloway

Trying to kid you that it was Jims Travel

ruined church at Girthon

 Standing on the steps of the Cally Folly

Todays large group

Mr and Mrs walk leaders
On Saturday August 15 I met up with my old group the famous Wigtownshire ramblers at Gatehouse of Fleet for a 10 mile circular walk of the surrounding countryside. 23 of us set off firstly through the Cally woods past the hotel to the shore at Sandgreen for a short coffee break. From there we went through the "Jungle" which was until our leaders had spent time a few days earlier clearing a safe way through some quite dense undergrowth. Arriving at the Cream of Galloway ice cream factory lunch was taken in the lovely warm sunshine followed by a delicious flavoured ice cream. One of our group had a cranberry and brandy flavoured tub and it was not long before he gave us a wee song. In the afternoon we followed paths and tracks past an old church at Girthon back to the Cally woods before arriving back in the village. Some of the group went for tea and scones at the local tearoom whilst 5 of us retired to one of the many
Our home for two nights!!
hostelries for a wee refreshment in their beer garden. Thanks to everyone who was out on Saturday for making me feel so welcome it was great to see you all again.
PS  Anne and I were camping at Castle Douglas for the weekend which we both enjoyed living rough for a couple of days.

Walk leaders press report.

Saturday dawned a beautiful summer’s day with blue skies with a few puffy white clouds and a gentle breeze to keep the flies away.  Twenty two ramblers assembled at the car park in Gatehouse of Fleet and set off across the grass towards the river.  A pleasant walk through the woods led us to the Cally golf course where numerous cheerful players were playing the apparently difficult course.  The track took us across the course and up to the hotel where more residents were preparing to set off round the course.

The road then passed back into the woods following the ubiquitous Cycle Route 7 towards Sandgreen.  Several cyclists passed us; some out for the exercise and others heading for the shops in Gatehouse from the caravan park at Sandgreen.  The route through the lovely woods was most pleasant with the sun shining through the trees and occasional views across the bays to the Carsluith Hills.  On emerging from the woods we followed the tree lined avenue between the fields.  We were surprised by a small black cloud which started a short rain shower.  Some donned waterproofs but by the time they were fully clad the cloud passed and the sun emerged again.

We passed through the caravans and onto the beach where we paused on the rocks for a quick coffee break.  After a generous distribution of sweets by several members our leader soon had us up and walking again.  We crossed the beach and followed the road towards Carrick Shore and then turned up the road towards Girthon.  The roadsides were still full of wild flowers with their bright colours and wafts of scent enlivening our journey.

Beyond Boreland of Girthon we took to the fields using the wind turbine at Cream of Galloway as a guide.  We crossed a series of rocky hummocks and then descended through scrubby trees towards the Boreland Burn.  A short jungle passage along an old track took us across the burn and on to Rainton Farm.  Those wearing shorts walked at the back to avoid the worst of the virulent nettles which grew there.  We crossed the fields, avoiding the dairy cows that grazed contentedly in the clover rich fields and climbed up to the Cream of Galloway visitor centre where we stopped for lunch and to enjoy their excellent ice cream.

After lunch we headed along an old track through Rainton Farm and across the fields to Girthon Church.  The map indicated a track across the fields but there was no sign of it on the ground.  It is time Ordnance Survey updated their rural maps.  After a pause at the kirk to examine the old building and the fascinating grave stones we continued across the road and back into the woods.  As we entered the woods the air suddenly became much warmer and more humid.  It was like walking into a sauna.  A little further on we came to the newly reinstated “Temple” folly and then walked back towards Gatehouse through the tunnel shared with the burn under the A75.  The route went through the Cally Woods and across the Garries Park, where a strongly contested football match was just starting and back to the car park.

Most of the walkers then enjoyed teas on the terrace at the Mill on the Fleet where they were entertained by a heron that arrived to fish the clear water and were enchanted to see the quick electric blue flash of a kingfisher as it sped its way up the river.

Next week’s walk is on Sunday 23rd August. This is a more strenuous walk in the hills below MiIlfore.  The walk will visit the Dragonfly Memorial and cross Darnaw, Craignell and Munwhul hills.  Meet a the Breastworks car park in Stranraer at 08:30 or the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 09:00 to share transport.  The work will start from the Craigencallie car park (Grid ref: NX 503 780) at 10:00. New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader on 01988 700553 for full details.
A second more leisurely walk has been arranged from St Medan's Golf Club beach car park 
(NX 357 408) at 10:00am. Meet at Stranraer Breastworks car park or Newton Stewart, Riverside car park at 9:15am for car sharing. The walk is level C, 7 miles.   For details contact the walk leader on 01988 840268.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Kilmarnock and Loudoun ramblers. Recce to Knockdolian by Ballantrae. August 2015

The recce team.
Yesterday I was invited by Kilmarnock and Loudoun ramblers to assist in a recce of Knockdolian hill just outside Ballantrae in South Ayrshire. 8 of us had a wonderful climb to the summit to be rewarded with some spectacular views in the lovely clear conditions. Thanks for the invitation I thoroughly enjoyed my day out.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Cunninghame ramblers. Maybole circular. August 2015

Making our way up Kildoon Hill

Enjoying the views from the monument.

A happy goose family

Do you notice all the men rushing to assist!!!

Sweetie time.

A wee break in the sunshine

Plaque at "murder hole"

After the ferns a nice walk on a grassy field.

Todays small group.

Mr and Mrs walk leader.
Yesterday Cunninghame ramblers put on additional walk to the programme,Maybole circular.. 8 of us met at the local baths to walk the 10 mile circuit that has become a firm favourite with many of the groups I walk with. On a bright breezy morning we made our way up Kildoon hill to the monument to admire the views of south ayrshire spreading out before us. Passing the kennels the dogs gave us a very noisy welcome as usual before we headed out into the country to a place known locally as murder hole. A new deer fence has been erected here to allow a new forest to be planted,unfortunately the machinery has obliterated the path so we had to make our own way through some rather boggy areas  trying carefully not to damage the newly sown saplings. Lunch was taken on a sheltered side of the hill as the breeze had strengthened over the last hour or so.Once down onto the road the walkers made their way back into Maybole to end a another great day out with thanks to Mr and Mrs walk leaders for putting on this walk a fairly short notice.