Adventures of the Early Ooters

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Benbeoch 19 October

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Rex, Robert

The day’s plan was to meet at the entrance to Chalmerston opencast mine on the outskirts of Dalmellington and climb Benbeoch (464m). We were graced with good weather for the third week in a row and soon were on our way, led by Derval Davie, resplendent in new boots.
There was a steady relentless climb up the mine roads (the mine is now disused and so other than a farmer in his 4x4 we had no traffic to contend with) and soon, as tradition dictates, we were strung out over a fair distance. Those with cameras took time to stop and take in the ever-improving views as the early morning mists and low cloud cleared from the distant hills. When our chosen track ran out we took to the open ground and made our way up a rough overgrown path which followed a stone wall. Care had to be taken as there were holes and wee gullies hidden underfoot, but we reached the base of the summit relatively unscathed. The final leg led to a schism with most taking a leftward turn to make the steep climb and the other a right. This section was harder going over the long grass but all made it to the top, eventually, with those taking the sinister route just beating the dexters.*
At the cairn, coffee was taken whilst the panorama was enjoyed. Over to Loch Doon, Carlin’s Cairn and Shalloch on Minnoch and beyond, across to Mochrum Hill, Maybole, Ailsa Craig and Arran, round to Whitelee and much to Jimmy’s annoyance, Auchinleck! We obviously had a bird’s eye view of Dalmellington and Burnton, (or was it Craigmark?) and could see the mine workings in all their glory.
When it was time to move off, the main group decided to go down the side of the hill and extend the walk, whereas Allan and Johnny retraced their steps and were back at their car three hours after setting off.
* the benefits of a classical educashun



Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Friday, 14 October 2016

Loudoun Hill 12 October

Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Malcolm, Paul, Peter, Rex, Robert

Davie and Kay welcomed us for coffee and scones prior to our weekly walk. Thanks again, folks! Much appreciated!
Target ahead!
Today we would do the Loudoun Hill walk in a clockwise direction, and so we set off in dry, bright conditions, but with a wee cauld breeze to cool us down, especially when in the shade. Making our way out of Darvel, we followed the signs to the hill by way of the path adjoining the old railway. Although a bit overgrown our progress was smooth and soon we made the old bridge, or what’s left of it, at the end of the path. Gus, still suffering from his Achilles problem, turned back here whilst the rest of us made our way up to the back end of the hill and made the short, but steep, ascent to the top. The views were good but we chose to have lunch/coffee in the sheltered side of the hill rather than sit at the very top in the breeze.
The journey down the front of the hill was steeper and narrower than your scribe remembers but all made it safely down and went on to take some time at the ‘Spirit of Scotland’ monument (created by local artist, Richard Price).  Crossing the main road, we followed the signs for the Long Cairn Walk which took us to the wooden bridge crossing the burn at which point we had our second stop of the day.
Still a wean at heart!
Conditions were good for walking, both overhead and underfoot, so the final leg back to Darvel was uneventful. Gus even appeared with his car fifty minutes out from Davie’s house and offered anybody a lift back. All declined his generous offer, even Peter who was suffering big time from his corns. Time to get them sorted Peter! Four and a half hours was today’s walk time. A walk which gave plenty of variety and tested the less fit.
FRT was taken in a new venue for the Ooters, the Riverside Inn in Newmilns. This was a busy pub, but we were warmly received and, no doubt, this will be our chosen hostelry in this area in future. A jovial hour was spent there.

Interviews with the Ooters
Episode 1 (of an occasional series)

Q What is your favourite American act?
A The Stylistics

Q What is your favourite UK act?
A Style Council

Q What did you want to be when you grew up?
A I still want to be a hair stylist

Q What is your favourite Scottish TV programme?
A Style game!!

Q Who is your favourite actor?
A John Nettles

Q What two TV series have you enjoyed most?
A Wire in the Blood and Bouquet of Barbed wire

Q What is your favourite sport?
A Fencing

Q First car you owned?
A Fiat Stilo

Q Favourite pen
A Pentel Stylo

Q What is the Ooters attitude to you?
A Hostile

Q When was the last time you took a tumble to yourself?
A This reply has been censored and the interview terminated (for the time being!)