Alan McQ, Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Jim, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Malcolm, Robert
We met at the Green in Maybole in order to get the bus to Maidens to start our walk. Despite words of caution from the locals, the bus arrived on time and off we went on a tour of rural Carrick before we alighted on a dry morning, but with a chill wind blowing. Alan McQ, (teachers get far too many holidays these days), was using his local knowledge to lead us on a walk which was to take us over Mochrum Hill (270m, 886ft) and back to our starting point. Our friend Ian Hill had taken us up Mochrum Hill before, but for many this was to be a new excursion.Following the road adjacent to the beach, we made our way up the track and then followed the old railway line until we emerged at the Cat Gates into Culzean. From there we followed Alan as he took us on towards the road just north of the Swan Pond and up to the Walled Garden, where we could see substantial works in progress. Coffee was called for at the picnic benches.
The next stop was at the memorial to the Kennedys, a feature that had gone unnoticed to us in the past. Leaving Culzean at the main entrance point, taking note of new landscaping , we crossed the A719 and took the track which relentlessly took us up towards the hill. When the track ran out, the going got trickier over tufts and the like, and we were grateful that, at this time of the year, we didn’t have the bracken to contend with. With our goal in sight we could see two or three ways to tackle the final climb, but those in front went for the direct and steeper route through some dense heather. The rest followed a bit behind, keeping Jim company on the ascent.
|An alternative view of Robert's patience!|
No rest for the wicked! It was soon time to get a move on down through the woods and following the path through thick and thin before emerging on to more open countryside and onto a track which took us down to the B7023. By this time there was a persistent drizzle and, rather than walk along this busy road, Alan took us across the road and up the farm track to Trees Farm before continuing back towards Maybole via Gardenrose Path.
We arrived back four hours and a few minutes after having set off and having covered 15km (nearly nine and a half miles in old money). For convenience, we decided to partake of FRT at the Greenside, a haunt we have used before, but perhaps not again. Unusually, the place was busy with noisy locals, not an issue, but the juke box was blaring, making conversation, even for the Ooters, almost impossible. Add to this the very limited selection of draught beers, it made a disappointing end to an interesting and varied walk. We left after one drink.
Thanks to Alan for leading us today, a new walk to add to the Ooters portfolio. We look forward to more walks in the future.