Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Luss and Ness - Pick of the Pics

Luss Horseshoe 8th May. Walk abandoned because of rain and high winds. Must have been bad as Davie's not smiling.

Ness Glen 15 May. Has Peter been told about the two new ooters?

Loch Doon and Rhinns of Kells from Fort Carrick

Making our way up the Glen and back to the cars.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Falls of Clyde Circular

Circular walk taking in New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde. Walk done on 30 April 2013. Boots needed. Some steep bits and steps. Depending on your speed and how much time you spend taking photos and exploring New Lanark this 7 mile walk will take anything from two and a half to four hours or more.

Park in Kirkfieldbank near the old bridge on Kirkfield Road.

Cross the old bridge and turn right between some cottages and go downhill to the start of a grassy path along the river.
looking back along the grassy path

Go through the gate and follow the path. It leaves the river and climbs up past some water works.
Continue climbing until you reach a tarmacked road (St Patrick's Road).

Walk along the road looking out for a signpost (just past asign for Jookers Johnnie) for the Clyde Walkway to the right. (Certain Ooters have been known to miss this!)

Turn right

Follow the tarmacked road with 5mph speed limit sign for a short way and a second sign  to the right leads you to a zigzag path through woodland down to the river again.

Follow this path along the river. At the top of the climb there is a viewpoint balcony from where you get your first view of New Lanark.

The path leads you up to the New Lanark Road and go down this road into New Lanark.

Make your way through the streets to the far end and climb the steps with signs for Falls of Clyde/Corra Linn/peregrines (in spring). There are lots of viewpoints.
Corra Linn in spate June 2012

Keep following the river until you eventually get to the bridge at Bonnington Linn. Cross it and follow the paths back along the river. You pass the ruins of Corra Castle. After you have passed New Lanark on the other side the path moves away from the river. Keep bearing right and soon you pass new houses on your left and you come to Kirkfield Road.  Go right, back down to the bridge.

Lade at New Lanark June 2012

Distance: 9.4 km (map by ooter Paul)

Friday, 3 May 2013

Some ither pictures frae Wednesday

1 May Wanlockhead to Sanquhar

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Ian, Jimmy, Malcolm, Paul & Robert

            May Day, the beginnings of summer: The bus dropped us off at the Lead Mining Museum in Wanlockhead on what should have been, according to the forecast, a lovely spring morning; should have been but wasn’t. The sky hung heavy, pregnant with rain. Already it had plattered on the bus window on the way up to the museum and it threatened to come any time again.
The intention of the day was to walk part of the Southern Uplands Way from Wanlockhead to Sanquhar, an easy and not too long a walk and a very pleasant walk in fine weather. So, given the glorious spring weather of the day before and the forecast for today, we looked forward to a pleasant walk in fine weather. Now it looked as though all we could look forward to was a soaking.
            But it was still dry when we left the bus strop to follow the Wanlock Water down past the old lead workings. (Which Paul helped to restore as he keeps reminding us!) Down past the old cemetery we came and the first spots of rain hit. It didn’t last long, just a slaver in the wind. But, as we crossed the Wanlock Water, it came again. This was enough to have the pessimists among us don the waterproof trousers. Jimmy & Robert were the optimists who walked on regardless. This passing shower took its own time to pass and we walked up the old track towards the pass on Glengaber Hill in the constant downpour.
            We topped the pass and Robert succumbed to the weather and donned the waterproof trousers. This might have been an easier task if his trousers hadn’t been soaking and his boots just as bad. To watch him struggle, standing on one foot, pulling and tugging at his waterproofs and trying desperately hard not to land on his backside was our only enjoyment on this particularly dreich part of the walk. Eventually he succeeded. He shouldn’t have bothered for no sooner than had he the waterproofs on than the rain went and we came down to the ruined farm of Cogshead in the dry. And was that the sky beginning to break up? We would see.
            We had coffee/lunch at Cogshead while Davie Mc delighted in drawing Allan’s attention to the path climbing steeply up the slope of the unnamed hill opposite, Allan whose dislike of climbing is legend in the Ooters. And it was to this path, whether Allan liked it or not, that we headed after coffee.

 The slope was not quite as steep as it looked, just steep enough and long enough to catch the breath and burn the legs and string the group out in a long crocodile. But the sky definitely cleared as we climbed and this cheered even the most reluctant of climbers. By the time all of us had reached the col between this unnamed hill and Conrig Hill and looked down on Nithsdale, the sun was out and the fresh breeze was chasing the rain south-eastward. And waterproofs were dispensed with, such was our cheering up. ‘It’s all downhill from here’, said out expert. And so it was – mainly.
We dropped down in the sun towards Brandleys Cottage then through a boggy stretch and through a wood. Some were calling for lunch/coffee so we made the four hundred and ten metre detour from The Way to the Black Loch where we had our second break of the day. Some waterfowl rose from the lochan at our approach. ‘Four tufted duck and a pair of mallard’ announced our birders. We couldn’t argue, and didn’t. We sat down beside the Black Loch for lunch. Like Dr. Johnson said of the Giant's Causeway, the Black Loch and its crannog are worth seeing but not worth going to see. Some were disappointed but we all sat in the sun and enjoyed our peece.
Back on the way, we still came down, down past the riding of the marches centenary fence and down into Sanquhar by the Coo Wynd.

As Shakespeare said ‘All’s well that ends well’. This was a day that started poorly but ended in lovely spring sun and we had a fine walk after all.  

FRT was taken in our usual howf in Sanquhar, The Crown (Established 1739) where we were treated like long lost friends. We can highly recommend this hostelry for its homely atmosphere and friendly staff and clientele.
While we sat there enjoying our fluid replacement therapy another heavy rain shower soaked the streets of Sanquhar. How lucky were we!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

24 April Arran: Corrie Lochan and Glen Catacol

Alan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Ian, Jimmy, & Robert

The heavy overnight rain and the dismal grey sky had at least one of us wondering about the sense of spending the money going to Arran just for a soaking but the met office promised that the day would clear so all six who gathered at Ardrossan harbour boarded the ferry for the island. With the cloud hanging down to around the thousand contour it decided that the high tops would wait for a better day and when Davie Mc suggested a ‘low level’ walk on the west side of the island, his suggestion was readily accepted. So, when we arrived in Brodick, we boarded a bus that bumped and swung its way round the narrow coast road of the island to our starting point at Thundergay (or Thunderguy or Thunderguay depending where you read it). The sun arrived at Thundergay around the same time as the bus but a biting northerly kept the temperature down and we set off immediately to work up a heat against the blow.
The steep climb to Corrie Lochan took its toll on legs stiff from sitting in cars, ferry then bus for the best part of three hours in some cases and we might have taken our time to climb to the wee lochan. But Robert had other ideas and set off up the slope at a fair old lick leaving the rest of us trailing on behind. Still we did have a few opportunities to look behind us down to Thundergay and over the sea to Knapdale and Kintyre. That the snow of last month must have been really bad on the island was witnessed by the first patch that we encountered lying in the burn gorge under a broken birch tree and still around three feet deep. We would meet more snow further up.
We found Robert having elevenses sitting hunkered down behind a low bank by the shore of the Corrie Lochan, the only shelter from the wind that he could find, so we joined him. As we sat we could see a path rise up the slope to our left, a path that we were to take after coffee, a path that rose into one of the great patches of snow that dotted the hillside even this late in the year. So, after coffee, we took to this path, Robert still setting a fair old pace upward.
The snow was of concrete consistency when we reached it and walking up it was a pleasure, like walking on the pavement of the high street, and all would have been idyllic but for the evil northerly that bit the face and rattled the windproof  jackets. But we would not be in that wind for too long now for we had reached our highest point of the day at around the twelve hundred contour. The sun continued to shine and the wind had driven the clag from the high tops and when we reached our high point we had a great view into the ‘back’ side of The Castles, A’Chir and Ben Tarsuinn. But the high toppers we not too disappointed today for if the wind was this strong down here, what might it be like a thousand feet higher? So we contented ourselves by crossing the high point and coming to the side of Glen Catacol.
As soon as we dropped away from the col we lost the wind and the day turned quite pleasant. Not so the underfoot conditions though. At first we had to contend with landslips which cut away the path, landslips which looked quite new from the pristine white boulders that littered the way. But all crossed these slips without too much trouble and we came to the floor of the glen. Now, he who knows these things said that we were only a few hundred yards from Loch Tanna and a visit there would be a fine thing. We believed him. (Again???? – Ed) So our footsteps were turned southward towards the loch. The path ran out and we came on to what is best described a sponge of moss and peat and very little grass, the snow-melt and overnight rain making it extremely wet and slimy. Slipping and sliding and foul language as a backside found the wet peat was the norm on this section to the head of the pass to Loch Tanna – slipping and sliding and cursing and rising once more to the vertical to slither on as before. Eventually enough was enough and we came to a halt and sat on as dry a spot as we could find within viewing distance of the loch and had something to eat.

With bodies and spirits refreshed we started back over the slime to find the head of the Glen Catacol path. Now the going would be much easier. Or not! The path descended steeply beside the burn and at first we were treated to a series of roaring waterfalls and deep, cool-looking pools as we dropped with the path to the bottom of the glen. Then the trouble started. The path crosses boulders – large boulders, small boulders, stable boulders, shoogly boulders, round boulders, flat boulders, many, many, many boulders. Jumping, hopping, stepping up and stepping down was how we covered the next mile or so. Crossing two burns proved difficult for some but the boulders proved the difficulty for most. Then, eventually the boulders gave way to a nice flat, grassy path on the floor of the glen in sight of the sea and we knew that our walk would soon be over.
We came to the end of the glen at a wee car park beside the main road, turned north and found ourselves outside The Catacol Bay Hotel. What more pleasant place could we chose for FRT before catching the bus for Brodick and home again.
As usual, we met a few folk today: Maureen from Peebles on the bus: the Glasgow chap and his friend in the hotel bar: But special mention must go to John and Rebecca from Twickenham who, not only travelled to Arran from home by public transport but followed our very footsteps all the way from the bus to Corrie Lochan and Glen Catacol to the hotel bar. Good on them

Wanlockhead to Sanquhar 1 May

Looking back to Wanlockhead

The rain should be off soon

Coffee stop whilst Allan ponders Davie's 10 minute climb - aye right!

The sun, at last, shines on the righteous

Downhill all the way now, except for the odd wee uphill bit!