Thursday, September 28, 2006

East Ayrshire Off Road Part 2

Loch Doon

Bright and breezy from the south west sounded good for the second part of the East Ayrshire route from Stinchar Bridge to New Cumnock, just had to check that Anne would pick me up, she agreed and I was on my way down to the start by 9.45.
It proved a nice day for it, and the route was great, all remote tracks over moor and mainly open forest, there is only one place on route that passes a farm, Eriff, and as luck would have it the shepherd was home for lunch back door wide open. As I past through the yard two tied dogs made some vicious noises and I was greeted by his two not so friendly great danes cantering out of the house, frightening! Fortunately more noise than bite but it was not very nice.
I'll put a warning in the route description, there is a short push alternative I may have to check out next time I'm down that way.

By the end of the day although I had a great four hours cycling but with all the car shuffling Anne and I had accumulated more driving time than I had cycling time, so much for saving energy by cycling!

A few photos here

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A glorious walk to Fairlie

Fungus in Fairlie wood

In lovely clear air and blue skies testerday Anne and I had a walk over the hills to Fairlie. It was all go up on the moor but in a quiet way.
We had a chat to a model flier on the side of Glentane, his model was a cute little radio controlled sea gull and he was trying to make best use of the slope and breeze.
Up on the side of Kaim hill a paraglider was also taking full advantage of the steady breeze and getting well above Kaim hilltop.
The fishing on Glenburn reservior was busy and there were some more model fliers on the ridge above the track to Fairlie, its nice to see folk enjoying themselves in that quiet outdoor way without fuss and noise.
There were loads of fungi about so took some pictures again, one had a furry yellow surface and oozed liquid. I kept well clear.

View Pictures here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Eaglesham trail

Gleniffer view

Yesterday it just rained and rained and rained, Anne and I had a little jaunt up to Waterstones book shop in Glasgow for a bit of browsing and lunch.

Today didn't look too promising but I put the bike on the car and went over to Neilston to check out the trail to Eaglesham, it all worked out OK the trail I was interested in turned out to be a footpath which was good as it went through two farms and I even managed to skirt round Eaglesham off road. I ran out of time so couldn't do a circuit but I'm happy with the trails I found, they are part of a trail round East Ayrshire that I'm investigating.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Windmill route

Stair inn

Yesterday Anne and I had a very pleasant stroll through Failford nature reserve to Stair along the new River Ayr track. At Stair Inn we had a light lunch before the return trip. There were lots of fungi to be seen, Anne fancies getting a fungi spotters book and I was thinking of starting a fungi photo collection, it would be good at this time when the flowers are fading.

Today we had a strole up to Greta falls behind Largs, its a nice spot but the walks a bit short and unless you climb the hill to make a loop its out and back.
Took a few photos and may post them shortly once I've played about with them.

PM was looking really nice so got out the MTB about 1.30 and set off for the windfarm, ended up going over both windfarms and then Kaim Downhill, got back just before 5pm. Up on the hill there were a couple of fell runners going down the trail in front of me, much to my disgust they just ran away from me downhill, I'd like to think I had more fun but it did make me think (for a second or two) I'd be better without the bike but that thought didn't last!

View photos here

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Autumn followed by summer

Glenburn falls on Fairlie Moor

Yesterday's weather was rubbish so went across to Kilmaurs Walkers cyles for my new crank, by the time I got back it was lunchtime and the rain had stopped so had a spot of lunch and drove up the moor to do some trail clearing, although it was more a case of nettle bashing. By the time I got to the farthest point on the trail it was throwing it down again so got rather wet.

Today looked like more of the same so settled down with the maps to do some route finding but by 10.30 it was brightening so threw a snack in the bag and got out on the MTB before the weather changed its mind.
Down the beach I went, tootling along with a following wind to Portencross.
The waves were breaking nicely over the rocks and the puddles were huge.
I was enjoying the easy ride with wind assit so stayed flat to Fairlie but then it was time for the uphill before the downhill.
I was off up to Kelburn and Fairlie glen downhill.
The Kelburn section was more of a burn than a path, my bum got well caked even with the crud guard, Fairlie glen was wet and slippy and the burn was going well after all that rain.
By the time I'd got down to the road the sun was out and it was just like a warm summers day so stopped off at a beach bench and had my lunch snack admiring the lovely view north over Fairlie bay.
Got home about 2pm but it was too nice to sit in so went off up the moor for a strole checking out a trail but mainly just stroling in the pleasant sun splodging through the puddles in my wellies like a kid just out of school, got back just in time for tea.

A few Fairlie moor pictures here

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fungi Trails

Fungi in Blair estate

I was looking for some info on the Forth Clyde Canal and I came across Mark Moxon's site and have been reading his account of Lands End to John O'Groats most of the evening. He seems to have been about a bit and written a great deal about his travels.
I've put him in my favourites to dip into again soon.

The weather has been a bit unsettled the past couple of days so haven't been far, an hour or so out on the MTB yesterday and a little strole along Miller Walk in Fairlie.
This morning I did a bit of trail bashing in the showers and PM we had a walk around Blair estate up at Dalry in wellies and with brollies.
It was nice wandering among the trees and collecting a few chestnuts satisfied Anne's gathering urge.
I tell her she must have been a squirrel in a previous life the way she's always gathering and she tells me I was a dog the way I always have to get outdoors dashing about silly.
One thing though, we certainly didn't need a dogs sence of smell to detect the fungi we came across at Blair, they were honkin' at twenty paces pictures here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New start to east Ayrshire off road

Girvan fishing boats
Last Sunday I was investigating a bit of off road from Ballantrae across to Straiton but the section to Barr was a bit scrappy, bog and thigh deep sedge, so today I investigated an alternative shorter route from Girvan to Barr over the right of way and windfarm roads.
The first part is a ball breaker 250m steep climb up Laggan Hill on a rough track, that got me lathered up, from then on it was plane sailing to Penwhapple Reservior , where do these names come from?
It looks like the Girvan to Barr route is the best option, nice and firm good views, and no deep vegitation to plough through so will add it to my Wayfarer map shortly.
Didn't go down to Barr just looped back downhill to Girvan on the road then to the harbour to see if I might get a few pictures.

View pictures here

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Fun while homeward bound

A spectator on Kaim hill

Yesterday Anne and I took the bikes up to Cornalees for a little cycle round the Greenock cut, we decided on the cut because of the clear air and expected to have great views. We weren't disappointed.
The cut only takes about a leisurely hour to complete, we had a coffee and cake at the centre and Anne went off to do the shopping while I headed home on the MTB trying to keep off the road by going around Kelly Cut then along the Meagle road into Largs, along the front off road to Fairlie and Portencross finishing along Seamill shore path.
After tea I loaded the photos into the computer and was amazed to discover I'd taken 85 in total, after sorting them out was left with 43 view some here.

Today Anne and I went a wander over the local hills lovely warm day with a cool breeze, PM Anne did some domestics and I did a gentle little MTB trail taking photos as I went.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A bit of this and a bit of that

Arran from the beach

Anne and I took a stole down the beach this morning, it was quiet, though not quiet enough to see any birdlife, it was warm and with a fresh breeze so went the full beach walk.
After lunch since it was breezy and the midges would be down, I thought I'd get the last of the hedge cutting out of the way, didn't take long, then had a cuppa before heading out on the MTB over to Kaim hill thinking the breeze would keep me cool on the climb to the strart of the downhill run. Sure enough all went as planned and apart from a few nettle stings of the lower leg I had a lovely little adrenaline outing, getting back just in time for tea.

View the route here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Four hours on local trails

Arran from Bute

It was a grey morning today but only a very light drizzle so decided to get out on the MTB and see how it went. It seemed I was still tired from Sunday, struggled on the hills but was having a nice run until I decided to go up the moor for a little downhill thrill, got the thrill but the climb was hard.

PM and after lunch it brightened up so just thought I'd cycle along to Fairlie for the Kelburn Fairlie Glen downhill surprisingly I felt a bit better and managed the steep climb up through Kelburn quite well and really enjoyed the downhill.
Got back at 4.15 in time to help Anne skiddling with the home made wine, hope the legs still have something left for the badminton tonight.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Start to East Ayrshire off Road

Orchids at Buck Cafe Straiton
Today Anne was going south to Girvan to visit her mother so I asked to be dropped off at Ballantrae to start on a new route through East Ayrshire.
We stopped for a snack before I got dropped off to make a start.
I'd chosen the easy option from Ballantrae to Pinwherry but the forest ride toward Barr was a bit of boggy push and then I had a bit of a dehidration bonk around Changue but luckily I found a nice little burn and threw down half a pint of cool water and felt much better soon after.
I had arranged to meet Anne at Straiton but was late and no mobile signal but eventually got through and had time for a coffee and cake at the Buck before pick up. Great day out but perhaps this isn't the best route choice for the start of the route, so may have to do some investigation in the area.

Pictures here.

Two days walking on Arran

Arran from Ardrossan Harbour

The past couple of days Anne and I were on Arran for a walk from Whiting Bay to Lochranza staying in Brodick overnight on route.
We left our overnight bag in the ferry terminal at Brodick and caught the bus to Whiting Bay to start the walk up Glenashdale past the waterfalls. Just past the waterfalls we had our fist little route problem getting to the forest track, the way was blocked by bramble bushes so we ended up walking half a kilometre instead of 20metres.
On route through the forest tracks we came across a couple of very large toadstools see them in the photos.
Next day after a good nights sleep at the B&B we dropped off the overnight kit again and headed up Glen Rosa. The cloud was down on the tops so we decided not to go high but went over the bealach scramble into Glen Sannox, of course the cloud lifted but by then it was too late to change our mind.
I had hoped to make our way round the Cock of Arran to Lochranza to complete an end to end but we didn't have time so caught the bus at Sannox back to the ferry.

A lovely couple of days view photos here

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Making web changes

Benslie beasts

Haven't been far over the past couple of days, yesterday it poured except for a couple of hours after lunch so managed a short outing out to Fairlie moor for a short downhill thrill.
Thought today would be best staying clear of the mud on the road bike so went out for a couple of hours over Failie Moor road, and a little jog down at Portencross. The rest of my time I've been making a few changes to my web site to improve the route descriptions on my local trails for MTB and walks, its not quite right yet but view the new bits here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Open Doors

Anne wanted to visit Loudoun hall in Ayr during open doors day yesterday so we were down there sharp and inteded a walk afterwards. The hall is the oldest building in Ayr, was saved from demolition and restored. There was a nice photo display by the Ayr club and free coffee and biscuits.
After Loudoun we visited St Johns Tower just round the corner, the best aspects of the tower were the view from the top and the carved round window.
We took a walk from Roselle over to Tam O Shanter for lunch and had intended to walk out to Greenan but got waylayed by Elderberries for wine so never made it.
Later again we visited old friend at Minishant and had Indian carry out, top notch.

Pictures here
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