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Sunday, 2 May 2010

Wigtownshire Ramblers Girvan May 1st 2010

It's Saturday the 1st of May 2010, and todays walk is a circular taking in the hills immediately south of Girvan.
As we rendezvous at Girvans south car park,we're a group of twelve two legged walkers,with Curly being our only quadruped.A group of our ramblers have gone off to climb some boring hill that goes by the name of Ben Nevis.

The pictures on todays blog will also include some from the recce which took place on Thursday.
Our intrepid leader today is Slewtrain, who knows this area like the back of his hand.(Have you seen the back of his hand!)I'm his deputy (dawg)
The press report for todays walk will be at the end the end of the blog, and I may or may not make some witty,educational,or other comments under the pictures.(Chance would be a fine thing you say ?)

Looking over to Ailsa Craig it's a wonderful morning.

These are at the south end of the beach,just before Cow Rocks.

Once we've navigated the A77 we're along by Shalloch Mill.Broken down tractors take a long time moving.

The Byne Hill caravan park where an alien rock group reside.

I'm supposed to be at the back here.Sorry boss!
These Shetland ponies were very friendly.Bottom right here is a family unit of cows.It's spring alright.

Passing through Brochneil farm and industrial yard this wild boar was spotted.Apparently there's one similar to this at Glenwhan Gardens near Dunragit.

In the report below I've written that this may be Horneblende.Since Ailsa Craig is a volcanic plug perhaps this is a black basalt from that age.I'm no geologist,but there's a great variety of rock and minerals around.One more for my collection.

Approaching Drumfairn on the recce was this lovely picture.I wonder whether this was the same sheep we put the right way up on the walk itself.Since I've been walking with the Ramblers, there's never been a spring or summer when we haven't helped a sheep back on it's legs.I wonder what the casualty rate is for deaths amongst upturned sheep.
In the distance is the Dinvin Motte, which stands just off the Girvan to Newton Stewart road.

A stop to admire the rolling countryside below us.The railway line runs through here.We saw two trains on Thursday's recce.

To the west as the clouds gather is Hadyard Hill Wind Farm at Tormitchell, and the Merrick and Mullwharchar in the Galloway Hills.

The weather's still great as we begin the climb up Grey Hill...

...and this was on Thursday's recce at the Nick O' the Nawin.

Lunchtime on Grey Hill as the clouds gather to the north and east.
A scavenger has a look around my lunch box.

On the recce we left our rucksacks on Grey Hill as we took a walk down to Kilranny Hill.
Intrepid Les went a little further.Spot the dot atop Pinbain.

Arran and Holy Isle were in the clear on Thursday... was Girvan.
Here at the memorial to Major A.C.B. Craufuird, we can't even see Ailsa.

The trig point on Byne Hill on Thursday's recce.

The rain eases a little as we descend.We can now see Girvan.

After negotiating a herd of feeding cattle we were soon back at the cars.
Today was a great walk up until it started raining.Even with waterproofs some folks still got drookit.I wasn't too bad mind you,and my feet stayed dry.
It was still an enjoyable day in the best of company.

Wigtownshire Ramblers.

Saturday 1st of May 2010.

On a nice sunny morning, a depleted group of 12 walkers gathered at Girvans South Car park for the walk up Grey Hill.The road side was a blaze of colour from the Grape Hyacinth planted there.

They began by walking south along the side of the A77, passing by the Ainslie Manor Nursing Home, then crossing to the minor road at Shalloch Mill.
Hawthorn and Blackthorn were beginning to bloom.

Next they headed east alongside Shalloch Brae, before zigzagging through the Byne Hill Caravan Park.
A short stop was made to admire a number of Shetland ponies in an adjoining field.

The track now took them through Brochneil farmyard. Here a stone structure of a hogshead, or wild boar caught the attention.

A well constructed hardcore road now took them south along the side of Balaclava wood. An interesting black mineral, possibly hornblende, was spotted in a small quarry by the amateur geologists in the group.

Now out of the woods and on a gradual incline, they continued on to Drumfairn, a former shepherds cottage now being restored.
Here a dazed sheep who'd fallen on it's back, was rescued. Leaving her well on the way to recovery with her lamb by her side, the group continued the walk.

Now they reached the Grey Hill Grasslands Nature Reserve maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
With open rolling farmland to the fore, and views over to the Galloway hills, they crossed burnt heathery moorland to begin the ascent to Grey Hill.
Loch Lockton and Knockdolian Hill were prominent features to the south.

A steady climb brought them first to the saddle of the Nick O' the Nawin, then Grey Hill itself.
Views including the North Antrim coast, the Mull of Kintyre,Arran and Holy Isle,were all dominated by Ailsa Graig just ten miles out. Lunch was enjoyed at the summit.

As well as the distant views, the group could see a change in the weather.As the lunch break ended clouds were gathering.Hopes that it would blow over were dashed as the rain came down.

With waterproofs donned, they now headed north east to Fell Hill.
From here they climbed down occasionally muddy slippy slopes to reach the ruins of an old building or sheep pen at Craiglea.
A boggy muddy path round Mains Hill now fetched them to the ruins of a monumental obelisk.
This was erected in memory of Major A.C.B. Craufuird who served in H.M. Forces in India and took part in the capture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1795.Without some restoration it's unlikely to be standing much longer.

The next target was due to be the summit of Byne Hill.With only an occasional break in the rain the walk leader after consultation with the group decided against it.
Instead they made their way down the lower slopes of Byne Hill via a muddy farm track to Myoch bridge.Next they crossed the A77 to the shore path, and back to the carpark.
Refreshments at the carpark kiosk were enjoyed by some of the group.

With a break for the Newton Stewart Walking Festival, the next walk,on the 15th of May, will be the popular coastal walk from Auchenmalg to Stairhaven.
Meet at the Riverside car park Newton Stewart at 9.00am, the Breastworks Stranraer at 9.30 am. or the walk start at the Cock Inn (NX 236 517) at 10 am

New members are always welcome,for more information contact the walk leader on 07790 248719

1 comment:

  1. what a lovely post. the commentary is cheerful and perky. springlike really. i spotted the dot and love the photos of the sheep and cows and the alien rock group really tickled me. keep it up.


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