Tuesday this week I headed up to Loch Doon to recce a possible walk for the ramblers.
I was joined by the 'Ranger' and we drove five miles along the western edge of the loch to reach our start point. There wasn't a soul around at that time.
Our walk was to start at Loch Doon Castle
I was last at the castle in 2011
The info board tells the history.
It's quite calm on the water.There was a lot of cloud throughout the day so I've lightened some of the pictures.
We've got a nice path to begin the walk.
I thought at first that this was a spelling mistake on the board since the hill is Craiglee, no 'a'.
After a little bit of internet surfing I think I might have the answer.
The postal addresses of a one time couple of cottages near the shore was Craiglea, and as we found out the Craiglea Trail is not to the summit of Craiglee.
In other words, the sign is probably correct.
We're heading up the Wee Hill of Craigmulloch first. This poignant memorial's just off the path.
As we gain height the view back to the loch is beautiful.
There is a shortage of photographs because of the dullness of the day.
After reaching the top of Wee Hill of Craigmulloch we have to drop down to the Nick of the Mahm before heading up Craiglee. It's an undulating terrain.
Bog cotton, little wild flowers and lots of wild orchids grew profusely.
Most of the orchids were on the wane, but this one was at it's best.
Here's a look at a climb up here by the Ayrshire Blogger.
We saw an imaginary path alongside a drystone dyke up the northern side of the hill. It was a tough climb with plenty of tussocks to get through.........
...........but we got there. A ten second timed picture caught a funny comment by the looks of it !
Now I'm trying out another panorama website. Spot the sunhat ! I don't even know if the email recipients of my blog will get this part but here it is. (Sorry about the poor quality, but it was dark and the clouds were becoming threatening)
It's called Dermandar, this looks like the site I'll use in future for my panoramas.
This panorama is also on CLeVR and on Panogio but I've a feeling both these sites are struggling for a lack of maintenance. (websites come and go, there are lots of dead links on many of my older posts)
So after we've had lunch and felt a little moisture in the air we look to descend fairly quickly. We decide to go east down the southern slopes of the hill. I'd mistakenly got the impression that there was an established path all the way up here. That's the Craiglea/Craiglee thing I guess.
Back at the Nick of the Mahm we cross over the hummocks of Mulluss before another stretch of tussocks got us back on the downhill path. Council workers were strimming the path. It was now we learned that the Craiglea Trail is a circular walk around the lower slopes.
Back on the shore we talk to a father and son on a day out from Prestwick.
It's much busier now than when we came. The tourist trade is much needed here.
A very enjoyable day in enjoyable company.
It wasn't long after that the sun came out. Sods Law!
Postscript:-The wild flowers and orchids were really beautiful to look at, but I've a feeling they contributed to a whole 24 hours of sneezing and a runny nose. It took tons of spray and Ilvico tablets before I felt relief.