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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Penderry, Carlock and Smyrton Hills March 2011

It's Saturday the 26th of March 2011. Today's walk is the last walk of our winter programme.The clocks go forward tonight and we'll be into British Summer time.

I've been unsure since Thursday morning whether I'd be walking today.
Somehow or another my right calf has become very painful,reminiscent of my injury two years ago.I hope to walk it off.I'm deputy walk leader today,so I can pace myself.
Pictures in today's post will include a few from my recce with the walk leader,Slewtrain,from ten days ago.

Eighteen walkers (A good number for an A walk) assembled at the walk start at the crossroads at Auchencrosh north of Glenapp.It's a beautiful morning.

Our first section is three miles of road and track in a south westerly direction.This takes us past Kilantringan Loch (not to be confused with the lighthouse of the same name),Blood Glen and High Ballochdowan Farm.

Sheep and cattle are in numbers in the fields.There's probably a couple of hundred head of cattle in the field above.At the lowest average price per head for dairy cows,say £1400,that makes this herd worth somewhere round £280,000.Goodness !

As we near the west coast we begin to get view over the North Channel.
Ailsa Craig, Arran and Holy Isle.Low mist creates an atmospheric picture.

Shortly after crossing the Nickaloggie burn we take a short break,and do I need it.There were a couple of occasions when the pain in my calf became acute and I thought I'd have to turn back,but now I think my painkillers are kicking in.Now we turn east to tackle Penderry Hill.
The collage above are pictures from the recce.All the remaining snow and ice are now gone.Spring has definitely sprung.

It's a steady haul up to Penderry  summit, we're well strung out with me being one of the back markers.
The mist is lifting below.
Today's summits range from approximately 1000 feet to 1200 feet with Smyrton Hill being the highest.
Our accumulative climb measures just under 2000 feet,but most walkers thought it felt more.Shorty has measured the length at 11 miles.
The soggy and boggy terrain of much of the walk made the going tougher.  

After a suitable break to recover from the initial climb we now head north east following a drystane dyke.

We can see our target in the distance.There's many descents and ascents ahead.
On the programme this is a walk of three hills.It is in fact a walk of seven summits,and from Penderry to Carlock we also ascend Green Benan and Milgarva.

There's quite a bit of cloud,but we're also getting plenty of sunny periods.A nice panoramic view over Ballantrae opens up beyond Green Bennan.

As we continue we have a few drystane dykes and electric fences to cross.Shorty must be in a masochistic mood today as he test out the fences for us.There's none switched on today.

Eventually we reach the summit of Carlock Hill and lunchtime.There's a monument up here to a local two year old lassie with the heartfelt inscription "A little flower lent not given to bud on earth but bloom in heaven".One of our walkers knew the family,and the heartache they went through.

Thankfully in my case lunch is not a hurried affair.
Time for a group picture.I get in this one.

Back on the move we now descend Carlock to reach the A77.There's a lot of roadworks in progress at the moment.

This Landrover Discovery 4 looked as though it was straight off the production line.At only £36,745 it's a snip.
Highly polished.

Now we walk north along the grass verge of the A77 to the track leading to the mast on Auchencrosh.
This is the point where anyone who'd had enough could just walk the 200 metres back to the cars.There were no takers.Gluttons for punishment.
I decide to continue on.I'm still limping.
It's quite a haul up a very stony track to the top of Auchencrosh.
I'm not the only one struggling today.Looking back out to the North Channel,the mist is on it's way back in.

From Auchencrosh it's over the moors to Benawhirn,we're still climbing.
This is a very deceptive section of the walk with many false summits.
We're still getting misty views.The Antrim Coast and the Mull of Kintyre are visible.

Eventually we're atop Smyrton Hill.Time for our final break.There's a lot of happy faces now.
 I'm pleased I'd hung on to my tub of mixed fruit in juice.It went down a treat.

Time for a last group photograph.What a happy bunch.

Our descent northwest  to Smyrton Bridge followed a tributary of the Smyrton Burn.
Cool clear water replenished a few water bottles.An old sheep dip was examined.

Are the smiles for the nearing of the walk finish,or a shared joke ?

A camera zoom shows Ailsa nearly enveloped in mist.

After a few more dykes,fences and gates we reach Smyrton Bridge and the track southwest back to the start point.
A buzzard,a water supply and puddles full of tadpoles saw us passing Auchencrosh Converter Station and the walk finish.

It's been a tough one for some of us.A few of today's walkers look as though they could do it again.I hope I haven't done any damage.
Writing this post the following morning I feel I'm on the mend.I think the walk's done me some good.
For an alternative look at today's walk take a look at Slew's post here.

A good walk.

1 comment:

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