Sunday 20 June 2010

To The Moor

So that's the World Cup finally in full swing. As good as it is to have a constant supply of football, I have found myself doing nothing but watching the games and pigging out so I decided I have to do something productive with a nice sunny Saturday.

With the weather being as nice as it was forecast to be, I decided to go a wee walk in Largs/Fairley. The destination was Blaeloch Hill starting in Fairlie and ending in Largs. The good thing about this walk is that Blaeloch Hill is a Sub-2000 (AKA Marilyn) so can be checked off the hill list.

So the walk started from the West Stewart Street bus stop in Greenock where I got the Stagecoach Service 585 which would drop me off on Fairley Main Street. 40 minutes later I was at the start of the path just before the train station in Fairley.

The start of this walk was pretty good. It is a recognised walking path so is reasonably signposted with paths to the waterfalls and paths to Fairlie Moor. First up, however, came the remnants of an old castle.

Past the castle, the path kept its shape until it came to a wall with a stile. It was over this point you start on the proper moorland.

From here on in it was a pleasant walk. The sun was shining, the birds were about and you could hear the random noises of wildlife. It was really a case of checking the compass and pretty much heading in a straight line till I got there.

A wee bit later and the west cairn was visible. I finally made it there and got another successful self portrait done. It is quite amazing to think that this hill which is just less than half a Munro is only 30 minutes from my front door.

After a quick snack and drink stop it was time to go on the move again. I had read about a WW2 plane wreckage (Fairey Firefly DT977) that was on the hill so was quite keen to see it but from what I had read I thought it was East slopes towards the resevoirs so decided to not go out my way to see it. However, as chance would have it, the wreckage appeared over the brow just past the west cairn.

This was the first time I have ever experienced anything like this and it does make you think about some of the stuff that has happened in history. Sfter the wreck, it was time to head back. The descent was different from the ascent. There was no kind of path and you didn't have the hill to walk towards. It was a case of find a direction and follow it down. Usually, this hill is quite boggy and you could see wher eit would be but thanks to the week of sunshine, even the heaviest bits didn't give way. Afer walking for what seemed forever, I finally went over the brow of a hill and saw the wall of Kelburn estate below past one last field. Once I hit the bottom I found a rock to have a seat and grab a quick drink break in preparation of the last section. I followed the wall along to find the gate into the estate. Through the gate and there was clear path ahead.

A pleasant stroll through the upper paths of Kelburn Estate lead to the main road in Largs. Along the road and I got the Morrisons that I thought was there. A bottle of juice and a bog break later and I headed down the lane into the main town centre. This was pretty much the first time all day I had seen civilisation and there was lots of it. A sunny day in Largs definitely brings people out. This was most evident at the bus stop.

So, all in all a good day was had. It was nice to do a walk so close to home. However, the day was not without incident. As nice as the weather was, it was bit too nice that I started to get a splitting headache. The moral of the story - if you can see the sun but you feel a breeze, keep drinking.

2010-06-19 - Blaeloch Hill
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