Report on Coran of Portmark again
10 April 2010
Coran of Portmark 10/04/10
Attendees: Maureen, Gail, Irene and Dorothy
We met at Green Well just before Carsphain at 10am, we wanted a sharp start as Gail had to be back at the car for 3pm as she had to work this evening. We parked the cars here and unloaded the bikes. This was a first for all of us; cycling in our walking boots with rucksacks and poles on our back. It was a beautiful sunny day and very warm.
The first km was a nice even tarred farm road, but once through the gate it was a rough stony track, and uphill all the way, I really struggled here as it was only my second outing on the bike this year. The others didn?t seem to be having a problem though as they scooted on but when I caught up with them I was pleased to see that they were as red faced and puffed as me. Maureen and I had stopped to take off a layer of clothes and had managed to get a couple of photos of the ruins around here. Irene had done the same. We arrived at the ruins of the disused mine and chained all the bikes up with Irene?s super duper bike chain. (hope she doesn?t lose the keys, how will we get 4 chained up bikes back to the car)
We took another couple of photos and once we had started breathing normally again, we headed across the open field toward a stile in the wall. This bit was over tussocky dried grass but once in the field it was much easier on the feet as we followed the fence uphill and then joined a track which took us to the top of Coran of Portmark. We had great views of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, Carlin?s Cairn and Corserine and we could see right across to Arran and also to Ailsa Craig. After the usual photo shoot, we had lunch as we looked down on Loch Doon. It was a brilliant view point.
It was a very quick lunch and then we took off again heading down and then up over Bow before the final ascent of Meaul. This was fine, easy walking and very enjoyable. There were still wee pockets of snow lying around but not much, Irene and Gail had been here 6 weeks ago and had been up their knees in snow. We had another quick stop at the top for some photos and a snack before quickly heading off again. Our aim was to get back to the cars for 3pm, this was going to be hard as it was now 2pm. It was decided that we would drop down the hillside NE and head direct to the mines rather than go back the way we had come. This looked like a good idea so we headed down past the Lumps of Garryhorn aiming towards Garryhorn Burn. Although this looked straightforward, it was horrendous, it was fairly steep but the worst part was the horrible grassy tussocks all the way down. It was really hard on the feet and as we were in a hurry, there was no let up, we had to just keep going, so there wasn?t much blethering going on now. It was heads down and move as fast as possible. I found this part really exhausting and not much fun at all. We could see the ruined chimney stack that we were aiming towards but it never seemed to get nearer. We finally came to the burn and it was easy enough to cross. We were on flat ground for a bit then it was up a wee incline but once we were up this part, we could see the wall we would cross to take us to the bikes.
Finally there, Maureen and I decided to have a 5 minute break, but Irene and Gail had to get right on the bikes and head off immediately as it was 2.55pm. I couldn?t help wondering how Gail would have the energy to work tonight. Ah, to be young again. After a quick breather, we mounted our bikes and it was downhill most of the way back to the car.