By ‘eck, lad, tha berr get ee posts gaein’ agin….
Having been out Friday afternoon on what is one of my regular strolls a total of just over five and a quarter miles plus I finished soaked due to the rain over the last couple of miles. Early Saturday morning I noticed an alert posted on SOTA for a Northern Irish station and after a quick check of the ‘point to point’ I decided the Greenock Cut and the hills to the south would be ideal. Roddy 2MØIOB must have read my mind with the invitation of ‘Fancy a traipse around the Cut?’..no contest, a big ”Yep’.
Roddy picked me up and off we headed over the road I had walked the previous day and then took the road/track over Garshangan to Loch Thom. This road is a single track but turns from tarred to rough track at the dam wall of the Higher Gryffe reservoir. It is passable in a vehicle such as Roddy’s Land Rover but it looks like no one seems to ‘fill’ in the eroded bits. A swing left on to the Old Largs Road and soon we headed alongside Loch Thom where we turned right and took the road to Cornalees or as it is now known the Greenock Cut Centre, I prefer the old name.
Roddy parked in the designated parking area at the rear of the centre and on our arrival light rain started to dapple the windscreen. ‘It’s only light rain’ he said but out and off the three of us headed. Three ? yep, Duncan one of Roddy’s dogs made up the outing.
The Cut itself was the choice and off we headed along what is a gentle flat path, Duncan soon decided to go and splash about and as he ran along the plant covered depths, he soon found that the bits with no plant life were much deeper. Oops.
I wrote a post about two-year ago on a trip along the Cut HERE so I’ll not bore you now with the previous written history but luckily the rain was keeping away and what breeze was at our back. Greenock and the views to the north with the cloud level hiding the Luss hills soon came into view.
There is some repair work going on towards the Greenock end and in some areas the path is slightly churned up but no complaints if they keep in good order what is one cracking walk if you need a leg stretch. Scroggy Bank soon appeared on our right and later we would pass this communication mast and towers on the return leg of this jaunt.
We reached the junction and headed SW over the Watermans Rd, a single aggregate track which heads back to Cornalees. We stopped at Maggie’s Well before heading right on to the track which would take us past Scroggy Bank and out towards our target hill, Hillside. Maggie’s Well is named after the horse of a commander of the Argyll & Southern Highlanders which stopped for a drink on occasion.
It was off along an old track which linked a group of reservoirs which were built to supply Greenock but nowadays the dams to the SW have been breached and have now gone back to nature, quickly I may add.
Hillside ? I can only assume that it means at the side of the slightly higher Dunrod Hill 400m to its W. We headed along a old rough track that I had once come off Hillside (blog post HERE) but with the wet weather the path was very muddy, Roddy suggested we strike up to the top of the hill we were on and soon we saw our intended target nearby, we looked for a route across but noticed that when we dropped height into a gully it looked pretty peaty and wet, Duncan soon proved this as he proceeded to lets just say get rather filthy from his attempt to cross but a slight detour, a quick leap and we were across heading up a slight path and as we arrived at its summit, hailstones pelted us. This reminds me of a recent ascent.
A quick listen around 2m but nothing except the Limavady 2m repeater GB3LY , Roddy had his handie on scan since we left Cornalees but nothing else was heard.
Looking down we could see Cornalees, the adjacent Ardgowan fishery with anglers sitting waiting patiently also to the south the firth was shrouded and the usual landmark of Ailsa Craig was no to be seen.The sky today showed variation from dark menacing rain filled clouds to the occasional sunny spell. Typical weather for this area. It was time to head down as the rain looked as if it was heading our way….again !
Heading down what is a rather steep hill face towards the car park whilst taking care as once again a slippy looking muddy path, we climbed the stile into the Centre car park and I looked at the time and we had spent just under 3 hours wandering, a good stretch of the legs. Duncan was still let’s just say a bit maukit so off back to one of the local reservoirs where he was persuaded to have a quick splash, a quick dry and then off to drop me off. We did have a look at the entrance to what was the old Garvock Lodge land but decided to leave a visit until sometime drier in the future.It was strange being in a vehicle as I normally tramp these areas.
A good day out for all.
For further reading about the ‘Cut’ and Loch Thom see HERE
I may have mentioned somewhere in the blog about a wind turbine of approx 200ft (tip of wing to ground) getting planning permission just about 1 mile S from my house and be situated in a field next to the Green Rd (Devol Rd on maps), further permission had been granted for a 50m anemometer to be put up for twelve months just to the E of it.
I noticed one night heading back from Kilmacolm that they had erected the said anemometer and of course, I had to go have a shuffty.
I waited until the Saturday and I headed over the Green Rd on my way on a walk to take in the Side Hills and Kilmacolm. The mast showed as soon as we topped out on the golf course, heading down the Green Rd we nipped over a gap in the fence and headed over the boggy grass to where they had erected the anemometer. Four anchor points and the mast as you see in one of the images has been very well secured, I’ll let the images speak for themselves. I see marker posts running up the slope from the Green Rd which apparently will be upgraded from the S and the wind turbine is to be positioned not too far from the track. I hope to catch the work as it is being done.
For more information on an anaeometer look HERE
My thanks to © Roddy for the image of ‘One man and his pooch’
Thanks to Wikipedia and any site I have linked to.