Posted by: natsevs | June 7, 2010

Stranraer to Troon

I had my first Scottish breakfast in Stranraer. It was basically an English breakfast, but with potato cakes and Haggis. My judgement on Haggis is that its like a bland sausage with a discomforting texture.

As we set off I popped into tourist information and got a Loch Ryan coast path leaflet. It was pretty useless for finding the route but luckily the signs were good. We started off along the sea front then along the road around the bay. The people who had stopped to talk to me on the Rhins were in a traffic queue and said hello. The path took us up onto the cliffs for a bit past Intermessan through some really high grass. When it came down to Cairnryan and the ferry port there we nipped into a shop. It was road walking after that and started to rain slightly after a sunny start to the day.

We had lunch in a shelter then when we carried on the rain cleared a little. After a while we had to go inland to get around a river at the App water valley. It was here that it started tipping it down. It was at this point that we decided we’d be getting a B&B.

At Glen App we were onto the Ayrshire coast path which took us back out to the coast on the other side then up into the hills. The views I’m sure would have been awesome if it wasn’t lashing down. Somehow I didn’t notice the rain stopping but soon it was really sunny. It was fairly hardgoing walking with uneven ground and a few ups and downs. Ailsa Craig was really clearly visible out at the sea.

Just before Ballantrae we went slightly wrong then had to get through a farmyard to get back to the path. The dog there looked pretty vicious and seemed quite angry with us. Ballantrae was nice and even had a shop open. We ate at the B&B pu,b which had massive portions, so I was happy, I had fish and chips obviously. Andy Moon (who was up for a few days walking) had ostrich steak.

Breakfast was also pretty good then it was back upstairs to repack. When I put my boots on the lace of one of them snapped. First casualty, but luckily I had spares. They weren’t long enough though so I had to tie two laces together. The weather seemed ok when we set off and it was roads or paths next to them for the 13 miles to Girvan. We had been told there were seals at Lendalfoot but weren’t lucky enough to see any.

In Girvan we went to the shop then had lunch by a clock tower where it started to rain. Andy bought some ridiculously over-priced sweets before we set off again. The signs out of Girvan were a little confusing so we just followed the road out. The signs reappeared to take us through a farm back to the coast. The path was along the top of the beach then on the beach over to Turnberry. The rain was on and off from Girvan but at Turnberry it became very much on as we went through the golf course. It was then through Maidens then a country park to Culzean Castle.

It was very impressive but there was meant to be a campsite there which was nowhere to be seen. After some navigation from home and Moony asking a local we found it and set up our tents in the rain. The first run out of my new tent.  They let us stay for free thanks to my auntie and uncle also running a site and also didn’t mind us cooking noodles outside the reception in some shelter. A woman in a camper also made us a bacon sandwich each which was amazing. The tent is a lot more roomy and I was quite pleased with it.

The rain carried on through the night, but when I got up at 8.30 it had stopped. As we left a guy from the site gave us a bag of free food and stuff which was really nice of him. We found our way to the beach on dirt tracks and were on that for a good while. The path then came to the top of the beach begore zig zagging up to the clifftop. It was then over the top through fields to Dunure. We were hoping for a shop there but didn’t see one. There was a coffee shop on the way out tho do we went in there to get something to take away. We ordered a bacon baguette each and I also got a caramel slice and raspberry slice. The girls in the shop were quite chatty so the wait wasn’t too bad. (the cake below was in this shop!)

Out of Dunure was along the beaches again. Over rocky outcrops to get from bay to bay. The beaches themselves were quite rocky too but not too hard going. Coming around a corner I noticed a shiny looking rock and suddey realised there was an otter there about two meters in front of me. At the same moment it looked at me then slipped away into the water. I was hoping it would pop it’s head up again so Moon could see and I could get a picture but no joy.

Before the head of Ayr we hit a rock wall, after climbing it a bit it was clear we’d have to go back and find a route up onto the top instead. We found a path up along a dry stream route through a fair few stinging nettles up to the fields above. We then made our way around the head and down through fields and a golf course to the edge of a holiday park. The beach here took us to Ayr where we found our way onto the promenade. The path seemed to take a slightly pointless detour here away from the front. We stopped for a snack and rest then onwards out of Ayr. It was through industry to start then the beach to Prestwick.

On the other side of Prestwick we stopped for an ice cream at a place which turned out to be the best in Britain this year. According to there sign anyway. To be fair my apple crumble ice cream was really good. Out of there it was beach once more and a little river paddle in the sunshine. We got to Troon just before 7pm and I headed to Morrisons for supplies. We went to find food at half 8 and everywhere had stopped serving apart from a pretentious bar place. £4 a pint! Luckily, it wasn’t my round.

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