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An early walk to end the season... Umm maybe not!

An early walk to end the season... Umm maybe not!


Postby WalktheGus » Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:04 pm

Date walked: 18/09/2021

Time taken: 1 day

Distance: 27.5 km

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We planned this to be our end of season walk. My husband and I have always likes walking but have only really gotten it to it this year regularly and started including camping. So we thought a nice walk down to the sea over 3 days and bring the dog too, all good.

Well it was all planned out checked the route, read others reviews and off we go. A misty Saturday morning just after dawn we set off across feilds or sheep, and much to the dogs annoyance he can't play with them. We have an enjoyable if somewhat soggy walk for a few hours and divert in to Muirkirk with thoughts of a bacon butty. The little cafe by the shop having filled our want for breakfast and the dog being well fussed and we set off again.

A nice wonder on a now sunny day, had us heading past a bike track and golf course. Heading out along a section of the poats trail and Muirkirk audio trail which lined up for a while. If you don't take a stop in Muirkirk there is a beautiful spot as you cross the bridge at Tibbies brig.

We struggle to find and eventually give up looking for the martyrs grave finding the burn to continued on a while before stopping to have lunch and let our feet dry. Full we move on coming to our biggest obstacles. The footbridge into the bird sanctuary posed an issue especially for our dog. I should say our boy is a 52kg malamute cross that so laid back I sometimes have to check he's breathing. So we come to the bridge and find that it's very steep, every time our boy tried to climb the stairs his rear legs would fall through the treads. So there was nothing else for it the fluff monster had to have a piggy back over the bridge. A lovely area to walk through, unfortunately sandwiched by another steep foot bridge. But this time with the added joy of being a wobbly steep wooden footbridge :thumbdown:

The warmth of the day was starting to get to us by this point so we had a good stop and spotted a few of the bird that were on the info board and set off renewed.

The next section along the river was looked after by an anglers club who have some shelters dotted along the bank which could provide shelter on wet days. In this section we crossed a metal bridge that provided our dog with his third piggy back of the day due to his paws falling through the gaps in the grating.

A short walk up the road to avoid a closed section of path saw us crossing a feild full of cows which was interesting with the dog trying to pull me down the sloped field after the cows. Eventually after a little route confusion in the feild we made it back on to the track on the river bank.

By now we are firmly in stage 7 of the first day feeling tired and being increasingly challenged by the walk. The reference to the climb near Upper Heilar being steep is not understated,the condition as wet under foot as we found did not help us here. Though the view back down the valley is worth admiring. I found this section perticularly hard already being tired and sore, noting to my husband that Beinn Ime had been an easier day's walking for me.

We eventually descended and made it to the duck board. If anyone else had been around that would have hurd me singing the spider pig song from the Simpson to myself to keep me distracted from how high it felt and the fact I had to look down to be able to avoid the holes in the boards.

The final section would have been lovely if we had been fit enough to really enjoy it at that point. Paths wondering along the outsides of fields and trails through woods. The thought of the Sorn Inn and our lift home pushed us on the last section. Determined that the walk wasn't going to beat us, but conceding that we were not fit to camp and continue on we reached Sorn much to the relief of our screaming feet.

All in we were on the route just shy of 12hrs, far longer then we expected even accounting for our long lunch break to dry off. The route was clear most of the way though a few more post marker could be handy in some stretches. Comparing with other walks I've done this feels more like a 2 boot and 3 reed level, though the time of year and covid limitations on maintenance probably had a bit to do with that.

We did it in the end, it might not have all been the pleasent hike we thought but it hasn't put us off. We will finish the final stages next year but for now we rest. While I swear never again for the Glenbuck to Sorn route.
WalktheGus
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