April 1st, well we certainly fooled ourselves big time. My husband and I wanted to do a stretch of the Ayrshire Coastal Path over Easter, as part of my training for my Kilimanjaro climb, planned for September 2019. The whole path runs for 148 km, along the coastline of the county of Ayrshire. Today’s stretch was 11.75 km from Ayr to Dunure. Now I am not a big understander of tides, so a few weeks ago I checked the local tide times on the internet. I thought I had calculated the tide times, and thought that today it was low tide circa noon today. This morning, I checked the same website, for an up to the minute tide time, and realised that in fact it was going to be HIGH tide when we planned to do our walk. Now we had already read that this part of the coastal path was tide dependent, and the advice was, “a tidal miscalculation will prevent you from proceeding much further – the only option is to retreat or wait.
We retreated, but not after trying to scamble up the side of the embankment. It was at this point I realised how vulnerable we were, and how much we rely on technology. I had my mobile with me, in case of needing to summon help, but my husband had not brought his, neither did he know my mobile number, if he had needed to go and get help, and managed to find someone with a phone to keep in touch with me.
Now if we had followed the route on Walking Highways, and walked from the south, Dunure to Ayr northwards, we would have been able to read the signs in Dunure harbour, which told you to look at the ladders on the harbour wall, and count the rungs. If a certain number of rungs were visible, you had an hour wait, and if more rungs were on show, then you had a 2 hour one. But we were approaching from the north, so we missed those signs. At my lowest point, when we were halfway up a slippery embankment, I prayed to God for help. Do we continue up, or retrace our steps? We spotted a guy in a beach chair, who wasn’t there on our way past, we hadn’t seen anyone for the past 2 hours. Who says there is no God? That was certainly an answer to prayer, coming across someone sitting right on the beach.
We thought we had started so well. We had got up early, driven out to Dunure, left a car, and driven home to get a hearty breakfast. It was only when we were just about to head off, that I realised that my walking boots were not in the cupboard, and came to the conclusion that they were still in the car from my last hillwalk. Where was my car? 7 miles down the coast, waiting for me to walk into the village. More fool me again! So I put on a pair of trainers, left home, and took a short walk through the houses, before traversing the golf course, as shown in a previous post. We had previously walked as far as Greenan Castle, so today we were going further than before. As we approached Greenan we were greeted by a whole host of yellow daffodils, a glorious sight on Easther morning.
After almost 5 hours of walking, scrambling and stretching, we finally walked down the road into the small fishing village of Dunure. If you are Outlander fans, then you may recognise it from series 3, I believe.
The whole Ayrshire Coastal Path has been the work of the Rotary Club of Ayr, which ties in quite nicely with my chosen charity. Ayr Rotary chose it as a project to celebrate their centenary. As the incoming President of the Alloway club, I have chosen Whiteleys Retreat, which is a centre which offers holidays for children and families with life threatening illnesses. It is for this charity that I am in training.
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Happy Easter to you all, and I am grateful that you have read this post to the end.