Kintyre to Isle of Arran – 17th May 2022
We leave today for Clonaig to catch the ferry to Lochranza and our final island – Arran. Weather a little dreek for the crossing alongside a coach of pensioners on a day trip out. One chap decided he would prefer to travel in Hilma and tried to alight via our steps, either he was upset with all the others on the coach, or he mistook our steps for the coaches! I’ll leave it to your imagination whichever you prefer.
A short trip from the ferry port we visited our first distillery, usually we are only a couple of days in before getting our first visit to one, so we were looking forward to getting our hands on a bottle (sounds desperate). I bought my mate Peter a 10 year matured bottle as he is a single malt connoisseur, whilst we went for an upmarket oak and sherry cask finished job.
Lunch at the distillery and we were off to find a wild camp site, using Park4night app again it looked like there were plenty of options, we were not disappointed. The weather was deteriorating, strong winds and heavy rain would be the norm for the next 18hrs. We parked at Imachar Point on the west coast of Arran, the weather was deteriorating rapidly with strong winds and heavy, heavy rain (thoughts of Altnaharra crept into my head – see Bonnie Scotland trip). Although foul weather, the Otter feeding on the rocks about 50 yards away was oblivious to it and us!
Whilst staying, we were oblivious to a road traffic accident not 200yds away, we saw a few people walking up and down the road to a nearby motorhome. Later on we understood a young driver had misjudged the bend and gone off the road, his baby banging it’s head and so an Ambulance was in attendance to check out mother and baby. Apparently, all was well but mother and baby went off to hospital for a check-up. We gave the young lad and his in laws a cup of tea and biscuits whilst waiting for the breakdown truck (which did not turn up until the next day). He was clearly shaken by the experience. It was a reminder to me that driving in Scotland on single track or narrow roads needs full concentration (all driving does to be honest) but you cannot let your mind (or eyes) wander off the road. Being a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has really given my driving a different dimension in terms of advanced observation – if that is the one item of training that I have taken it will not be in vain.
Isle of Arran – day after our ‘wild’ camp night -18th May
A fitful night’s sleep with the rain and wind but we awoke to a wonderfully sunny morning. A quick walk along the stony beach blew the cobwebs away and certainly made us feel alive again.
We needed provisions so we continued south to Blackwaterfoot and was surprised to find independent provision shops, a butcher, a grocery store, and a baker with an honesty cabinet – fantastic bread reminding us of the ‘paysant’ style baguettes we buy when in France.
Leaving Blackwaterfoot we head across the centre of the island through Brodick and Lamlash to arrive at our 3 night stop CL site ‘Ardlui’. A fantastic site with a prime view of Holy Island across the water which has a Buddhist retreat.