Tag: Isle of Arran

Scotland – Island Hopping 2022 – Days 14-15

Isle of Arran – Kildonnan – 19th May
One of our gas bottles gave up the ghost this morning and we were not sure how much left in the other. Whiting Bay had the nearest garage and we were able to collect a bottle which meant showers all round again. Our next adventure was around the south of the island, nothing planned just see what was there. We came across a delightful village, Kildonnan. Stopping on a high point overlooking the bay it begged for another beach walk, something we had been doing plenty of this holiday, and loving it. Parts of the bay were roped off for nesting birds presumably Oystercatchers and Ringed Plovers, the Kildonnan Hotel provided some light refreshment. The proprietor keeps the hotel open all year around and we were pleased to hear that their were enough locals too frequent it and make it worth staying open (live music, quizzes and a pool league helps).

Kildonann – Pladda lighthouse and Ailsa Craig in the distance.

Kldonnan rock pool – it never ceases to amaze me the amount of species a small 1 metre rock pool can hold (and the colours are always a surprise).

A very strange piece of architecture in the middle of the village harking back to what might appear to be a colonial style house.

Isle of Arran – Off with a ‘Bang’ – 20th May
Our last day on the beautiful Isle of Arran. On reflection we could have stayed here a little longer vowing to return one day. But will we? The enjoyment we receive from exploring new places means there is so much to see we may not fulfil that vow to return. Maybe we will slow down in a few years and put our feet down in places for longer visits rather than getting itchy feet to see what is around the corner to surprise us.
We made our way to Brodick for the ferry back to the mainland, surprised by how large the vessel was and just how many foot and car passengers there were, we were the last to board. The 55-minute journey passed very quickly and before we knew we were back in Hilma waiting to disembark. That is when things took a turn for the worse on this holiday. An ‘incident’ resulted in our solar panel parting company with Hilma! I say incident because at present it is unresolved, and I am unable to make further comment, suffice to say we had to get a ladder and remove the solar panel for safety reasons – we did not want that flying off at 50mph down the dual carriageway.

What remains of the panel after removing from the roof of Hilma. No way could we travel with it ‘flapping’ around up there.

What remains of the front spoiler that held the panel in place. Not good! Needed a good clean anyway.

An hour at the port delayed our journey but we made good time and were at our CL site ‘The Brough’ in Dumfries and Galloway and on our blocks by 6:15pm.
Beer time for me and a white wine for Janette to relax.

Scotland – Island Hopping 2022 – Days 9-11

Machrihanish to Carradale 14th May 2022.
Waking to that wonderful view made me reflect on why we like the wild camping. It’s the solitude (relative as there are houses nearby) and the complete autonomy we enjoy without rules and regulations but as I’ve said before remembering to be respectful of others. We could divert into a whole psychology introspection here but maybe another time. I’ve been reading a book by Gregory David Roberts called ‘Shantaram’ – a story based on his interesting life involved with the Bombay mafia – there is plenty of psychology and complicated morals in the book to get your head around, read it.
Moving on again we went right to the south of the Mull of Kintyre and came across another car park with 2 camper spots, we wouldn’t be staying here tonight as we are booked into a site at Carradale but it would be a wonderful spot to wild camp.

Carskey Bay car park has two camper spots – a great picnic spot on a sunny day.

During our short stay here for a walk and spot of lunch some of the runners of the 50K run that started that morning in Machrihanish went past, we clapped everyone that passed and were rewarded with some smiles although I don’t think some were smiling ‘inside’ as it was rather warm for them.

One of the 50K runners at Carskey Bay down on the Mull of Kintyre. A warm day for the run, cut off time at Southend (about 10 mins away for the runners) was 1:30pm – a few we saw would miss it.

The spot overlooks Carskey Bay, deserted golden sands with some old fisherman’s cottages at one end which would surely be a glorious place to stay if you were not a motorhomer! We walked the whole length of the bay and saw the usual Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers and was rewarded with a Dunlin in summer plumage, Turns were squawking and diving into the gentle surf for sand eels with groups of Gannets traveling north along the coast with an occasional straggler taking an opportunist dive for fish.

Yet another wonderful view – Carskey Bay on the Mull of Kintyre

The dodgy duo – 1 week after retiring and enjoying the (momentary) good weather.

Carradale Bay 15th May 2022.
We had booked 3 nights here and we were not disappointed. The site has the feel of a typical site in Brittany with small hedges (in this case Gorse bushes) separating areas housing the caravans, campers and motorhomes. A chance for us to kick back again with no traveling until Tuesday. Our arrival on Saturday was Eurovision night and with no television we imagined the spectacles that must be happening in Turin by listening to old Ken Bruce on radio 2. We were just as shocked (as I think most people in the Great Britain were) not receive ‘nil points’ for a change, even more shocked when our French neighbours gave us ‘douze points’! We must get over there next year and thank them personally.

Carradale Bay – evening rainbow (with a pot of gold at the end!).

We realised that since arriving in Scotland from our first night at Largs Yacht Haven to now, every site or wild camp spot we have stayed at for the last 9 nights we have had a sea view, there is something powerful, sometimes frightening, when confronted with a wall of water that has a will of its own. King Canute (c995 – 1035) should have realised that when he tried to stop the tide from coming in, I wonder if his socks got wet, I bet they didn’t have ‘Crocs’ in those days, perhaps leather sandals but they would have been ruined with all that salt water, silly man.

Mmmmmm……. looks like supper is sorted then!

Carradale Bay 16th May 2022.
Two walks today trying to dodge the showers. A morning walk in the sunshine along the beach and a slightly longer one this afternoon with views of our next destination, the Isle of Arran. Along the way we were surprised to see around 30 wild goats inhabiting the Carradale Point peninsula – very strange to see them roaming free and they look like Saanen Goats from Switzerland (like I’m an expert – NOT). Walking further round we found the local 9 hole golf course and Port Righ, not much going on here with the weather being inclement (and it was a Sunday).

Saanen Goats on the Carradale Point peninsula

We don’t slum it in Hilma!

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