Skip to main content

Testing the limits

Summer solstice, summer drowning. I'm sure Noah is hiding round here somewhere with this glorious weather we're having!!! Good job I made the most of our one day of summer last Tuesday. So here's the story.

Arran is right on the doorstep and it's been way too long since I last was there. To be honest, the only times I've been there have been to get into the hills so the rest of the island is still pretty much a mystery to me. No hills this visit, I was going to be on my bike. Many cyclists aim on a visit to Arran is to go all the way round the island but at nearly 60 miles and with some significant climbs that are way beyond what I'd be capable of doing. My aim was to get to Lochranza, Stage 1 of a future plan. The ferry over was fairly busy which was nice to see. I took advantage of the onboard cafe. Yah for a square sliced in a roll. Soon enough we were at Brodick and we were off.

Goat Fell from Brodick
This north east stretch of Arran's coast is familiar ground to me but the views I'll never tire of. On my left Goat Fell is ever present soon giving way to its other mountain neighbours as you continue north. On my right  there are lovely rock pools, bays and harbours. Food for my soul. Then comes the hard work - the climb up the Boguillie Road. I knew it was beyond me but I gave it a bash. Surprise surprise, my knee didn't like it. I sat myself down and enjoyed the view before slowly walking up the rest of the hill. The ride down Glen Chalamadale is an adrenalin junkies dream but for a fearty like me it was quite daunting. Before too long The Arran Distillery soon comes into view, I had reached  Lochranza. Time for lunch.

Goat Fell from Corrie
Corrie Harbour and it's sheep
Looking into Glen Sannox
North Glen Sannox
Boguillie Road

Fortified by a fantastic buttie from The Sandwich Station it was time t head back if I wanted to make the 1640 ferry. It was then that one of the other cyclists I'd met on the ferry over. He'd quite enjoyed his circuit so far. I let him go ahead as I knew I'd be walking back up the Glen. I'm sure the motorists who passed me must have wondered what I was on as I was singing at the top of my voice, you gotta love AC DC for keeping you going.

Lochranza Bay with the castle
Glen Chalmadale and that never ending climb

What I had forgotten about was the head wind that was ever strengthening. It was sapping. I made it to the ferry. First stop was the cafe to purchase items supporting the local economy. Bliss.

Well it was a great day out but I did push it, something my knee wasn't too happy about. The rest of the ticky tour plan will have to wait, probably a good job seeing as the weather isn't looking to improve anytime soon. Ah well, I'll just have to continue to dream and plod on.



Popular posts from this blog

Salomon Mission GTX Boot

I've had these on a few times now and so far they are just what I've been after to get me through the winter for most of my days out. Salomon describe them as being perfect for "light hiking" - take that whatever way you want ;-) They come in at 1210g for the pair and feel fairly easy on the feet. They've handled saturated grassy stuff without me applying the famous arse plant (so far!!). They even seemed to be OK on rocky stuff too. Where I have been really impressed with them is how they handled the snow on Na Gruagaichan. It was hard enough that we were kicking steps. This was easy enough for Steve in his Scarpa SL's and Iain in his La Sportiva Nepals. Initially I followed their steps then decided to give it a go myself. I occasionally had to kick a couple of times on some of the really hard stuff, probably more down to my poor technique than the boot, but they managed well on the cover we had for the ascent. As my balance is rubbish I decided to apply


Creag Meagaidh has been on the to do list for so long. The past couple of years have seen us have to abort at least three attempts at the last minute because conditions weren't for us. So were we going to get it done this time................. YES  The weather bods said mostly dry with a risk of potential showers later in the day.  It was warm so even if it did rain it would be warm.  Off we set having smothered ourselves in factor 50 and Smidge. Warm they said.......... baking I said!!!! We had decided our ascent would be via Coire Ardair and The Window to ease us into the walk on a good path.  It felt more like a slow roasting.  It is a gorgeous walk out to Coire Ardair on a very good path but as soon as we were out of the forest the heat and humidity kicked in.  When we reached Lochan Coire Ardair there was only one thing on my mind, getting my boots off and getting in.  It was at this point I began having major doubts as to whether we would get this done. Bre

Ben Lomond

Storm Hannah tried to wreck the planned Craggy walk to Ben Lomond. Thankfully, she had moved off quickish to allow the walk to be rescheduled to Sunday.  For once wind was not going to be an issue, all the makings of a good hill day.  So off we trotted.  While there were only a few folk heading in the same direction as us, there seemed to be a constant stream coming down Ptarmigan.  I suspect this is a result of the route description in Walk Highlands.  My body was having issues at moving at anything more than snail pace, earning me the title of Pace Setter of the Day for keeping us at a steady 1.9km/hr.  I have to thank the gang for being super patient on what was a longer than anticipated ascent of Ptarmigan.  We had some Ptarmigan Ridge virgins in our midst, some requiring reassurance from Steve "trust me" Morley. Plus Quote of the Day 1 from Carol "so where's this ridge we're doing?" ( said at approx 700m on said ridge ) We eventually ma