Thursday, 6 July 2017

Over the Seas to Arran

Hello there!
Firstly I want to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a comment on my last post - it is so lovely to hear from you! Also all your positive comments on the socks have really spurred me on & I'm hoping to have a finish on them by the end of the week :-) For today's post I thought you might like to see some photos from our recent trip to the isle of Arran but when I started uploading them I realised there were probably too many for one post so I am going to split it into two. So here goes part one...
For me any trip starts with the crafty project(s) that will accompany me so a few days before we left I headed upstairs to peruse yarn and patterns and pick another travel project. I already had one packed and ready to go, yarn and hook to make more squares for  Ebee's Flower Square Blanket, but I doubted whether I would last a week without some knitting too! The Seriously Southwestern Socks were definitely not in the running - too complicated for in the car! - and I really didn't want to start another pair of socks before finishing these. I wanted something that would be small and easy to work on, preferably on circular needles, and so I gave in to the call of the Deep Blue Sea Colourwheel I bought a few months ago. As soon as I saw it in the shop I knew what I wanted to make with it, a Vortex Shawl. After the first twelve rows this pattern is just a two row repeat which would make it perfect travel knitting so I cast on...


Over the last year I have found myself increasingly drawn to shawls and have made two (which I never wear because basically I am a jeans and t-shirt girl, and no amount of shawl knitting will transform me into one of those shawl wearing nymphs dancing on the beach that you see in the magazines!). I know I will still knit more because I really enjoy making them but at the same time I wondered if I could make this into something I will actually wear.... In the meantime I was having fun working round those two rows, first in the car, then on the ferry to Arran. Due to the colors in the wheel I decided to name this project Stormy Seas so it seemed rather appropriate to work on while we sailed, and, although the sea wasn't rough, it was cloudy and too cold and windy to stay out on deck so we sat inside instead...



The ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick takes about an hour and, although much has changed in the twenty years since my last visit, this view is pretty much the same!


We got checked in to the guest house in Brodick and by then the weather had brightened up considerably. We had brought our bikes so decided to go for a cycle over to Lamlash. The afternoon turned into a glorious evening...


Complete with lots of birdlife and seals in the bay...


The next morning was grey again but it stayed dry as we drove up to Lochranza at the north end of the island. We went for a walk along the north shore of the bay where we spotted more seals...


We followed the path as it climbed up the cliffs and looped back round providing some great views down over the bay to the ruined castle...


This area is home to a large population of red deer so we weren't too surprised to see some of them as well...


Back in the car we drove down the western side of the island to Machrie Moor and, after a picnic lunch, walked out to see the Stone Circles



With the low cloud rolling over the surrounding hills bringing intermittent rain it was rather atmospheric exploring round these ancient sites.
The next day was forecast to be the best of the week weatherwise so we had decided it would be the day we tackled Goat Fell. At 2,867 feet it is 133 feet short of being a Munro (it is a Corbett instead) but in terms of relative height it is the 16th highest mountain in the UK. I didn't take geography at school so where terms like "relative height" & "topographic prominence" get involved I start to get confused! But I think that basically although it's smaller than Ben Wyvis you climb more because the bottom of it is closer to sea level (if that makes sense?). We picked to walk the route from Brodick, starting off behind the Cladach Centre, with brief views across the farmland of Glen Rosa. It is the most popular route & this chappie was keeping an eye on all those crazy humans heading up the path this morning...


Then it was back into some pretty woodland for a while...


The path climbed out into open country above the trees and the view behind us was magnificent! This is Brodick Bay, you can just see Holy Isle rising behind the headland on the left...


As you can see the cloud was pretty low and the view ahead would be hidden...


...then come briefly into view...


...before the cloud swirled in around us again...


This is a very clear, well trodden path and lots of other folks were walking it too so we were in no danger of getting lost, it just added to the atmosphere. Also it was pretty fast moving, another ten minutes and it was completely clear again! This pattern kept repeating so we were fairly sure we would still get a view at the top, we just might have to wait a few minutes for it to clear up. We made our first coffee stop in some sheltering rocks just above where the other path climbs up from Corrie...


...and before we tackled the last steep ascent...


To get some idea of scale can you see the person in the red jacket bottom right corner? There are a few other humans in this shot too if you look really hard! The path was stepped and a little scrambly in places but everything was firm underfoot so a big improvement on Ben Wyvis in my book!


And it was definitely worth it when we got to the top...



Here you can see across Brodick Bay with Holy Isle and Lamlash Bay behind, and across the sea to the Mainland...


We ate our picnic lunch here, looking across to the Mainland and the islands of the Firth of Clyde...


The cloud came rolling back in just as we finished eating so any drops were handily hidden from my view as we climbed back down the steps! As we took the Brodick path at the junction the skies started clearing and when we got a bit further down we looked back and saw this...


From here it developed into a beautifully sunny afternoon and evening, we ate our tea outside basking in the warm sunshine and making the most of the summer's day. 
We had another two days on Arran after this but I will save those photos for another post. Thank you for visiting with me today, I hope you enjoyed a little look around (and from) Arran! 










4 comments:

  1. Those are absolutely breathtaking photos of the scenery. Makes me want to travel there. As for your shawl, it is quite beautiful. I would imagine if you wouldn't wear it, you must certainly have a friend or family member who would. Have a good day. --Andrea

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    1. Thanks Andrea! Yes you should definitely come see for yourself, the camera doesn't do it justice! I am really loving working on the shawl and have been playing around with a few different adaptations for it... next post hopefully! Have a lovely weekend :-)
      Helen

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  2. WOW what a hike thanks SOOOO much for sharing I loved been with you, how beautiful it all is in one hike!!!!!!! I can no longer hike so it's wonderful when some one shares them like you just did. Loved the final steps before you reached the summit, I wonder how many 1000's of people have step on them???? Cheers Glenda

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    1. Thanks Glenda I'm glad you enjoyed it! I would imagine 1000's and 1000's have gone that way before as it is a really popular route, we passed maybe 50 or so folk going one way or the other during the day?! I think feeling the increasing years is one thing that has spurred Hubbie & me on to getting fitter & getting out there over this last year - while we still can!! Another bucket list hike we did earlier in the summer was Ben Wyvis, the post is at http://twchighland.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/my-first-munro.html if you missed it you might like that too? Have a lovely week,
      Helen

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