After a few weeks of planning we packed up the bikes and headed for Ardrossan heading for the Isle of Arran and then the Isle of Islay after that. There were 8 of us in the group, five adults and 3 young ones ranging from 13 to 4. The younger members of the group made sure they had a bar bag for a good supply of sweets that kept the group going throughout the trip!
We hired 4 bob trailers from Cyclewise at Whinlatter and they were awesome! Along with a few panniers we were all good to go! The 4 year old travelled in the weehoo keeping the group entertained with songs and conversation throughout!
We caught the 9.45am ferry from Ardrossan and headed for Brodick. We arrived at 10.40am and headed over 'The String' to have lunch at Blackwaterfoot sampling the delights of the Kinloch Hotel.
The climb over The String was lovely, not too steep with fantastic views! The ride down to Blackwaterfoot went well with stunning scenery and great riding.
After lunch it was time to head for Camp 1 at Lochranza. The riding along the coast of Arran was simply stunning. With all our kit the flatness was much appreciated!
We arrived at Lochranza after about 30 miles of fantastic riding, weather and scenery. We headed for the campsite at the head of Lochranza passing the iconic Lochranza Castle.
We headed to the Lochranza Hotel for a well deserved tea. We were also introduced to the 'camping game' which was certainly an experience!! Heading back to the campsite we were met by the deer that roam Lochranza showing very little concern for those around!
In the morning the weather was still sunny and spirits were high as we headed for the ferry. We left Lochranza on the 9.30am ferry, just making it to head for the mainland and Claonaig. The ferry was very busy with cyclists and there was a comical moment when the back door was closing and H's trailer was on it as it was going up!! We watched on in horror until a nice Calmac man came to help!
Arriving at Claonaig we headed the 5 or so miles over the pass to Kennacraig in time for the 13.00 ferry to Islay and Port Askaig. The riding over the pass was lovely with a steady climb and stunning views.
Arriving at the ferry port we got the stove out for another brew before boarding and settling down for the crossing. We were due in Port Askaig at 14.55 so we had plenty of time to chill, admire the view and eat.
Port Mor centre for the night. The campsite was stunning, overlooking Loch Indaal.
Watching the light fade on the loch with a brew was very relaxing!
Our morning brew tasted even better with the view across the loch. We took our time to pack up and headed for breakfast at the cafe before heading for an explore before Camp 3! The first destination was Loch Gruinart as it looked awesome on the map. However it was a nice ride but not the most stunning beach we had come across on the island!
The campsite was about 4 miles out of Port Ellen so we booked a cab for our evening meal. Carols cabs were very accommodating and we had a lovely meal at the Islay Hotel. The food was fantastic and we even had time to walk along the beach and watch the evening ferry come in.
During the night the wind picked up and didn't stop! We had a head wind from when we left the campsite to when we arrived at the ferry at Brodick! However we had still not experienced a drop of rain on the trip!
We caught the 9.45am ferry from Port Ellen along with many other cyclists! It was great to see so many cyclists on every ferry! The ride to the port was interesting into a direct head wind but we were all sad to be leaving the Isle of Islay!
With sadness and relief we boarded the 16.40 ferry back to Ardrossan.