Return to Arran

It dawned on us that we were running short of time and needed to start our journey home. We had only visited the Mull of Kintyre for one day and a night, so a grand tour would have to wait for another day. It’s getting difficult to get going in the mornings; life seems to have taken a much slower pace. One of the pleasures of our trips is that we stop worrying about what we eat, so that means I get bacon sarnies for breakfast after we take Ruby for another walk on the beach.

Carradale Campsite

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We had a plan that involved reaching Dumfries later today. With two ferry crossings, one island in the way and a quite few hours driving, what could possibly go wrong on Friday the thirteenth?

The road back up to Claonaig was still steep and twisty, but a least it was mostly down hill on the return.

Something I have noticed as we drove through remote villages was that people waved to us. Walking along the road or standing in their gardens they waved with a genuine greeting. It’s quite contagious and we started waving to everybody. In England if you waved to a total stranger you would more than likely get a punch on the nose

There were only three cars in front of us on the ferry slipway and we could see the ferry making its way back across to us. The wind had picked up making the sea a little choppy and the small ferry rocked and rolled a little.

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Back on to Arran at the Lochranza slipway, we headed towards Brodick to catch a ferry to Ardrossan on the main land. The road to Brodick was so like driving in the Highlands and we eventually reach the ferry terminal.

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With a spring in my step I entered the ticket office. At this point I remember that I’m a marked man as far as Cal Mac ticket attendants are concerned and approached the desk and said “Have you got a ?” then nothing. I’m struggling to find the words to complete the sentence for what seems an age until the ticket lady helpfully prompts me and says “boat”.

“That’s it” I say “for the next sailing”.

“No” she says.

At this point the life blood starts to drain from my body.

“Ok, when can you fit us in” I ask.

“I might be able to squeeze you on the 19.20 this evening”. She answers. “Anything tomorrow” I plead.

“No, It’s fully booked” she said.

The outcome was that I booked the “might get on” 19.20 crossing and we parked up on the sea front at Brodick for 4 hours.

I was disappointed she didn’t ask how my fictitious brother was. I also recall being told that you need to book your tickets well in advance because it gets busy.

The bonus was that the extreme knitter did some more shopping and bought me a Scotch pie. Now, I’ve eaten some pies in my time and I consider myself a pie connoisseur. I have to say this was one of the best pies I have ever tasted. The E/Knitter promised that she would try to replicate it on our return home. I do hope so.

Later in the day we moved back to the ferry terminal and parked in the boarding lane. Up comes yet another Cal Mac ticket attendant who started chatting to the E/Knitter and tried to convince her that Ruby needed another dog as a companion. I sense a conspiracy because the E/Knitter is always trying to convince me the same thing.

The ferry was running late and some foot passengers were getting worried because they had connections to make.

We also realised that it was going to be too late to book a campsite for tonight and we would need to wild camp.

After leaving the ferry and a further two hour drive we reached Glen Capel tea room car park at 11pm. We parked up with three motor homes and collapsed on the bed.

Glen Capel Tea Room

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