From Acharacle by Coracle? No, by tandem…

Acharacle to Glenfinnan

Distance: 28.96 miles
Average speed: 10.7 mph
Total distance: 241.52 miles
Maximum speed: 34.8 mph

Ardshealach Lodge appears to be a popular restaurant, as well as a very good hotel. We drank aperitifs in a bright, airy, sunny conservatory, with large windows overlooking the southern end of Loch Shiel and afterwards ate a very good meal in a very full restaurant. Attempts to locate a local malt whisky failed miserably: we asked for Glen Borrodale Castle (having cycled through Glen Borrodale) but what we received was a sort of “place-holder” whisky, local in name only, presumably imported while they wait the requisite six years for spirit from the newly built distillery we passed yesterday. For the record it was a lowland style whisky, unpeated, light, with sherry notes.

Today was a planned short day, in order to allow us time for a cruise on Loch Shiel in the afternoon. Consequently we needed to cover just under thirty miles before lunchtime, effectively from the southern end of Loch Shiel to the northern end, albeit by a rather circuitous route. We’d considered cycling up the unmetalled drover’s road on the eastern side of the loch, but, not being great enthusiasts for rough surfaces, opted instead to follow a road route.

It was bright and dry when we left, and stayed that way all morning, apart from a very small number of raindrops. We headed north through the town of Acharacle on quiet well-surfaced roads, across the River Shiel and over a short climb towards Loch Moidart. Thereafter we rode along the side of the loch, with fine views to the west, before a second stiffer, longer climb took us over craggy moorland towards the sea. In fact, once we’d reached the summit of the second climb we were rewarded with a glorious, swooping two-mile descent to sea level on a fantastic smooth wide road. Excellent!

Once again we had views across to Eigg, Muck and Rum, and after a while we could see the peninsula we will follow tomorrow towards Mallaig for the Skye Ferry. Today, though, instead of turning west towards Mallaig we turned east in the direction of Glenfinnan, joining the busier A830 for the last miles of today’s journey. The views of Loch Ailort, and then of Loch Eilt, were spectacular, and across the latter we caught sight of the steam train heading west from Fort William to Mallaig.

One final substantial climb away from the loch brought us to the top of a long stepped descent, at the bottom of which we spotted our hotel, the Prince’s House. As we were early our room was not yet ready, but the helpful proprietor took our bags and showed us where we could change into non-cycling clothes for the rest of the day. So we changed into the very latest line in lightweight t-shirts and even lighter weight ultra-fashionable zip-off trousers (please, no pictures) and marched off downhill to obtain lunch at the Glenfinnan House Hotel. Top-notch venison sausage and mash, since you ask.

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Some weeks ago we’d booked a voyage along Loch Shiel, so after lunch we walked alongside the loch to find the jetty for Loch Shiel Cruises. We (along with a dozen or so other passengers) were welcomed aboard the M.V. Sileas by Jim Michie, who piloted us in a southerly direction for the next hour and a half, whilst providing a detailed and informative narrative on the geography, geology, fauna, flora, archeology and history of the entire area. His knowledge was impressive, and delivered as if for the first time with enthusiasm and wit.

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By the time we reached Gaskan, two-thirds of the way down the loch, the weather had deteriorated somewhat, and all we brave souls sought refuge in the covered area at the rear of the vessel for most of the remainder of the voyage. It was a shame, as there was so much to see, but the rain was unrelenting.

Our return journey brought us back to the northern end of the Loch, with fine views of the Glenfinnan Viaduct (now often described as the Harry Potter Bridge, sadly, and we had already passed “Weasley Point” slightly earlier in the cruise).

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Thanking Jim for a most pleasant (if damp) afternoon we disembarked and hurried round to the Glenfinnan Monument before it closed. This imposing tower (which, to our eyes, appeared to lean slightly towards the south east) commemorates the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. We climbed many spiral stairs to reach a small hatch, through which we folded ourselves to reach the balcony, which gave fine views south towards the loch and north to the viaduct.

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A most diverting afternoon, then, and it certainly made a change from pedalling. Tomorrow brings a lot more pedalling as we tackle the longest day of our trip, sixty-eight miles from Glenfinnan to Portree via the Mallaig to Armadale ferry. Once we’ve completed this long day we intend to reward ourselves with a whole day off in Portree, before commencing the southerly return leg of our journey.

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What’s the story, Tobermory?

Tobermory to Acharacle

Distance: 21.74 miles
Average speed: 9.6 mph
Total distance: 212.56 miles
Maximum speed: 32 mph

So far on this trip everyone seems to eat very early, and you pretty much always have to be seated and ordered by 8 to 8:30. Having only landed at the Harbour Guest House after 7pm (and it did feel like landing, what a steep hill down into Tobermory!) it had to be a quick bath and change, but it was very reviving after such a long hard day, and the fluffiest towels so far!

We trotted along to the Galleon Grill, and managed to get through our delicious steaks without nodding off into our food. A small dram of whisky from the Tobermory distillery not 50 metres away (mildly peaty / fruity, with a pleasant toffee note), and so to bed, really happy to be back on track.

Well, more or less. Originally we’d planned a cycle around the northern part of the island for today, before ferrying over to Ardnamurchan, but having seen the hills, and with yesterday’s long miles having taken their toll, we decided to have a lazy morning mooching around Tobermory instead. It’s lovely, the harbour fringed by colourful houses, a bit like Burano just outside Venice. We had a late breakfast, wandered around taking photos, then a look in the Mull Museum, an excellent place, tiny, but brilliantly laid out with sections about the geology of the island, its history, maps of the sunken U-boats and other shipwrecks, the wildlife… Johnson and Boswell came to Mull, and Felix Mendelssohn of course when he visited Fingal’s Cave on Staffa. Sounded like a fairly hairy trip, but it was obviously very inspiring.

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In fact the museum was so good that we didn’t leave quite enough time to eat lunch, only enough time to order it, and had to wrap the sandwiches in napkins, run back to collect the tandem and our luggage, and hot-foot it (hot-pedal?) to the ferry terminal to catch our boat to Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

Landing on the other side we set off up the first hill of the day, through lovely craggy scenery with only a few sheep for company. Nearing the top the road rounded a bend and suddenly there was the sea and the island of Rum, quickly followed by Eigg and finally the Cuillins of Skye, just a misty outline in the far distance. We turned inland, and won’t see the islands again until we hit the coast tomorrow on our way up to Glenfinnan.

After the climb, the reward, a long gentle descent followed by a long section where the road hugged the hillside, still high, with views of beaches far below. Once we were finally back to sea-level there was an up and down section with cabling alongside the road and lots of huge empty fibre cable bobbins in the lay-bys – Ardnamurchan peninsula is getting superfast fibre broadband!

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We weren’t trying particularly hard today, knowing we only had just over 20 miles to do, and it was a glorious road, bimbling alongside the water through the trees. The surfaces are all smooth new jet-black tarmac, courtesy of the European Union according to the signs. We passed a building that looked like a distillery and smelled like a distillery, although there was no sign. Later research indicates that it’s very new, no product yet, not even a name for the whisky it will produce. Have to keep an eye on that one!

20 miles was plenty today, though, and we were happy to turn into Ardshealach Lodge where we were welcomed by about seven dogs – no need for a doorbell! Our room has a lovely view of the waters of Loch Shiel and the craggy hills beyond. We’ll be staying in Glenfinnan tomorrow, and plan to take a trip on a boat at the other end of Loch Shiel tomorrow afternoon.

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Back on track

Lochgilphead to Tobermory

Distance: 58.11 miles
Average speed: 11.0 mph
Total distance: 190.82 miles
Maximum speed: 34.5 mph

The Galley of Lorne hotel was excellent: situated in a small side-loch of Loch Craignish and surrounded by low green hills, it seems to be a popular spot with the yachting fraternity, and is now also popular with this off-shoot of the cycling fraternity too. We had an excellent meal, finished off with a glass of Oban 10 year old. All I can remember of it some hours later is that it had a pleasant “figgy” taste. Not being a “super taster” my powers of description are limited at best – whatever, it was most enjoyable.

After breakfast we checked out and headed to the bus stop to catch the 423 back to Lochgilphead, dressed (optimistically) in our cycling togs and carrying all our panniers. As we approached the town both of us became nervous – we really hoped for a positive outcome after yesterday’s travails.

We walked through the door of Crinan Cycles. Kevin’s face was set gloomily.

“Disaster”, he said – “The part arrived but it doesn’t fit”.

…and then he grinned!

“Just kidding, you’re all set to go!”

The stoker had to be physically restrained from kissing him. We took a quick spin around the block to check everything was behaving well, then loaded the panniers onto the tandem and set off. Plan A then, head for Tobermory and catch up with our original schedule.

The weather today was very mixed: (very) occasional sunny spells with fairly frequent heavy showers and a nasty headwind. We set off knowing we had nearly sixty miles to complete, together with four sizeable climbs, each topping out at over five hundred feet. The first of these climbs took us over to our previous night’s destination: Ardfern, past some particularly important archeological sites at Kilmartin (including the hill on which Scottish kings were crowned). There was plenty to see at the side of the road, and given more time we would have stopped to take a more detailed look, but we had some serious catching up to do.

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We descended the long hill towards Ardfern, then struck out towards Oban, aiming to catch the four p.m. ferry across to Mull. The tandem was performing well and we made good headway, climbing frequently away from sea level. The roads were smooth though, and the traffic fairly light. Eventually we surmounted the final climb before Oban, then enjoyed a long descent into the town centre, where we had to weave our way through the first traffic jams of our tour.

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There was just time to grab some delicious haddock and chips before boarding the ferry. Once aboard we were able to relax for a while and enjoy the rest, as we still had twenty-one miles to complete and two serious hills to climb en-route to Tobermory.

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Our aching legs took some warming up once we restarted, and, to be honest, the first few miles were fairly dull. We were following the Sound of Mull, but a barrier of trees meant we couldn’t really see the sea, and the moors to our left were impressive rather than beautiful. After a while though we started to see the Ardnamurchan peninsula across the water, and the views improved.

After seventeen miles of hard work we overtopped the final summit of the day and caught sight of picturesque Tobermory in the distance. A long, gentle descent took us down towards the harbour, and was succeeded by a very steep descent to sea level, passing the Tobermory distillery, to our destination, the Harbour Guest House, where we received a warm welcome.

So we’re tired, tonight, after a long day, but importantly we’re back on track, thanks to the impressive support of J.D Tandems (Gargrave) and Crinan Cycles (Lochgilphead). Tomorrow we catch a ferry across to Ardnamurchan for what we hope will be an easier day, finishing at Acharacle.

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Well, that didn’t quite go to plan!

Distance: 32.67 miles
Average speed: 11.8 mph
Total distance: 132.71 miles
Maximum speed: 36.1 mph

A slight mishap with dinner last night, we’d booked in at the Boathouse, famous on Gigha, but when we walked down to it, it was closed because of ‘staffing issues’ apparently. We were a bit annoyed that they hadn’t called the hotel to let us know, they knew we were staying there. We wondered if they’d sloped off to the Commonwealth Games!

Not to worry, we walked back up to the hotel, and had a very good meal in their restaurant, including Gigha halibut for the stoker, a product for which the island is famous. We’d realised that the Islay distilleries were actually closer as the crow flies now than the Mull of Kintyre distilleries, so a good excuse for last night’s dram to be a Lagavulin (Ardbeg being closer still, but not available!). Smooth, rich, strongly peated, a perfect after dinner dram. We flaked out early, slept really well, and woke to sun streaming through the curtains. Sun! Actual sunshine!

After breakfast we had a little cycle up and down the island, which is only 7 miles long. It was bought by the community a number of years ago, and is run as a community project throughout, which sounds like it could all be a bit worthy, but is actually just really friendly and rather inspiring… It’s also amazingly beautiful, especially in the sunshine, the water around the harbour so shallow and the sand below so white that it has a little turquoise halo, like the islands of the Maldives.

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The ferry was slightly delayed because its door got stuck! They managed to fix it, rather than having to turn around and have everyone reverse off, and we were soon back on the Mull of Kintyre and headed north for Tarbert.

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It was brilliant cycling, a small tailwind as yesterday, and we bowled along enjoying the views of Jura and Islay behind Gigha. Even the Paps of Jura were all fully visible, none of the cloud that can reduce the view to just the cleavage (copyright S. Blashill, 2009)

We stopped at the West Loch Hotel just short of Tarbert for lunch, really friendly service and excellent open sandwiches. Refuelled, we headed off again, a little detour on a minor road took us away from the busier A83 for a while which was nice, but even when we returned to it, it was fine, the traffic gave us plenty of room. We were making fine time and enjoying the wonderful views up and down Loch Fyne.

And that’s when the trouble started. Horrible grinding noises from the rear bottom bracket, which runs between the rear pedals. We’d checked both bottom brackets a couple of weeks ago in preparation for this tour, and in fact replaced the front one. When it’s a bike you use all the time you don’t know when a part will reach the end of its life, and the rear was not showing the classic sign of wear – rocking in the housing.

It was certainly showing it now, though!

We decided to push on (gently) to Lochgilphead where we knew there was a bike shop, and sure enough Kevin the owner confirmed that the bearing had gone on one side. Unfortunately he didn’t have a replacement part, but said he could certainly fit one of we could get one to him. And so it came to pass that we had to bother the inestimable Hargreaves of JD Tandems on their day off… John has sent one up via Special Delivery, it should be here tomorrow before 1pm. Massive thanks to John and Ruth, we definitely owe you a very nice bottle of red for sorting that out on your day off…

So we’ve come the last 14 miles today in a taxi to our planned hotel, and very nice it is too, lovely location by the loch, and looking beautiful in the sunshine. We can get a bus back to Lochgilphead tomorrow at 10, and we’ve made lots of plans (well, plans A, B and C!) for what to do if the part arrives, arrives but too late for us to make it to Tobermory, or doesn’t arrive until Wednesday.

Fingers crossed!

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Oh lashing rain rolling in from the sea

Campbeltown to Gigha via Southend

Distance: 46.28 miles
Average speed: 10.7 mph
Total distance: 100.04 miles
Maximum speed: 31.0 mph

Not unusually we were feeling thirsty after the strenuous efforts of the day, so we headed down to the lounge and asked for a couple of aperitifs outside overlooking the harbour. The weather was a little threatening, but we managed to stay out for a short while and enjoy our drinks and, of course, the view towards Campbeltown.

We’d been warned that the restaurant was running a little late, which was not of great concern to us. When the weather finally forced us indoors and back into the lounge, though, it gradually became apparent that all was not well. Some stony-faced residents were sitting there, well past their booked eating time, and the waitresses were rushing back and forth looking flustered, and offering free drinks. Our meal time was pushed back, and further back. It transpired that the regular chef was away on holiday, and his temporary replacement was struggling. Some dishes had been sent back! Trouble at t’ mill! At one point they tried to persuade us to go and eat elsewhere, but we didn’t fancy putting our cycling gear back on and heading in to town.

We remained fairly relaxed, a situation aided by free drinks. Eventually all the grumpy (and some ungrumpy) guests had been seated, and we were alone in the lounge. Finally, nearly two hours late, we sat down to eat. The meal was fine if not spectacular, and the proprietors even insisted on absorbing the cost of our wine – an excellent way of recovering the situation in our view.

We were delighted to find that Campbeltown has three distilleries, giving us plenty of choice for our digestifs. The stoker opted for a 12 year old Springbank Gaia, aged in Barolo casks, which was sweet to the nose and slightly fruity. The captain chose a peated 14 year old Glen Scotia, which was surprisingly pale in colour (paler than the unpeated Springbank) but slightly smoky with gentle peat flavours – both were delicious.

The weather forecast for today was poor, and we woke to gloomy skies and light rain showers. After breakfast we headed out (sans panniers, as we were returning to Campbeltown for lunch) through the town, then east along the waterfront, aiming to cycle clockwise around the southern tip of the Mull. Four flattish miles warmed our legs, before we hit a succession of strenuous five hundred foot climbs, each one succeeded by a descent virtually to sea level. We were feeling strong today though, and were definitely feeling the benefit of cycling without heavy panniers.

Click here for today’s track.

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In the early part of today there were a few showers, but the visibility was fairly good and we had views over to the southern coast of Arran and Ailsa Craig and, beyond Ailsa Craig, to the northern coast of Northern Ireland. The roads were tiny and the traffic negligible, and despite the hard work involved we were really enjoying ourselves. After the final climb we descended towards Southend, on the southern coast of the Mull, into increasingly heavy rain, past an attractively situated roadside water mill.

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Had the weather been better we would probably have chosen to linger a while in and around Southend; as it was we tried to get to the beach through the golf course but the road stopped short, leaving us time to witness the rather embarrassed efforts of one poor chap who had struck his shot into the shallow waters of a course-side stream. Not wanting to appear to enjoy this too much we struck north, away from the golf course and the coast, back on the main road (such as it was) towards Campbeltown.

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With only a further eight miles to negotiate before lunchtime we made good progress despite increasingly torrential rain. On arrival at the Bluebell Café the waitress looked bemused to see us arrive in a similar state to yesterday: absolutely drenched. Lunch was taken, with several hot drinks, before we left (apologising for the pools of water around our table) and returned to the hotel to collect our panniers.

With twenty miles of pedalling remaining we bore west past the airport (and the McCartney farm) across the peninsula towards the west coast. By this point we were so saturated that the best way to stay warm was to pedal as hard as possible, and before long we were making rapid headway along the coastline in a northerly direction towards Tayinloan, the ferry port for the Isle of Gigha. With the benefit of a tail wind we were racing along at up to twenty-five miles an hour on the flat, feeling strong. We suspected that under more benign conditions we would have enjoyed striking views over to Islay. As it was it was difficult to see past the raindrops on our glasses.

Eventually we started to catch glimpses of Gigha through the clouds – it even looked slightly sunny over there. Arriving early in the ferry port we took shelter from the lashing rain in the café and watched the arrival of the ferry. On wheeling our trusty steed aboard with water pouring from our rain jackets we were greeted by a deckhand:

“You’re brave in this weather!”

“More like foolhardy…”

We sheltered indoors during the short crossing and emerged, shivering slightly, onto Gigha. What a stunning place. Better still, the rain had stopped, and, for a tantalising moment or two the sun emerged from the clouds, showing Gigha in its best light. The turquoise waters of the beaches looked positively Caribbean. Tomorrow’s weather promises to be better – we hope that turns out to be true as the whole island looks very photogenic and we’d like to have a good look around before catching the return ferry.

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Tonight we’re in the Gigha hotel, dry and warm, in an airy room with views to the sea in two directions.

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Later we’ll be dining at the Boathouse. Tomorrow, after exploring the island we plan to return to the mainland and head north, past Tarbert towards Lochgilphead, finishing at Ardfern.

Oh mist rolling in from the sea…

Lochranza to Campbeltown

Distance: 29.54 miles
Average speed: 9.2 mph
Maximum speed: 39.8 mph

Total distance: 53.76 miles

It was a lovely stroll along to the Stags Pavilion last night in the evening sunshine with our bottle of red in hand, and an excellent meal with very friendly service. It was still really hot, but the open windows helped, albeit screened against the fearsome midges. We headed back to the youth hostel to sample our Arran 12 year old (miniatures, not a whole bottle!), a delicious light dram, pale straw coloured, with a very fresh taste. Not new to us, we would have to confess, but a very pleasant acquaintance to renew.

So a good first day, a nice evening, and after our early start we were looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately the child in the room next door had other ideas, screaming “I CAN’T, I CAN’T” over and over again for hours… At breakfast this morning, alongside all the other bleary-eyed under-slept guests was the poor warden of the hostel. He was mortified for his guests, having been kept awake by it all even on the ground floor, two floors below us. And the family were staying a second night…

The breakfast was really good, though, and the coffee very reviving. Lots of the other guests were also cyclists heading off in different directions, some of them joining us on the ferry to Claonaig at the top of the Mull of Kintyre. One was doing a circuit of the Mull, and promised to give us a wave when he passed us on his way back up, and another was doing a trip really similar to ours, but much faster, heading straight for Oban today, 90 miles.

We landed at Claonaig and all pedalled off on our different routes. It was much cooler than yesterday, thankfully, and even a little early drizzle was quite refreshing, we had a lovely view back to Arran, quite spookily misty.

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The road was lovely, narrow and quiet, very undulating with beautiful views of the frilly Mull of Kintyre coastline at the top of each short climb. Some parts of it were impossibly smooth new tarmac, it looked like it had been newly laid by the companies building a new 132kV OHL, whatever that is. All the explanations we could come up with involved the H standing for Haggis… Probably overhead power lines really, we decided. We stopped for a drink and a bun (thanks Dianne!), and pushed on.

We turned inland slightly, and cycled through a lovely valley, then after a long climb we really enjoyed about 5 miles of gentle downhill through the forest. We’d taken our rain jackets off at the top, but it started to drizzle a little again, so we re-donned them. Just in time – it was like a tap had suddenly been turned on, the rain was bouncing right back up off the road, and we were soaked in seconds! There were a few very sharp climbs and descents, still feeling like hard work while we acclimatise to the weight of the panniers. As promised, our fellow ferry passenger passed us on his way up the road we’d come down, giving us a cheery wave and a “why are we all doing this in the rain” grin.

Arran, to our left, completely disappeared in the downpour, and it didn’t really let up much until we got to Campbeltown, and parked the tandem outside the Cafe Bluebell, where we had lunch. Campbeltown had been described to us as “a funny wee place”, and it was really. It had an industrial past, apparently, and the area around the harbour showed that, but the town itself was a strange mixture of scary-looking pubs and standard high-street shops.

So we’re all checked in to the Craigard House Hotel now, and planning to stay for dinner, there’s a lovely view of the loch from the dining room. Tomorrow we’ll be cycling right down to the very end of the Mull, from where we might be able to see Northern Ireland if the weather permits, then across to the other side and the ferry to Gigha.

Click here for today’s track.

Scotland in microcosm

Ardrossan to Lochranza

Distance: 24.22 miles
Average speed: 10.5 mph
Maximum speed: 36.4 mph

In improbably warm weather, car stuffed to the gills with dismantled tandem, we set off for Ardrossan, a four hour journey in the car, but soon achieved. The scenic long-term car park at the ferry port provided views over to Arran as we set about the task of re-assembling the tandem (and making sure we hadn’t left anything in the car). All of this was finished just in time for the 2pm ferry, so we wheeled ourselves onto the car deck, tied the tandem to a hook and headed to the top deck for a refreshing bottle of Arran Gold (captain) and 7-Up (stoker) and some stunning views across to Brodick.

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The captain first visited here on a sixth-form Geology field trip in 1978, a visit chiefly remembered for magnificent scenery, constant pouring rain and a lot of laughter and good company. Oh, and a good telling off for under-age drinking in the Lochranza Hotel. We also came here a couple of years ago for a most enjoyable three-day visit, so today’s roads were not new to us, but we welcomed the chance to see it all again.

There was no time (or particular need) to warm up, as after a couple of flat miles through Brodick we launched straight up the String Road in stiflingly hot temperatures. This road girdles Arran’s waist, and involves several miles of climbing followed by a long exhilarating descent to Blackwaterfoot. The climb was hard hard hard, mainly because of the temperature, but we hit high speeds on the descent, riding into a refreshing breeze for several miles.

Eventually in the distance we spotted the Mull of Kintyre. Go on, sing along, you know you want to. The Mull is tomorrow’s destination; today, once we reached the coast, we turned hard right towards Lochranza.

The coastal road is breathtakingly beautiful. On the left, flat calm seas, seagulls, herons, occasional brave swimmers, and constant views over the Mull of Kintyre (here we go again). On the right metamorphic rocks, raised beaches, U- shaped glaciated valleys. Perhaps some of that sixth-form geology penetrated the captain’s preoccupied teenage brain after all.

We were joined, briefly, by a Hamiltonian bike shop owner, spending his day off cycling around the island on a single-speed bike. Rather him than us – we used every one of our 27 gears today. Eventually we reached the “Twelve Apostles” at Catacol (twelve rather lovely identical sea-side houses) and gazed up Glen Catacol (scene of a rain-lashed “forced march” on the aforementioned field trip) before cycling onwards and turning south into Lochranza.

We headed straight for the distillery. As a service to our reader, and at considerable personal cost, we intend to sample a whisky each night of our tour from the nearest available distillery, and to provide tasting notes. Today’s whisky is an Arran 12-year-old, to be consumed later this evening.

The final link with the 1978 field trip is our residence of choice for the evening: Lochranza Youth Hostel. Though no longer youthful, we were permitted entry, to an en-suite twin room rather than a dormitory, thankfully. It’s actually very comfortable and civilised.

Tonight we dine at the Stags Pavilion, which looks good, and ought to be – it is a BYO (bring your own wine) establishment, and we’ve been forced to lug a decent bottle of red with us all day today!

Tomorrow we catch the Lochranza to Claonaig ferry, before meandering gently down the Mull of Kintyre (humming to ourselves, no doubt) towards Campbeltown, which, happily, also has a distillery!

Click here to see today’s route