West coast weekend
This past weekend was the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. But I decided not to run the half marathon because I didn’t have enough time to recover after having been rather ill. So instead, I headed west to enjoy a weekend on the coast with a friend.
My weekend started with a late-afternoon train to Ayrshire where my friend met me at the station. We then relaxed in the summer house with a bottle of very old, very questionable Champagne whilst feeding the Chimenea much too much firewood. So really, it was kind of like a nod to my west coast American redneck roots, where drinking cheap booze in front of a raging bonfire is a normal, every-day activity.
Saturday was an early start so that we could catch the 7am ferry from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran. It was my first time visiting one of the many Scottish islands (not counting the wee islands in the middle of firths and lakes) so I was pretty excited about the adventure. (I was also pretty excited about the full Scottish breakfast on the ferry, if I’m honest!) Once on Arran, we wandered around Brodick a bit, enjoying the lovely sunshine and beautiful scenery. And, of course, we grabbed a couple of geocaches along the way! I was pretty impressed with an old shipwreck from the early 1900s, and the low-tide meant I was able to really explore a bit. By the time we were done exploring, the 12.30 ferry was ready to board, so we made our way back to the mainland.
But we didn’t stay land-bound for long! Instead we went to the marina to launch Bluebird, my friend’s wee boat. He does a bit of hobbyist lobster fishing with lobster creels and accessories he finds washed up on the beach, and one of the pots he’s using is the one I found last winter. So this was my opportunity to pull in a lobster pot! (Though all but one lobster was too small to keep this round… too early in the season, apparently.) After a couple of hours on the boat pulling pots, re-baiting them, and dropping them in the sea again, we made our way back to land again with a lobster and some fresh crab for dinner!
On Sunday, we decided to have an easier day. So after a leisurely breakfast we drove up to the car ferry from Gourock to Dunoon. From there, we took a wee drive along Loch Eck where we stopped for a picnic lunch. Then we travelled along Loch Fyne and over Rest and Be Thankful before driving along Loch Lomond on the way back to Ayrshire. Our “easier” day was a bit tiring, come to think of it!
Sadly, I had to return to Edinburgh this morning so that I could get to the office. But I really had a fabulous weekend and am glad I got away for a couple of days.
Later this week I will be heading south to England, as I’ve been invited to speak at a conference in Devon. So I’ll be sure to share some more photos then!