Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Dunoon to Port Lamont.
Bloody hell.Catching up with this blog is hard work!I now have three still to write up and Alex has two.At this rate we will need to get a secretary in that can type a lot faster than us two one fingered duffers.This is from the First May weekend,done before the epic Bute trip and the journey that put the idea into my head in the first place as I was looking across at this island most of the day thinking I`ve got to get over there again soon.
As Alex was in Italy It was a solo venture again.Any chance I get to go myself I prefer the bike,saving any hills to do with him.This suits us both.
Only been on this cycle ride once before ,mainly because its the same long road in and out whereas I prefer circular outings if I can get them.Last visit was many years ago and I remember really enjoying it so time for a return.Weather was for heavy passing showers but at this time of year I decided they`d be warm or easy to sit out under a tree.I was off and that was that.
Even so I faffed around getting ready and left it a tad late racing out the house and down to Gourock only to get caught in traffic waiting for a Boys Brigade parade to pass.
It didn't take that long but I missed the ferry.Mind you when I looked over to where it was heading I was quite happy to stay here on the mainland .
It looked grim.Your average Munro day in fact.Brings back memories. :0)
I pottered about taking photos debating whether to cycle round to catch the smaller western ferry a mile down the road. This took advantage of the hourly crossing of Cal Mac by a 30 minute return service across the shortest point.Looking at the jet black clouds I knew a monster of a downpour was not far away so I captured pictures of tulips in sunshine instead and stayed close to shelter.
They weren't joking about heavy showers.The heavens opened but it only lasted fifteen minutes then stopped.I was here.Happy!Nothing better than a cloudburst when you can watch it in the open but under cover.Magic.
Here`s the tulips :0)
Its safe to come out again men the flowers are gone.
Now, in the dry, I cycled to the Western Ferries slipway.My momma didnt birth no fool.
This took me to Hunters Quay where I had a smashing level promanade glide past Kirn back into Dunoon.Kirn is famous for two things.This.....
Both painted in the same bold colours but only one of them is highly controversial and divides opinion.Can you spot which one?
By the time I arrived in the Victorian confection of Dunoon the sun was coming out again.I met a fellow cyclist here who joined me for a mile or two.He was a big miles man."If I do a hundred miles today I like to batter on and do a hundred and fifty next time I`m out." Although both on bikes we had nothing in common :0) Nice guy though.
Happy with my sub 30 miles for today I glided on.Flat easy roads,big rambling houses round twisting bends and hidden golden sand coves,monkey puzzle,and copper beech trees overhead.Another crap day in the west of Scotland.
The miles rolled by as wisps of steam from the drying out wooded cliffs above drifted upwards turning the long coastal escarpment above the houses into a lost world vision of paradise.Talk about a feel good factor.Christ on the cross would be belting out show tunes here.
Innellan is a long glorious strip of houses two and three levels high off the main street with a nice war memorial frontage garden.
The lighthouse at Toward point however was not the make for highlight it appears on the map as it is private and out of bounds.Boo hoo!
Instead I followed a white road (oh no, you mad fool!) beyond Toward point which snaked down to Ardyne Point and along the coast to Port Lamont.Hadn't been down here before.It started off as an easy dirt track but soon disappeared at a three way split leaving me in a field with waist high grass.Its not that I`m a crap navigator ,I`m actually pretty good as you`d expect after all this time but white roads ............
Faint heart never won fair tarmac however and I don`t scare easily.I knew where I was heading and some determined portage later........
Through bog ,bramble,bush and beast saw me on solid ground again.
Not only that it looked like an old runway or a very wide road overgrown and slowly reverting back to nature.It was a surprise to find a semi industrial setting down here,loads of oil rig cables,fish farm junk and heavy haulage gear.Both now and in the past by the looks of it.Cycling was now easy however round the small harbour slipway and along the beach to Port Lamont where I had a view of this.
This being the Maersk containers ships lying idle here until the economy picks up.Loch Striven is a popular place to hide ships like this waiting for an upturn in the economy to make them viable again.
The fjord like Loch Striven was also used during the second world war as a testing ground for the highball project.A Barnes Wallis Bouncing bomb enterprise to sink the German battleship Tirpitz Based in a similar fjord in Norway.In the end midget subs carried out the deed but over a hundred highballs lie beneath the cold, deep waters of the loch.Inactive of course.The six container ships are being used as the setting for a CBBC TV Si- Fi series called Mission 2110.
On the way back took the high Innellan roads for better views and a different route back.
Two of Rothesay from Ardyne Point area.
And one above Innellan.
My next day out has Live Dancing girls,Dragons and Devils..............Stilts, Stilletoes and music...........Alex refused to go.....shame that `cos he missed a fabulous day out with me ,Chalky the wee white dug and the family he looks after.
P.S. Don't sit under a Monkey puzzle tree during a" passing heavy shower".Amazing tree but It makes a crap umbrella!.Horse chestnut or beech is by far the best.