Friday, 12 June 2015

Arran. Lochranza.King's Cave,Drumadoon Point. Skipness. Geocaching Day.

                                               ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
Day two of our Arran Trip, after our day on the Arran Ridge, was a family affair. See previous post. Gail is a keen geocacher with over 6000 cache discoveries in Scotland and abroad and while I think its fair to say, husband John, seen here, and long time friend, myself, the invisible man ( Nae selfie. nae arrest in 5 countries) are not so committed to geocaching, it was a good way to explore Arran. Indeed on this trip we visited a few interesting places we'd never been before purely because there were geocaches hidden in out of the way places that we had no reason to explore on previous trips.
A geocache is usually a small waterproof box of metal or plastic hidden in the landscape with various trinkets or objects inside. Co- ordinates are then given to find them or you can plant your own. Locations can be as hard or as easy as you are capable of from mountain tops and caves to steep gullies, under bridges or remote islands. There is even one on the space station I'm informed.
Next day we had a trip over to the west side of the island to visit King's Cave near Blackwaterfoot. A 7 to 8 km interesting walk can be had here from the car park near Crochandoon with good views over to the isolated summit of Beinn Bharrain and Mullach Buidhe, 721 metres, seen here. There are around 7 caves on the coast at this point, sitting back a stones throw from the sea as they were formed when sea levels and the tide reached much higher in the past.
The entrance through to King's Cave. This has historical carvings in it, hence the metal gate in front, and may have sheltered Robert the Bruce, but a large number of caves in Scotland seem to be a magnet for famous refugees from persecution.
Inside King's Cave which is fairly large.
King's cave again, looking at the carvings of crosses, symbols and animals.
Flow stone in another cave nearby.
Yet another cave. Loads on this stretch of coast and several families with children were exploring here.
Drumadoon Point which has some good examples of columnar basalt, similar to Fingal's Cave on Staffa. We visited this area as well on the same walk following part of the newly created multi day coastal path round Arran.
Indeed our geocaching tour seemed to involve some of the highlights of this coastal route.
Sea pink or thrift.
Large armoured beetle. Many ground beetles have intricate layers of body parts that mesh together and are fascinating. I'm right into them these days as they are like dinosaurs in miniature or battle tanks with protective shields and plates and some have T Rex style predator jaws, alpha creatures in a mini kingdom of terror.
My favourite Arran village of Corrie came next where we visited Sculptor/Wood Carver Marvin Elliott and had a look at his workshop next to the small harbour. A great variety of interesting designs and carvings here in a range of styles using material washed up on the beach or found around Arran. 
Link here. Well worth a look at his collection and photos of previous art works.  I particularly like the real seal photos  happily relaxing beside the carved one at Corrie.
 With its beautiful little harbour containing a replica Scottish/Viking longboat and some quirky features, ie : pier bollards painted to look like sheep, Corrie has long been my first stop on bike tours round the island.
Glen Sannox next and a secret location.
More geocaching, this time exploring a deeper network of caves. Table and chairs in this one.
Gail banged her head off a low projection of rock in this one but was commendably restrained in  manner and vocal outburst as she had another box to show for her efforts and was more interested in that.
Deep part of the cave I'd crawled down into with a line to lead you back out again. Ever since I watched "The Descent" film years ago I always imagine creepy creatures sneaking up on me when I put the torch out in dark caves. Thank you for that image horror directors as I never had it before. A ghost Chalky for Jennifer Love Hewitt to whisper to in the dark. Or a supernatural Paris Hilton handbag dog. Take your pick. Creepy creatures all.
Tea with John and Gail. This looks suspiciously like "glamping" to my eyes. Poor Bobby's tent was very spartan by comparison. Only a sleeping bag, a carry mat, and rigorous self denial for a pillow. They had Danish pastries for breakfast, wine, bread and multi flavoured goodies for main meal while poor Bobby had to settle for a tin of European donkey chunks, blood and brains. 55 pence a tin. A bargain so I bought a crate!
Lochranza Beach.
Usual pink flamingo sunset we always seem to get at this time of year. Around £10 a head camping fees with good toilets, showers etc and no wild anti social behavior. It was a noisy campsite however as the F*** Y** bird was in fine voice right outside our tents from dawn around 3am until 9:00am when it probably went off to stuff its face with local caterpillars. Our cuckoo was joined by a nesting pair of hooded crows in the trees above the tent who cawed incessantly the rest of the time, taking it in shifts. The peace of the countryside in action but it did give me plenty of free time to read my Marc Bolan Book. Also found out my collection of early Tyrannosaurus Rex folk albums before the glam rock T Rex days may be worth something as vinyl records seem to be making a comeback.
Other meals consumed on this trip by the glamping pair were as follows. Fish and chips in the Lochranza Hotel 2nd night.
Me 2nd night. European Donkey chunks, blood and brains scoffed in the tent before pub. No alcohol either. It's the Devil's brew! A healthy lifestyle like my ancestors of old.

Last afternoon. Skipness Castle Area. Seafood delight each.
Me. Nothing apart from nature!
Bluebell woods around Skipness Castle.
Local news story. Lochranza rascal and village tearaway apprehended at last. The dog that is.
Skipness Castle visit.
Return via Loch Fyne.
A great holiday weekend. Only three more boxes of donkey chunks to get through. Happy days.

Something a little different for a change. Surprisingly catchy tune for an eco group I stumbled across a few weeks ago and an interesting video.


Lux G. said...

I've never been in an actual cave before. This looks scary but definitely worth the experience.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Lux G.
Caves can be good fun. Sea caves have a unique smell and you sometimes find seal pups in the remote ones.

Carol said...

We had a cuckoo cuck-cuck-cooing (a strange variation) all night at Durness the other June - apparently they do strange calls during the mating season (although seems a bit late for that, June). I found it amusing but then I wasn't in a tent - but I always sleep with the window open.

I love Corrie village too and we had a holiday let for a week there once which was lovely. Didn't know there were caves at Glen Sannox though... Need to revisit Arran next year I think.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
The caves are not in Glen Sannox but they are on Arran. I just posted them there. Secret location :o) The reason for that is certain other things I've posted on the blog in the past, bothies etc. are now shut,altered, or off limits in some way. Don't know if that's an increase in numbers generally or a direct result of me mentioning them or just coincidence but it's happened several times now. Also in a few instances people have lifted entire posts that I've written and put them elsewhere on the internet opening them up to a much wider, non outdoor audience who might want to camp in them.

Carol said...

That's a bit naughty of people to steal your posts. You need a prominent copyright notice on your front page like I have - I'm not sure it will stop them but it might put a few off. No-one has the right to steal your online work! :-(

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Yes, I'll probably put one up but it wont stop anyone if they really want it. Even putting tags on the photos can be easily taken off unless you caption right across the middle, ruining the photo for viewing. Just the way the world is and always has been. A sizable percentage of inventions and original ideas in the past have a well known name attached to them forever but only because they had either the connections, power, money or influence to lift that idea from the genuine owner. History is littered with examples of that.