Monday, 3 October 2016
Dunoon. The Holy Loch. Strone Point Views.
The next outing after the post last week was a bike trip to Dunoon, probably because during the kayak day paddling around Gourock I was always looking across at it and thinking "not been over there for a while- must go again." So on my next free day off I loaded the bike into the car and drove down to Gorouck but this time just by-passed the seafront car park with its stupid three hour only restrictions ( see previous post on Gourock) and made straight for the esplanade nearest the ferry. For bikes the red western ferry seemed best to me although that drops you off at Hunter's Quay 2.5km from Dunoon's town centre but I was intending to cycle around the nearby Holy Loch first anyway.
Above is a photo of Dunoon's splendid little castle which has a museum in it and is surrounded by ornamental gardens, seen here, covering a delightfully arranged rocky slope in the centre of town.
The only surprise should be how the other three quarters are still able to cope as anytime I get buses or drive around these days humans under 40, especially girls/ women rarely look at the world around them anymore but just focus intently on hand held devices/ machines/addictions instead to gain dubious levels of reward/ advice/ companionship/sex/security/or enlightenment. We don't need to worry about the 'age of robots' waiting around the corner in the very near future as it's already here by the back door. Implants will surely come next with chips inside our bodies so that we can't switch off- a marketing person/ retail seller/ state government/ law enforcement's dream. They already know our interests, work, friend and family connections, political affiliations, where we go to on holiday, where we live,who we meet and correspond with in great detail anyway so that's just the next logical step.
I ended up coming out in a beguiling Dunoon suburb I'd never explored before but recognized the district name from an old Victorian sign pointing uphill on the esplanade that I'd observed on previous trips and thought worth investigating at a later date, which in turn led me into a switchback canyon land of elegant grand mansions half hidden by large tree adorned gardens that were still well kept in many cases but spoke of a different golden age. This was a part of Dunoon I was completely unfamiliar with until now and I really enjoyed exploring this sprawling network of hillside properties draped over a high rolling landscape that must have been owned by the elite of Victorian and Edwardian society but were now showing signs of age and wear and tear- and no doubt their owners were aging inside as well as half the buildings up here looked as if serious money and maintenance was required but not always forthcoming. A money pit situation well known around the planet where large substantial properties needing constant attention and grooming collide with reduced incomes and advanced years. It had that feel about it but was still very impressive. Faded radiance in all its glory. A Scottish Xanadu I suppose. The above photo is from the castle mound viewpoint looking in the direction of Dunoon's residential suburbs climbing the outlying slopes and roughly the area I was cycling through. Many unexpected and interesting things to see up here in the back streets of the town that only locals and postal workers know about. Although Dunoon is only a short ferry ride away from Gourock and Greenock... reached by car on the road network it sits isolated on a sizable peninsula of land and off the main traffic route north from the central belt so it's probably less connected now than it was during the age of frequent paddle steamers and deliveries by sea.
Very interesting article. Also enlightening is the 'Syrian refugees said they wanted to leave' inside this item as most papers are only interested in selling copy in a very cut throat business and usually have their own agenda and spin to put out.
An excellent video today giving you a real idea of what the best of Scotland's mountains look like, including Torridon and Glencoe. Well worth watching full screen. Stunning drone compilation.