Arran to Loch Melfort

I packed up my gear, had breakfast and had to cycle like the clappers to make the 10.45 ferry which I made with a minute to spare! I went to take a photo of the crossing but realised I had left my battery in the charger and packed it in my trailer. A friendly couple on the ferry took a couple of photos of me and said they would send them through the post to me when they had finished their film.

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The crossing took 30 minutes and the views were fantastic. When I got to Claonaig on the other side I cycled up and over the peninsular and took in some wonderful views of the hills and sea. I enjoyed having the sun and wind on my back too – perfect! I had a good downhill into Kennacraig where I got on the A83, which had some large traffic on it and so I was happy to stop in Tarbert for a break.

Tarbert
Tarbert

Tarbert was a lovely town with multicoloured buildings and a beautiful blue harbour with boats happily bobbing up and down on the water. I had some quesedilla that I didn’t really want but I was waiting for the hardware store to open so I could buy a new memory card for the camera.

Tarbert
Tarbert

I had to stock up on supplies for my knee in the chemist and then sat outside another tea shop and had a pot of tea, replied to all my texts and wrote a couple of postcards. I left Tarbert gone 3pm with still 40 miles to do. It was a lovely spot and I would like to come back and travel around the whole peninsular.

Loch Fyne
Loch Fyne

I kept on the A83 alongside Loch Fyne and it started to rain. At Loch Gilp I took the A816 to Cairnborn where I got on the Crinan Canal tow path which was very pretty.

Crinan Canal
Crinan Canal
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Crinan Canal
Crinan Canal
Crinan Canal

At Bellanoch there was a rainbow and the rain was making the water sparkle in the sunlight like magic.

Moine Mhor
Moine Mhor

As I headed over the Islandadd Bridge I got my first puncture so I pushed the bike back to the picnic tables by the canal and took the front wheel off and sorted it out, managing to cover myself in black dirt in the process!

Bellanoch
Bellanoch

I took the long, flat, straight road through Moine Mhor Wildlife Reserve to Temple Wood Stone Circle.

Temple Wood Stone Circle
Temple Wood Stone Circle

I cycled close to Dunadd which is where the first Scot’s are said to be descended from.

View from Kilmartin
View from Kilmartin

At Kilmartin I got ont he A816 and after a few miles had a climb through some very pretty forest coming out at the top to a colourful sky and wonderful view of Loch Craignish.

Loch Craignish
Loch Craignish

I had another climb up to Barravullin and down the other side to Garran with views of the sun through the clouds overlooking Shuna, Luing, Torsa and other islands and points.

Barravullin
Barravullin

I couldn’t find anywhere to stop and so was forced to keep going which was a shame as the scenery was spectacular.

Asknish Bay
Asknish Bay

I cycled past Arduaine all the way to Glenmore, Kilmelford and up a steep climb to Melfort and still nowhere to camp or stay for the night. By now it was gone 10pm and still daylight as today is the longest day.

A816
A816

Eventually I came across a road which led down to a fishery and stopped. It was gone 11, still light and a fog was hanging over the road in a strange dip, very eerie (and I’m not fond of the fog).

Loch Melfort
Loch Melfort

As I pulled in off the road BoB’s wheel came off, I thought how lucky I was that it happened there and not when I was zooming down one of the big hills I had been cycling earlier.

The midges were out with a vengeance and covered my face and neck like a blanket. I put up my tent and chomped down a roll and dairy lee whilst marching around trying to keep the midges off but they were so thick there was no chance.

Loch nan Druimnean "Midge Galore Camp"
Loch nan Druimnean “Midge Galore Camp”

I zipped myself into the tent gone midnight and tried to put the fog out of my mind as I went to sleep.

53.69 miles

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