Billy Sangster

Stuff out of my brain

Arran Part Four

Ah, back to the consistent rain this day.

Our plan of attack was initially to seek out the “King’s Cave”, where it is alleged that no less than Robert the Bruce himself had done seven hundred years previously when on the run after some disastrous battles.

It is here that the legend of the spider, Try, Try and Try Again, was born.

If we had enough time left I also wanted to visit the biggest group of the many stone circles found across Arran. That’s hippy in me making an appearance.

We went to the place we reckoned the walk started from, Blackwaterfoot, parked the van in the hotel car park we’d stopped at on the Sunday and looked along the coastline.

Then my son reminded us that we’d parked in another car park further up the coast slightly the other day as well. We decided this would be the better option.

After getting ourselves kitted out with our waterproofs again, as the rain just wasn’t letting up today, we started at the beach. I walked over and asked a woman there if we were on the right track, as we still weren’t exactly sure. She said we were, but because the bairns were a “bit wee” I might consider going to a car park further north. The walk was slightly shorter there, it was a loop and went through more woodland, which would save us from getting blasted with the brisk sea breeze coming ashore. She said she’d a group of Duke of Edinburgh Award youngsters on their way to meet her from the opposite direction, “but they were seventeen”. I said I’d give my two the option.

“The beach way, dad!” was the reply I got when offering them the alternative. The beach way it was to be.

This was a great walk, along and around “The Doon” which is a massive outcrop of volcanic stone standing sentry-like at the shore. To get around it we had to negotiate a beautifully manicured golf course, observing the warnings that we did so at our own risk. Risk of what wasn’t mentioned. Whether it was rogue golf balls that were going to attack us, or irate golfers themselves, we never found out as the route taken was without incident.

Still seemed a bit strange coming from the rugged coastline route onto this impeccably trimmed and maintained sporting ground.

Anyway, soon we were onto what was to be the most challenging part for my daughter, a mile or so through five foot high ferns (and “jaggies”). She persevered though and before we knew it we were at the caves.

We’d remembered to take my tiny LED torch with us, or my daughter did, so we could see right to the back of the main cave. I got a decent photo of my son sitting on a stone at the back “contemplating a spider building its web”.

We stopped and had our sandwiches on a handy bench made out of a railway sleeper, wondering how it got there and concluding it must have been flotsam, before heading back in the opposite direction.

We’d been pulverised by wind and rain this day, but it was my and my children’s favourite so far.

No Settlers of Catan tonight; it was quite late by the time we got back from this epic walk and I decided that it would be best to give the game a rest for a day, in case the children get bored with it (although something tells me that might take some time).