Billy Sangster

Stuff out of my brain

Arran Part Six

Today we went searching in vain for a mythical viking fort.

I’d spotted an arrowed sign some days previously at the side of the String Road saying “Ballygowh Fort”. It was one of the official Arran Access signs. We searched it out again and followed it.

After negotiating a twisting rocky track we found ourselves at a farm, where a man up a ladder told me that the fort was actually covered over but we could still go up if we wanted. It was up a steep hill so I gave the children the option. We began the climb.

The extremely rocky two-furrowed sheep-shit laden track lead us up through several fields, winding up and around the hillside. The view was magnificent and we were even able to pinpoint the stone circles we’d visited the day before, way in the distance.

The weather had turned out alright, as well. The sun beamed down at us as we made our weary way up to our destination.

Eventually the track opened out into an open field with no discernible direction in sight. I looked around, surveying our surroundings and noticed that a slightly lower hill to the south had a peculiarly human design to it. Its conical shape betrayed the fact that it was man-made and I ascertained that we’d found our “fort”, some four hundred metres away on another hill.

The bairns by now were too tired and starting to get grumpy about our plight, so we decided to call it a day regarding the fort search and descended the track back to the van.

We returned to the lodge via Kildonan as we wanted to see what the beach was like there. We still hadn’t had a day of sunshine but still lived in hope that our last day might provide it. We vowed to return to this place if Friday provided that sunny day.

No Settlers of Catan tonight. The children are missing their mum a bit this evening, so this is where I curse the lack of internet access at the lodge. FaceTime usually comes to the rescue on these occasions, but not this time. Even a phonecall was out of the question, sadly.

Some extra chapters of my daughter’s Ruby Redfort book cheered them up somewhat, so all was well at bedtime.