Breathing Deep in Kilwinning

With the Arran Coastal Way under our belts we had to find some way to celebrate our accomplishment … what better way than climbing the highest mountain on the Isle of Arran!

Yes you read the right. We finished walking 105kms and celebrated with a 5hour hike up Goat Fell Mountain. Clearly we all have some weird, hiking sickness that makes you keep logging the miles even with sore muscles, painful blistered feet and looming black clouds in the distance.

Here we go …

We had a bit of a sleep in. Aka we had breakfast at 9am instead of 8am (a whole hour extra sleep that none of us could actually sleep through). Rosa and Cheryl were at The Broomage B&B again and had a yummy continental breakfast; Shar and I were at the Carrick Lodge B&B where we had a full Scottish breakfast. Oh don’t feel too sorry for Cheryl and Rosa! While they might have had to deal with a cold breakfast – they had their laundry done and had warm, clean clothes to put on. The taste of my delicious hot breakfast was tainted as I enjoyed it while wearing travel worn clothes hiking up and do the steep hill from our place to theirs!

Here is a quick peek at the Carrick Lodge:

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At just after 1030am, Shar and I walked from our Lodge to The Broomage over at Goat Fell Mountain end of Brodick town to drop our bags with Cheryl and Rosa’s. The Broomage folks were cool with letting us all store our bags there while we climbed the mountain – basically just the sweetest B&B owners ever!

We had a quick stop at the Outdoor Store so I could get some compeeds (epic blister bandaids) and accidently buy a new Buff before we heading up the mountain. My feet are in a bad way. Darn it, I think my 15yr old boots may need to be retired and I am in absolute denial! Put it this way.. duct tape required to make it through  boot days.

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At just before 11am we were on our way to Goat Fell Mountain – to access it you walk the Fisherman’s Path from town to the base of the mountain. This path included walking on the beach, some easy underfoot grass path, a couple of bridges. and a long boardwalk. We actually walked this path when we started the first day of the Arran Coastal Way!

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In just a km or 2 the path turned into a woodland then rocky trail taking us up, up, and up the mountain. While hard work this felt so amazing compared to balancing precariously on slippery boulders along the coast. The day before we met a women and her dog (we nicknamed her Heidi McHikerton and I believe her dog’s name is Hammish) on the Arran Coastal Way who said we would think the path up the mountain is a dawdle after walking the coast. Well I don’t think it was a dawdle but wow it was nice to walk on flat surfaces!

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After a couple hours of trudging up we got to Glen Rosa! Wow! The expanse of green fields, waterfall and river flowing down the Glen, and the bay of Brodick in the distance … I had my fill.  Beautiful! At this point, the path was getting more and more rocky and way more exposed – soon it would be a ridge walk with some bouldering up to the summit. Nope! Be Brande! I am not a heights person and don’t pretend to be.

So it was here I said good luck, took a photo, handed off a sandwich or two to Shar and Cheryl and wished them the best of luck on this summit! Up they went, and down I went.

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Rosa and I headed back down with our sights set on the Arran Brewery at the base of the mountain and some sunshine, picnic table time while we waited for the two summit punks!

It was an awesome couple of hours just Rosa and me – I totally made the right choice to enjoy a pint and good conversation with a friend instead of Gullom like scrambling to the summit of fear!

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Shortly after Rosa and I sat down for our sunshine picnic of donut and cider yumminess,  we got a video message from a Cheryl and Shar advising they had made the summit and were on their way down!

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About an hour later we got another video message from Cheryl and a Shar to tell us to have cold pints ready – they were double, maybe triple timing it down! The minute, literally, I walked out of the pub with their pints Shar and Cheryl walked around the corner. Now how is that for timing!

We enjoyed our pints, checked out the gift shop, and made our way back to Brodick. A quick stop at The Broomage for our bags and a wee chat with the owner guy and we made our way to the co-op (grocery store) for another quick stop for Arran Gold Liquer and a chat with the other Broomage owner gal and then we made our way to the 7:20pm ferry! We loved the saying on the ferry door – ‘Haste Ye Back’ (hurry back). Ok!

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A couple hours later we were checked into our home for the night, Dalgarven House Hotel and enjoyed some fish and chips for dinner! It was an early night for us tired gals – we were keen for a good sleep and to switch gears from hikers to tourists!

Off to Edinburgh!

Brande

 

 

 

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