Day 1 - Brodick to Whiting bay

Rothwell Lodge
(Apologies for the text spacing, it seems necessary to insert a lot of blank lines to make the photos line up properly in Blogger. If anyone's got tips for doing it better, let me know)

The first day of our epic walk started with sunshine blazing in through the window - it was clear, blue, and going to be hot. I started the day with an epic walker's breakfast (porridge and a cooked breakfast :P) and some lively chat with our host at Rothwell Lodge.

Is this for real?
We set off through the town of Brodick, grabbing supplies from the supermarket as we went. We had places planned to eat lunch and dinner for almost every day of the walk, but it's a good idea to carry provisions in case of emergency. Looking back across Brodick to Goatfell looked like something out of a fantasy novel - it really was quite impressive.

"Lunch is that-a-way"
We left Brodick by road as there's a small diversion due to erosion of the coastal path at the moment, but soon enough we were back on the coast and heading for Clauchland Point. Progress was slow over rocks and boulders, but as we reached the point and started to turn towards Lamlash, we had splendid views over to Holy Island. There were plenty of dragonflies about - they always fascinate me, for an insect they seem to big to fly.

Holy Isle from Clauchland Point
Lamlash was reached around 1pm, but my rucksack was started to really hurt my shoulders by then. This did not bode well - having issues with the pack half a day into a 7 day walk is not good. I grumbled my way over the last mile through Lamlash to the Old Pier tearoom, where ginger beer and ice cream was had (it was starting to really heat up by this point in the day). It also gave me a chance to examine my pack after my shoulders had relaxed a little, and I determined the the height of the adjustable back was probably just a little short, putting nearly all the weight on my shoulders, and very little on my hips. Easily fixed.

Forestry tracks - no shade!

We now headed inland, up to Dyemill and the Forestry track over the headland towards the Glenashdale Falls. It was blisteringly hot - 2pm is the heat of the day, and forestry tracks rarely have much shade, as the trees will be cleared back to a good 10ft either side of the track. Also, we were climbing uphill, so we had to take it slow.

Holy Isle from the southwest

Once the track levelled out, we could start looking for our turning left off the main track, down into Whiting Bay. This lead us down the hillside, with great evening views of the south side of Holy Isle, before passing a few houses, and heading north up the road to our second accommodation, the Burlington Hotel.

The Burlington
After the first full day of walking, we were pretty glad to see the place - it was nearly 6pm at this point - so we grabbed a fast shower while our host booked a table for us at the Trafalgar resturant 3 doors down. Having a meal within staggering distance was a welcome relief. The meal was great, the owner (Wolfi) being something of a local legend.

We hit the sack early, as we had a big day ahead of us next - the only day with any real tide-dependant sections. I was tired, sure, but not exhausted, and pretty pleased with the first day's walk. The next promised to be interesting...