Day 4 - Blackwaterfoot to Pirnmill
|Setting off towards King's Cave|
A night's rest had done a hell of a lot to restore my spirits, but as we an excellent breakfast in Blackwaterfoot, and contemplated the OS map in front of us, it was hard not to be a little worried. We had approximately 11 miles to go (an underestimate, as it turned out), and about half of that was by road. I'm no fan of road walking - I'm slightly overweight as it is, and with a heavy pack, the unyielding surface tires my feet out very quickly. Still, our accommodation was booked, and for once so was our evening meal - 7.15pm at the Lighthouse Restaurant
, so we had to get rolling whether we liked it or not.
|Looking back to Drumadoon Point|
The first 4 miles or so were some of the nicest of all. The path from Blackwaterfoot around Drumadoon Point and out to King's Cave was of excellent quality (we were experts in this now, after the nonexistant paths of the previous day).
King's Cave itself was fairly impressive (allegedly it was even used as a schoolroom in the past), and it gains it's name from a story concerning King Robert the Bruce. Pretty much everywhere in Scotland has a story about the Bruce though :)
From there we climbed into the woods at Torr Righ, following a track around the edge that gave some great views over the moorlands back to Goatfell on the far side of the island. We then joined the road and strolled down into Machrie for lunch.
|*How* much food?|
After some cold drinks and some serious munching (Mrs ER's 'Arran platter' was impressive!) and a good bit of 'feet-up' time, it was time to tackle the road section. We had 5 miles to do to reach Imachar Point, where we would diverge from the road again. It was tough, and both of us were struggling at various points. We even had to resort to singing at times to keep moving. There's not much else to say - road walking is fairly dull, even if the scenery was quite nice.
After a short break (read: collapse) at the start of Imachar Point, we proceeded. On the plus side, it was only about 3pm - road walking is fast, so we still had 4 hours to cover the last few miles. On the down side, we were
very tired by this point.
|Imachar Point - yet more bracken...|
The last section was varied - we started out on good grass/rock paths, but that quickly went to (yet more) shoulder-high bracken, and then eventually to a shingle beach. This was the last straw for my belaboured feet, as discussed yesterday, thumping my weight down on loose rocks is not fun.
We limped into Pirnmill around 5.30pm, and somehow found the energy to stand up long enough for a shower. There was much self-congratulation over dinner - the hardest day was done, no other day was as long, we had a rest day coming up, and a short walking day after that. Bliss!