Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A fire on Kintyre

The coast north of Carradale is wooded right to the edge of the water and feels quite remote as the minor road leaves the coast and goes inland.  

Near to Eilean Grianain (sunny island) we stopped for luncheon and watched the "Ronja Challenger" manoeuvring alongside the salmon cages of a large fish farm.  A newly built vessel, the Ronja Challenger is Norwegian registered and is on a five year contract with Marine Harvest Scotland.

Described as a "wellboat", her job is to transport live fish from fish farms for either transfer to another location or to a processing plant.  She is 70 metres long and has a capacity of 1800 cubic metres - that's a lot of fish! 

Beyond the fish farm the hills of Arran remained resolutely in cloud, but we thought we detected a slight lifting of the cloud base as the afternoon went on.

Our next stop was on the inviting sand of the beach at Grogport - great name but sadly no grog seemed to be available other than that safely stowed in our kayaks for the evening.

The mica rock on this beach is featured in thin layers almost like scales - this half buried boulder resembled a huge seashell. 

Underway again, the seabed beneath our boats was lit with beautiful shades of green in the pale sunlight. During the next hour or so we looked at various camping spots on the shore which we'd marked as "possible" on our maps, settling on a rather fine spot.......

...where we could land on a shingle beach usable at all states of the tide......

...with a good bit of level ground behind on which to pitch our tents.  The ground was a little stony for the pegs but we both got good spots and put up the tents, the green colours blending unobtrusively with the vegetation.

Before dinner we gathered a quantity of driftwood, and after dinner we lit a fire below the highest tide line utilising a "Wilcox Ignition Aid" TM

Keeping the fire small and contained meant that we could generate a good heat.......

...and sit in comfort in our Helinox camp chairs with a Sports Recovery Drink and warmed by both fire and a small dram of our favoured Jura whisky - life seemed particularly agreeable!......

....and continued to be agreeable as we chatted long into the evening.  Baked potatoes were placed in the embers at "Log Mark 6" for the requisite 40 minutes and eaten with salt and butter under a sky which had cleared to show a swathe of the Milky Way.  All in all it was a pretty perfect evening, and it was as well that we enjoyed it as the following evening would be quite a contrast....

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