Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Wrinkled rocks and furrowed sea at Ardlamont Point
I'd pitched the tent in near darkness on the inner end of a grassy spit with a lagoon behind. After a breezy night I was woken by natures own black and white alarm clocks - Oystercatchers calling as they started their day. Soon after, they were joined by trilling Sandpipers and my first sound of a Cuckoo for the year. Clearly it was time to get up!
I was on the water and away by 0730, continuing south then SSE toward the marina at Portavadie. I could see a huge cloud of dust being blown from the car parks here across the water. It was going to be a tough day, and as soon as I turned SSE the wind was in my face.
I was able to slog across the more open stretches, then shelter close to the shore in bays with west facing shores. Here it was very peaceful and quiet. Early Spring flowers like these Primroses (Primula Vulgaris) have been joined by some later flowering plants - here Red Campion (Silene dioica) making a nice contrast.
Rounding Rubha Preasach (wrinkled point) the first view of the Arran hills opens up. The wind tearing across the Sound of Bute in the distance was a warning that the shelter of the bay I was in was coming to an end.
The rocks toward Ardlamont Point become increasingly folded and layered. Tiny inlets of green water are formed where the beds ride up over each other. I noted several terrific camping spots for future trips. This rock gave me some shelter to rest, eat and drink before starting the crossing to Bute. Plans to journey up through the Kyles of bute to the east side of the island were already gone - I would head straight to the west coast around Ettrick Bay. In good conditions the 4km crossing would take about 45 minutes. In the F5 gusting F6 now blasting around Ardlamont Point, I anticipated it would take a tad longer!