Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sisters Trip - Kintyre to Gigha

The following morning we headed to Westport Beach, a stunner to rival any beach in the country.  We parked-up and started an out-and-back, navigating various freshwater streams running into the sea:

A lone surfer took to the water:

We saw just two more people during the three hours we spent walking on the beach, magic:

A tree had been left to decay and be worn down:

I love the pattern in the sand made by larger pebbles as the tide goes out: 

As we turned to head back the conditions had improved further it was a glorious warm sunny and beautiful day on Westport beach:

Our next stop was Gigha (replacing a night on Islay cancelled when Calmac had to reschedule their operations due to over-running repair and replenishment works on their fleet).  The ladies had spotted something from the ferry:

We drove to the North end of the island for an explore, heading first to the northernmost point and then to an outcrop on the West side either side of which was a beach, again just two other people on this side for the duration of our visit:

along the way we spotted a number of shorebirds, in particular these Dunlin:

We stayed in the main hotel on the island which was fine except for the (high) price and (low) quality of our evening meal with the biggest disappointment being the wine.   It was awful and £24 a bottle.  We retreated to our room to play dice and drink the emergency supplies of Whisky i'd brought along, which we demolished.

Breakfast however was better and another glorious sun-filled day started with a walk to the South end of the Island along a gorse-lined road:

Replete with song birds, this a migrant Willow Warbler:

The view up to the East of the island is where the ferry docks at night:

We couldn't complete our circuit of the southern part of the island though as fences have been constructed to cut the paths, so having tried we ended up heading back to the centre and our planned lunch at the Boathouse.

From the harbour there we watched Great Northern Divers (to us, Common Loons on the other side of the pond) doing their thing:

Having finished my lunch first i then took the opportunity of playing with a couple of random dogs that were bored waiting for their humans to finish their meals too:

We left Gigha having enjoyed the stay but keen to progress, and drove up to our next hotel stopping at Tarbet on the way, a lovely coastal town though at very low tide:

It was still busy preparing for its forthcoming yachting event:

We stayed at Stonehaven Castle, which was a mixed bag really, the rooms were all ok with modern and dated elements, all but one bed were good, but dinner was a shocker.  In the end we didn't have to pay for the food but it proved an expensive and below par experience and one that was supposed to be the accommodation highlight.   The hotel at Bellochantuy had set a high standard for food quality, service, wine and ambience and nothing else was quite matching up to that standard.

The view down on the shore of Loch Fyne was, well, fine indeed:


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