Friday, June 08, 2007


The weather looked fair for a few days so a provisional plan was put in action, a check on Calmac web site for ferries, a phone call to Tom, permission sought and granted and we were off to Islay on the bikes.
We live close to the Arran ferry so getting to Islay is easy, an hour on the ferry, 14 miles on Arran, another short ferry crossing, 6 miles to the Kennacraig ferry and pop off at Islay (2 hours later).

We had hoped to get over to Port Charlotte Youth Hostel for the first night but it was full, so was the hotel, fortunately the Tourist Office sorted us out at Bowmore the first night but that ment more cycling next day.
On the way around to Portnahaven we had a bag incident, after taking a picture Tom left it beside the road and it was three miles later before he noticed it missing..oh no! I just hate going back but there was nothing else for it, even the sheep looked stangely at us after passing three times.

Finally we got to Portnahaven, a lovely spot, nothing much there just a row of white houses, a nice harbour, lots of blue sky, very blue sea, a few seals, and waves crashing at the harbour entrance, all very pretty on a warm sunny day.
In order to get a better circuit we intended a short bit of off road at Machir Bay, WOW! what a cracking route a narrow rough track below shear cliffs down to a meadow of buttercups and daisies beside golden sands and some more very very blue sea with big atlantic waves breaking on the beach.
Just up from the beach is a little distillery with a cafe so we stopped of there for some lunch before heading over the second loop taking us round by Ballygrant and back down the minor road to Port Ellen to the 'Trout Fly' B&B, a very nice lady made us most welcome.

We woke to blue skies and sunshine next day but didn't get cycling until midday due to the ferry crossing back to Kennacraig.
The afternoon cycle made up for it though lovely quiet roads (after the first 5 to Tarbert) along the sea lochs to Bute back home in time for a late tea.

Fabulous three days on the bike.

Photos here.

Islay video here.

Basic route map below.


Blogger Jinxx said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time, take it that off road track impressed you,are you going to stick it on your website, or is it too short for that

11:21 PM  
Blogger Whee said...

Im going to reference the whole route on my web site but the little beach route is too short for an individual reference although I'm sure there are a few more off road routes worth a look.

8:14 AM  

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