160. Lochgair to Ardrishaig

Camping Pod

I had planned to make my third day slightly easier, so I opted for a much shorter distance today. I packed everything into the car and bid goodbye to the camping pod, which I doubt I will ever return to. I drove and parked in the small village of Ardrishaig which sits across from Lochgilphead on the small inlet of Loch Gilp.

I caught the #926 bus back up the A83 to Lochgair. The bus today was only half-full, which quickly changed at Lochgilphead where about 15 to 20 people got on. Needless to say it took a good 15 minutes before we were on our way.

The view south from Carrick Hill
Whelk pickers beware!
B£%&*r off!

I got off the bus at Lochgair which only took 15 minutes from Lochgilphead and began walking down the A83. Although it was a bright and sunny morning, the occasional breeze reminded me it was still spring and a chilly one at that. I decided that I would try to get closer to the shore using some of the forest tracks. My first departure from the A83 saw me heading down a forest track that rose steeply over a de-afforested Carrick Hill. I got good views down Loch Fyne from the elevated position but could see little of Arran because of the morning haze. I came to a crossroads in the forest where a track went east down to the old West Otter ferry point which many years ago had a ferry service across Loch Fyne to Otter Ferry.

Not this way

I descend a forest track and emerge on the A83 at the small hamlet of Port Ann. I continue along the main road for a short distance. I had planned to get back to the shore and later enter a series of forest tracks around a hill called The Barr. Unfortunately, I am confronted with a series of off-putting signs and closely mown lawns. One of the signs warned-off “whelk pickers” and other people involved in commercial activity. Unsure of what a “whelk picker” might look like I opted for the non-confrontational approach and continued along the main road. Although, the signs did not explicitly prohibit access to walkers I felt the implicit undertones of “bugger-off!”. I passed further signage a few miles up the road, again warning-off “whelk-pickers”.

Ardrishaig across Loch Gilp
The Clock Lodge – Lochgilphead
Water fountain Lochgilphead

Thirty minutes later I entered the small town of Lochgilphead. I pass the recently restored Clock Lodge, once a gate lodge for the nearby Kilmory Castle. I had last passed through this town in December 2012 on my way back from Jura. The whole sea-front was festooned with Christmas lights, at the time and it looked very nice. I followed the A83 around the head of Loch Gilp. After about half-a mile I was able to climb up a series of steps alongside an automatic water waster building ( I bet Malky C would be interested in that!) on the Crinan Canal, which cuts Kintyre in two. I continued on to Ardrishaig where I ended my walk in a very quick 3 hours.

 

The Crinan Canal

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=23569

Distance today =   10 miles
Total distance =    2691.5 miles

 

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