Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Gigha - via Alaska - Ping 4

So back in Scotland, what was the first thing we were going to do? well, collect the car - and boats! Then what? - go paddling!

Before Alaska had been finalised, we had organised a camping trip out to Gigha with FCAG  and rather than cancelling it, we decided to carry on with it, after all we were on that side of the country, we had all our camping kit with us (might be a bit smelly though!) and we had all our paddling kit (probably equally smelly!).
 Off the plane and into the supermarket to stock up on nosh, then it's off to Tayinloan to meet up with John, Barry and Young Trevor. It seemed a good idea at the time to say we would carry on with this trip but now that we were driving over to the west, having sat on a plane for hours, the tiredness was now beginning to hit home. We took it in turns to drive and snooze, before we arrived in time to have coffee and cake in the wee tearoom.
We did eventually muster up enough energy to pack the boats and get launched a couple of hours later than planned.

4km later, we were over at Gigha (God's Island). We were heading anti clockwise following the coast round. Once we were rounding the north tip, we were beginning to get a bit of clapotis, John was off, paddling like a Duracell bunny to get through it, Barry paddling with sheer determination, Young Trevor paddling through everything just as he always does, no matter the conditions, whilst Ken and I seemed to plod through half asleep! We eventually made it round Eilean Garbh and into the little sandy bay. I was so looking forward to my bed!!

Next morning we were greeted by some of the locals who seemed to take a real interest in Trevors tent!

Locals taking up kayaking?

John waiting for high tide?

The weather today could only be described as mingin' ! Heading over West Tarbert Bay was blowy!
We made our way  round the coast taking a break just below Achamore Farm. The weather just wasn't improving!
This was John and Barry's first stint at wild camping and the weather certainly wasn't dampening their enthusiasm.
By the time we had reached the south of the island, the weather was eventually drying up, the wind was still there though. We picked our way over to Cara Island to camp the second night.
We were just getting the tents up when "Ping!" yes it had happened yet again - except it wasn't our pole this time, but Trevor's.

Cara Island

Could be a tropical island!

 The evening was lovely and dry.

Cara locals
Next morning our plan had been to carry on round Cara, however once at the south end, the look on Barry's face told me he wasn't too happy with the conditions, so we back tracked up the shelter of the island and back across to Gigha and up to Ardminish bay. We made our way up to The Boathouse as it had advertised Gigha icecream - yum! Once we got there, the staff were less than enthusiastic and only sold the Gigha icecream in their restaurant, their cones only had "Mackies" a bit dissappointing!
It was then time to head the 4km back to Tayinloan, a long car journey home - then my own bed again - bliss!