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Report on Arran Weekend
Sunday 23-25 September 2005

Alison, Kathryn and I started off the weekend by making sure all the essentail groceries were bought and packed into Kathryn's car. Next stop was the usual lunch at the Hipflask where Maureen joined us. We headed off for the 3.15pm ferry and whilst sitting in the car Maureen felt a wet patch develop on the seat she was sitting on. She had been sitting on the bite valve on her platypus and soaked the car seat and herself. So she had a quick change of trousers on the ferry.

The Friday night was a little quieter than usual so we all agreed it was because Alan wasn't joining us till the following day. This was a good introduction for Mark to our club as we didn't want to scare him away.

On Saturday we divided into groups. Kathryn, Diren, Helen, Pat and Gillian were happy going to the Fallen Rocks then drove round to Whiting Bay and visited the Glenashdale Falls. Peter, Ewan, Malcolm and Mark headed up Glen Sannox, onto Cir Mhor then waited at the Castles for the rest. Maureen, Alison, Michael, Craig, Robin and myself headed up North Glen Sannox. Everything was going well until Maureen fell into the river and yet again soaked her trousers and more. What a laugh all at poor Maureen's expense. Who laughed the loudest....yes it was Craig who was in hysterics! So Maureen had to wear a pair of shorts belonging to Alison but later put on her waterproof trousers. There was a few choice words said towards Michael when we saw him videoing Maureen from afar as she was getting changed. I think he was doing this to torment her...or was he?? We headed up Sail an Im then on the ridge to the Castles where we met the guys for lunch. It was so windy by this time with no sign of it abating. We all then went down the Witches Step, carefully I may add. Robin got 2 choice words from me at this point when I was a bit anxious trying to come down a crack in the rock. Robin was below me and when he mentioned the view, I lost the plot! He knew I didn't mean it, well I hope so. After we were all down the Witches Step safely we headed onto Suidhe Fhearghas. It was a slow descent and to this day I don't know how Malcolm got down so quickly. One minute he was beside Peter and myself and the next he was at the bottom.

We all met up in the hotel and Alan had arrived by this time from his work. We had a lovely meal ithat night in the Sannox Bay Hotel as usual.

On the Sunday some folk headed for the first ferry but Kathryn, Ewan, Helen, Peter, Diren, Alison, Mark, Robin and myself met Linda at Lamlash for our quick crossing to the Holy Isle. Couldn't believe it when we saw lots of swimmers in wet suits taking part in the annual Holy Isle to Lamlash race. Now that is madness! Kathryn, Helen and Ewan decided to walk along the beach to the south of the island and met up with the rest of us after we had climbed over the hills down the backbone of the island. We saw the little house built on the hillside for the Dalai Lama and the closed retreat that 12 women are living in for 3 years and 3 months away from any contact except if a doctor is required. There are carvings in the rocks which are painted in bright colours and offerings left but we didn't know what it all represented. We all had a good day except for the frequent showers. We ended the day with a meal in the Drift Inn before heading for the last ferry. We were all exhausted sailing home but were entertained by a group of drunken guys on the boat trying to blow up marigold gloves by putting them over their heads. If you can't picture this them ask one of us to explain.

Looking forward to more weekends in Arran next year. Baby Gaffney will be there too!

Irene Cahill

Photos: Irene Cahill

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Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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