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Report on Arran Weekend
Friday 25th - Sunday 27th August 2006

The Arran weekend commenced as usual - in the bar on board the 6.00 pm boat to Brodick - we were full of anticipation of the weekend ahead and after our “rum ration” (not all purchased from the official outlet on board!) we disembarked in fine form for the bus trip to Sannox.

The advance party had made it on the early boat and had set up a marvellous feast for the hungry arrivals. Pizza, Lasagne, Curry, Baked potatoes, salad (for decorative purposes), strawberry tarts – every taste was catered for!
After the meal and catching up on some gossip we headed to the Sannox Hotel to hand in our menu choices for Saturday evening’s meal – as we had walked all that way it seemed only sensible to have a liquid refreshment to sustain us on the journey back. A couple of drinks later Alan was entertaining the assembled crowd in his own special way – much too much information on how he was going to amuse himself during his babysitting duties the following evening!!

Up early on Saturday – and after a bit of faffing we were all set for our various walks. Maureen arrived for the day and bets had been considered whether she would stay or not. A ‘Survival Bag’ had been made up the night before with various borrowed items that would have made her stay easier – she seemed unimpressed with the free underwear – not her style apparently!

Steve, Elaina & Mark headed for the Witches Step, Caisteal Abhail, Cir Mhor – an easy start, followed by a strenuous climb up to the Witches Step - where, due to the prevailing weather conditions (drizzle) they opened up a new route on the North West face. A scramble up to the “Castles” followed – this involved 2 of the party getting assorted parts of their anatomy stuck in various crevices – not an unpleasant thought! – however, emergency release surgery involving a Swiss army knife and Steve’s leg is nobody’s idea of a fun day out!  After all that excitement the weather closed in and the group were drenched by the time they had summated Cir Mhor and descend to the Saddle – a scramble down to Glen Sannox and the sun appeared - socks were “wrung out” at the burn and they proceeded at “pub pace” to the Sannox Hotel, where 2 familiar worthies were propping up the bar!

Irene, Alison, Robin, Craig, Michael, Carol-Ann, Maureen, Aileen, Peter, Helen, Alan, Kathryn and Niamh headed for the Cock of Arran – a term that would take on a whole new meaning as the day progressed! The party divided at Laggan Cottage where some went over the hill to Lochranza and the rest continued along the coast. The journey was an adventure when Craig took the ‘high road’ and we seemed to be in a jungle with Maureen having a couple of tumbles ensuring if we fell we would have a soft landing.

During the walk we were ‘entertained’ by Robin giving us yet more geological lectures as we searched for Huttons Unconformity. Robin has ensured we all know what that means! (No quiz at the next club meeting – we’re all going to sit the 2006 Advanced Higher Geology paper instead – “A” passes all round). The last hour walking was miserable in the heavy rain especially as we could see the pub across the bay.

Both parties met up again in the Lochranza Hotel for a quick drink before the bus. Now, the bus journey was the best part of the day - in fact the best £1.85 we have ever spent!! On the bus was a ‘hen party’ and those girls certainly knew how to party. This is where the one of our guys has now earned the honorary title of “Cock of Arran” due to the immediate effect he had on the hens. We are all wondering what it is he has that the other guys don’t? Is it his aftershave, is it his charisma or is it something else? The audacious behaviour of the “Cock” was soon spotted and rude catcalls ensued from Alan, the bride and some of her pals who were “seated” down the back of the bus – however, the newly crowned “Cock” was far too busy with the attractive WPC on his knee to care- not even a dignified response to his other new nickname (rhymes with stagger!) – understandably this was misinterpreted wrongly by some on board, which made it all the funnier! Aileen put the “Cock” in his place with a deserved slap especially as they had been “married” for 10 years!! Some Italian tourists sitting nearby wondered what on earth was going on especially as the vodka was flowing freely.

Here a short quicktime movie clip from the bus trip (51k).

After some deliberation Maureen decided to stay on the bus and catch the ferry home or maybe she headed off to party in Brodick with the bride and her mad pals.

Pat and Gillian decided to spend the day in Brodick and never saw the rain all day….wonder why?

By 8 o’clock we had “cleaned up” and gathered at the Sannox Hotel for an excellent meal. This was followed up by one of Pat’s legendry quizzes – supplemented by a face painting session – NEVER doze off on a Craggy weekend!

Craig laughed himself to sleep – surgical gloves in bed are not everybody’s idea of fun – maybe he was just reminiscing about the bus journey – hands everywhere! Oops wasn’t going to mention his name!

Sunday morning – people were tired – no walks! Some headed for the early boat. The remainder of the party took a tour of Arran involving:

  • Lochranza Caravan site (tea & biscuits, bring your own milk)
  • Balmichael Visitor Centre (Lunch) – entertainment provided by the youngest member of Craggy impersonating a cockerel! (yet another “Cock of Arran!)
  • Auchrannie Spa – beer & soft play for those with any energy left
  • Back to reality on the 4.40 ferry!

Mark Kinnon and Irene Cahill

Who's most scared ?
Blood ?
Unusual snake
Was this another Air na Creagan descent in the dark or just an arty photo ?
Photos of Photos
Bus party
Two good looking Gaffneys .... may this is half right !!!
Spot the walkers ?
Are you sure it's that way ?
Big Stag
Bigger Stag


Photos: Irene Cahill and Mark Kinnon

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