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Report on Islay cycle weekend
25 June 2010   (5161 views)

This weekends Craggy's were - Gail, Irene, Gillian and Ailsa.

Route -

Ardrossan to Brodick by ferry, cycle from Brodick to Lochranza (14.4 miles), ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig, cycle from Claonaig to Kennacraig (5.8 miles), ferry from Kennacraig to Port Askaig then cycle from Port Askaig to Port Charlotte (15.3 miles) and return.


Caught the 7am ferry to Brodick, after getting bumped by the cashier at terminal trying to overcharge me by ?14. Easy cycle through to Sannox then we approached the big hill before Lochranza, where we attempted to cycle up, but had to walk certain bits of it, but it was well worth it as we sped down the other side like maniacs. I let out the occasional scream flying round the corners, fantastic!!!!

Boarded 2nd ferry to Claonaig then peddled over the more hilly than I remembered route to Kennacraig to our last sailing to Post Askaig, Islay.

After walking up the intial steep hill out of Port Askaig with our bikes, it was a pleasurable cycle down to the Youth Hostel at Port Charlotte, via Bridgend Spar to stock up on wine. Settled in, drank some wine then headed for the 2 pubs in the village for a merry time!


We all woke up with slight hangovers, which quickly passed then our group split up for the day. Irene and myself cycled round to Bowmore where we encountered a coffee morning and stuffed ourselves with endless cakes, we visited the round church and watched a trialathalon, before heading back round to the Hostel via drinks at Bridgend. After spag bol and loads of wine we hit the nightlife of Port Charlotte where a live band was playing traditional scottish jiggy music, or maybe thats what my ears were hearing after a few drinky's. It was a very enjoyable evening!!!!


Woke up feeling rather delicate, but had loads of time to catch the ferry at Port Askaig, due to our original ferry being cancelled. Sat on the benches outside the pub getting sunburnt till we left Islay for our return trip. Leaving the boat Ailsa and myself got soaked to the skin as a thunder storm hit the ferry terminal, whereas Irene and Gillian decided to shelter, missing out on all the fun!!! We stayed a night in Lochranza YH and again hit the pub, which was a more subdued affair, until Ailsa and Gillian went on the rampage in the YH kitchen, before getting told off like kids, lol !!!!


Basically went for breakfast then headed to Brodick stopping at several places on the way to stock up on cheese and prezzies.

The only mishaps of the weekend were Irene fell of her bike, then she got chased by a Springer Spaniel and Irene and Gillian's chains coming off, thankfully there were no punctures.

All in all we had a brilliant adventure, but I need to give my legs and liver a rest for the now!

Gail Easton

all set to go on the car deck
that awful hill to Lochranza
Gail and Ailsa on the Claonaig ferry
nearing Islay
wet hair and a cycling helmet makes  bad hair day
The Round Church in Bowmore
Gail patiently waiting for the triathalon to start
Port Charlotte
Bruachladdich Distillery
towards Port Charlotte
Paps of Jura across from Port Askaig
Port Askaig
rain clouds and rainbow towards Lochranza
in the shelter at Claonaig waiting for the ferry
Fishermen collecting crabs from the pier at Post Askaig

Photos: Irene Cahill

Affiliated to:

Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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