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Day 15. Sunday, 12/06/2011: Irvine to Glenmore Country House

Actual riding distance 149km. Ascent 1032m. Total distance 1591km. Total ascent 14339m.

Ardrossan sea front.
With no breakfast available we had a cup of tea before setting off for Ardrossan at 7.30. A series of NCN route sections took us along rivers, through parks and along the coast. We arrived with plenty of time to spare before the ferry departed so we ended up getting breakfast in ASDA and very good it was too.

Loading of the Arran ferry.
The ferry left bang on time but shortly after departure it slowed down to allow a test drill of launching thier fast rescue boat. It was quite cold on deck with the wind chill so Neil and I went below for a cup of tea to find Ron providing coffee to two other End to Enders we had seen before boarding. There was an interesting situation where the girl of the pair decided she would investigate Ron’s tan lines on his legs without any warning!

Mountains on Arran.
Arriving in Arran the sky had cleared and the mountains looked wonderful. We had a very limited time to get from Brodick to Lochranza to catch the next ferry and this wasn't helped by all us cyclists being held back until most of the vehicles had unloaded. As we eventually got going my GPS was showing and ETA of just after 12 noon which was when our ferry was due to depart.

Approaching Lochranza.
Initially we had become resigned to catching the 1:15 ferry but as we went on it became vaguely possible for us to catch the 12 o’clock one. Neil and I climbed the big hill from the east coast to the north quite quickly and while we were waiting at the top were quite surprised when Ron stormed by with a glint in his eye. I have never seen Ron descend a hill so fast and when we got to the level section at the bottom he was managing to keep up nearly 40km/hr.

Cloanaig ferry.
We made the boat with about two minutes to spare and almost immediately after boarding the ramp was raised and we were off.

Tarbet, Loch Fyne.
From Cloanaig there was a good climb up over a 130m pass before dropping down to the sea at Kennacraig from where the road generally followed the shore to West Tarbet then over the small hill to Tarbet on Loch Fyne. At Tarbet we bought food from a cafe and had it while sat at the harbour with the tan line inspector and her friend.

Boat locking up on the Crinan canel.
The Crinan canal starts at Ardrishaig and we took to the towpath to get away from the traffic on the road. There was a boat locking up that we stopped and watched for a while as the lock filled, the lock gates opened and the swing bridge opened for the boat to proceed.

Standing stones at Kilmartin.
Further on up the road we went for a walk to see some of the standing stones near Kilmartin. There are stone circles, henges, cairns and other artefacts in this area that I will have to go back and see another time. Tea (just a drink) was taken in the hotel as our batteries were running down.

Coastline in Argyll.
The west coast around Croabh Haven is a mecca for the yachties and there are hundreds of yachts moored at several sheltered locations in this area.

Glenmore Country House
We finally arrived at our stop for the night to find that the proprietor was away and had employed a stand in. He organised a booking at the local pub and walked over with us when we went. The accommodation was fine but it was a bit overpriced when we had to share a separate bathroom.


Day 15 map
Day 15 track

Day 15 elev
Elevation plot Day 15