Saturday, 14 August 2010

Belper to Arran

Well, as I mentioned earlier I left Belper in an absolute monsoon! One normally hopes that you waterproof clothes are not something you need on a summer holiday, but getting fitted UK from head to toe 'before' even leaving the house was not a good start.
Got well and truly drowned on the ride into Derby, and to make matters worse I had to rush like a look to make the train station on time, managing to just bet there with seconds to spare..
Derby to Crewe, no probs, arriving at just before 8 and a sweet 10 minute dash across the platforms to make the connecting train to Glasgow.
Now not being a regular train user being on one of Virgin's new fangled high speed tilting trains was great fun, very quiet, smooth and balistically fast. Seeing me in Glasgow for 11:20.
Now I've never been right into the center of Glasgow before, and what a nightmare! Never in all my years cycling have I seen roads in such a poor state of repair, and right in the city center too! Potholes literally 8" deep 6 foot across... some of them were so big, the pot holes had potholes in them, I can honestly say I've ridden across smoother cornfields, added to the fact that 3 out of 4 vehicles in the city center are double Decker buses.. no fun!
Once out of the urban sprawl and the greyness of the high rise scheme housing that makes up the perimeter of Glasgow you are instantly in epic Scottish countryside, rolling mountains empty roads, and magnificent scenery.. it had been my original thought that I'd find a place to camp once clear of the city, but it was still early and warm and sunny!..
So a quick look at the map and the decision was made to ride down to the coast and hop on the ferry to the Isle Of Arran. All along the coast the endless rows of chip shops wafting their smell was making me seriously hungry, so once onboard, I headed straight into the cafe for the best fish and chip dinner I have had in many years... nomnom!
After dinner the rest of the hour long crossing was spend up on deck in the sunshine watching a group of jetskiers who were following the boat across the sea and pulling mad tricks and jumps on the bow waves..
Now safely on Arran I found a funky little campsite, well its a field with a water tap in the middle, but it is in fantastic location, I'm currently pitch next to an idyllic fresh stream overlooked by the massive mountsins... only slightly spoiled by the thick clouds if midget feasting in the people camped around.
It's quite funny peering out of my tents mesh Windows at the people here, most are wearing midge hoods, fine mesh hoods like bee keepers wear, which is fine while you are just chilling, but if you need to eat, you have you lift your hood up. Now its a known fact that midges can't keep up with a walking human, so I'm currently watching groups of people walking around in circles around their tents while eating from little aluminium camping plates. Hehe..
Anyroad, I'm gonna have an early night and see what tomorrow brings...


  1. Looks like a beautiful camping spot! Stay dry!

  2. You made good time Tim I am amazed you got that far in one day even if you did ride on a Virgin part of the way. Well the site looks good and they say there is a lot of protein in Scottish Midges so don't worry if they get in your food and drinks. I have spent a few nights up there in lay bys in my Cab and the little buggers get in with you not good for a good nights sleep. any way have fun and hope the weather holds for you talk soon.

  3. My husband thought you were being attacked by vertically challenged people so I had to explain to him that midges are biting bugs haha.