My pal Bernie's been a bit confined to barracks following a nasty op on his foot, so I asked if he wanted to join me, not for the Arran ride (bit too much for him in recuperation) but for the odd bimble around afterwards.
So, we loaded up the van and were off up the motoryway to Scotland.
The Saturday of THE RIDE dawned dismal and grey. 10 minutes before the start it began to rain. It stopped ... an hour after we'd finished! 56 miles in pi**ing rain! So ... sorry, but no photos of the ride. Great fun though, in great company.
Next day, with me nursing a sore knee, an' Bernie borrowing my trekking poles, we managed a couple of short, touristy wanders.
Then, next day, I egged Bernie on, to throw a leg over his hybrid and he valiantly managed 15 miles. Not bad with a dodgy foot. Still no cycly pics though. Sorry ... I was too busy peddlin' ... with a sore knee. And I didn't like to ask Bernie ... with 'is sore foot. Wot a pair.
We caught the little ferry from Lochranza over to Kintyre. Please ... don't mention bl**dy Paul McCartney!
We set off up to Lochgilphead and a tour along the Crinan Canal.
Along the way we detoured to visit the hill fort at Dunadd, home to the Scotti (the original Scots?).
And I fantasised about what the land would 'ave been like if I'D bin king.
The heavens opened, but we carried on, stoically.
Back on the road, and north, past Oban, to Port Appin and a passenger ferry to the island of Lismore.
From here, we headed south to Loch Lomond and managed a ride along the loch side. Then down to a favourite van camp spot near Megget Reservoir, where I did battle with a really tough little climb on the bike, but that's another story. An' I took no piccys. Then home in time for tea :)