It’s back to Wemyss Bay on Easter Friday, I had to enjoy another trip down the river from Gourock to Rothesay. Pier renovation work has been taking place down at Wemyss Bay over the winter and Gourock was the port in use. Gourock is much handier for me as for Wemyss Bay (no shame) I normally catch the train and it is a rush to buy a ticket then board the ferry.
The week ahead promised to be dry so first day available it was. Parcel deliveries killed Monday, Tuesday? yeah, why not….
Bike checked, then off down through (and past!) commuter traffic heading west, around 9 am is not a good time, I’d ahem, used the empty pavements then down along the waterfront joining Route 75 at the harbour then along shared use walkways, pavements until Greenock Esplanade where dog walkers used the cycle path and I kept to the main path until ‘Billy’ attacked me, a dog the size of my trainer decided Polly was the focus of his anger. His owner apologised for his bravado, I smiled and went on my way, it wasn’t to be the only dog ‘attack’ this day.
Not before long, I was cycling onto Gourock Pier where tickets bought, I was soon in line waiting on the good ship ‘Argyle’, a busy day with cyclists as another 6 were making the crossing, three were to do the ‘Three Ferries’ (see HERE) route.
It was down to park the bike on the car deck then up to find a seat and enjoy the 45 min trip ‘doon the watter’. A chill breeze rippled the water, some snow still was showing on the Arrochar hills, a scattering on one or two Cowal ones. Dunoon soon slipped by followed by the Cloch, Inellean and soon Toward was on our port side and the turn into Rothesay Bay. I could see Largs, the Cumbraes, Holy Isle et al to the south-west.
The sun shone as we berthed, a warming glow sheltered in the car deck, cars and lorries were first to leave followed by us cyclists. I’d thought about the route, the strong breeze was from the east so I thought 50-50 no matter whatever route I’d take. I decided on Ascog, Kerrycroy then round to Ettrick Bay, and lunch. The road was quiet on the trip round to Ettrick Bay, a trip of just over 20 miles. Lunch was the usual, with homefries and a chilled juice. I chatted whilst sitting looking at the view across the bay to Arran, one you could never tire of. It was time to take the 5-mile trip back to the pier, I had no idea of ferry times so I decided to head over and if I had to wait, I’d padlock the bike and I’d pass time strolling along the prom, ice cream too. Coming through Port Bannatyne, I saw the ferry berthing so a kick up the gears and I drew into the boarding area with plenty of time.
The sun made the decision that I’d sit outside on the return journey and enjoy the rays. I watched the ropes being loosened and taken on board and the boat edged out then picked up speed and Bute was quickly left behind summer visit? hell, yes.
Back in Gourock, I had 7 miles to home but as my usual route was off limits, off I went wondering the easiest climb would be.
It was into a now stiff breeze, I retraced my morning route and I decided on local roads, after almost 40 miles my legs were not for steep and I did walk up some of the hills.
In the back gate, just over 40 miles logged, a good day, a great circular route, life was good, legs weren’t too weary. Oh and the other dog?, ‘Bailey’ took exception to me at Ettrick Bay.
A time lapse excerpt of my trip around the island…..