Friday, 17 June 2011


What a way to celebrate - rain all day. It started as soon as I left Bowling and continued either as fine drizzle or heavy rain, until reaching Ardrossan. Although it was only 17.00, I decided I'd had enough, ploughing into a strong southerly too, and called a halt. I'm in a B&B tonight.

Before leaving Bowling I met up again with lock-keeper Billy Brown. He took a few photos using my camera which I will email to him this evening. He's hoping to get his employer, British Waterways, to publish one in their in-house magazine, together with a write-up about my ride. Thanks for everything Billy - so good to get such a great welcome, even if the night security man did try and evict me!

Acting on Billy's advice, I crossed the Clyde over the Erskine Bridge (much in today's Scottish news today because of an inquest into the death of two girls who had an apparent suicide pact), rather than by the passenger ferry at Renfrew, saving quite a few miles as well as tedious suburbs.

Because of the rain I decided there was little point in taking the ferry from Largs across to Great Cumbrae. The 11-mile circuit of the exposed island would not have been pleasant in this weather. However, I did divert, as planned, to Portencross. An interesting and attractive place, even in the rain - two harbours, a jetty and a castle in a couple of hundred metres of each other.

I'm still a few miles ahead of my schedule. I'm spending Monday night with Geograph member Andy Farrington, who lives near Wigtown. So I'll need to adjust the schedule to fit that in. Tomorrow's weather is again forecast to be raining, though clearing up after midday. I must find a campsite, or at least a place to wild camp - I'm spending far too much on hotels and B&Bs!

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