Friday, 22 May 2009

Dun Fionn, Brodick and the Fairy Glen

Thursday 14th May 2009

Today should have been my long-awaited visit to Holy Island, but once again the weather wasn't favourable for the ferry trip across. Instead, Hilary and I set off around the coast from Lamlash, along Clauchlands to Hamilton Point, a small rocky island which marks the North limit of the no-fish zone in Lamlash bay. Rounding the corner we climbed to the trig point at Dun Fionn, a walk that gives great views back to Holy Island (which looks different from this angle) and also around the coast to Brodick and the mountains behind it.
We then dropped down into Brodick via Corriegills, a very pretty Hamlet which reminded me of a Cornish village. We then walked along the front of Brodick and took the path back along the Fairy Clen to Lamlash.
Our route up Dun Fionn and into Brodick pre-empted the one taken by the competitors in the Scottish Islands Peak race that took place the following weekend. This is an amazing event, with teams of sailors and mountain runners sailing between islands and then running up a mountain before sailing to the next island. The Race starts in Oban with a short hill run, then sails on to Salen on Mull, with a run over Ben More, a sail to Craighouse on Jura, where they run the Paps, a sail to Arran, running Goat Fell, then sail to Troon. See for some great footage of the 2008 race.
We didn't realise that our house would be in prime position to enjoy the race. From about 7pm on the Saturday we started to see the yachts sail into Lamlash Bay, with the competitors being rowed ashore before running past our house off to Goatfell via Dunn Fion. Watching them setting off and coming back was amazing; they arrived throughout the night and on into Sunday afternoon. Those arriving overnight actually ran Goatfell in the dark! To make it worse, it also threw it down with rain for a while! Absolutely mad, but great to watch.