And we were off.
As we got out the car at 7am we were not even sure where it started! How did you get up to Tarbert Castle?
Annie got us on the trail and we set off under an amazing rainbow, always a good sign for me, Jo is around.
My brother called to wish us luck and laugh at the thought of us walking 26 miles. He said the sun was coming out so that was fab news.
It was dry, at that point that was all that mattered.
Stunning scenes coming out of Tarbert, the light was amazing and as we got up high it was breathtaking.
We hiked and chatted quite happily, warming up and enjoying it more by the second as the weather was defo in our favour. We even stopped and took some layers off.
Then we came to a dead end, 2 hours in.
4 options. Straight on, left,right or back. No trail, no signs just bogs and tree fell everywhere.
We went straight on, wrong.
I went along left, wrong.
Annie went back, wrong. (actually this was right too but we did not realise till after)
Then we got the map and the good old iphone compass out because we also had no reception.
My feet were soaking in my trainers by this point and I thought this could be bad news.
With the compass and map we decided it could only be right, so off we went over this boggy marshland.
We got some phone signal and I called my daughter to see if she could help us out, but no answer.
We were laughing at the fact we were lost and knew noone would be surprised!
Then we saw of forestry sign ahead which meant a road, and we realised we were back on trail, what a great feeling, wooohoooo.
Happy and chirpy to have solved our problem we carried on.
The scenery and nature is amazing up there and we were getting right into it now, taking loads of pics.
Then we came down and could see Arran clearly and the end of the first leg was in sight.
We came down the big hill in Skipness with the promise of a coffee, bright sunshine, white beaches and the sight of the end of the first leg leaving us pretty dam happy.
This took us about 4 hours, we were not quite at Claonig but we felt good and strong and totally confident we could do the next let too.
My wet feet were fine but my right hip was a bit painful.
We enjoyed a coffee and some food at the Skipness shop, sat on the beach for 20 minutes enjoying the stunning view of Arran.
On we went, off track again, but quickly back on. Some of the signs make no sense and are not clear, so watch out for that if you do it.
Up the hill out of Claonig and across the hills to Clachan.
Again the views were amazing.
When we got into the hill the Spring flowers were awesome. We saw some rabbits, deer, cool birds of prey, not sure what they were.
My body started to feel significantly heavier. Annie holds a good pace but my hip was causing me grief proper now.
We stopped again had more food and water.
I did some EFT here to release the pain, and to release my frustration at my body not being able to do this with no training.
My camel back is not opening so I had to stop to get water and open it up and drink from the filling side, very annoying.
Annie had got a new one from her sister and is happy as larry hydrating as she goes.
The last 2 hours of our 10 hour day was torture.
It tells you how many miles you have to go. I was in agony and it looked like it would be 6 by the time we got in.
We passed this wee loch and Annie said Balinakill has fishing rights here, she thought we were closer that the posts indicated?
Just as I was getting really concerned about my hip we came over the hill and could see the water on the other side.
Ahhhhhh the joy, the excitement as we came into this stunning bluebell forest.
Balnakill came into sight and I was over the moon.
Coming down the steep hill I was limping big time!
We had lost 5 miles somewhere?
We did not give a shit, ecstasty at the sight of our favourite home.
We got in the car delighted with ourselves
Still wondering about the distance?
Turns out we had looked at the second stretch in kilometres!
Oh Halllelujah, that turned out in our favour lol. Eeejits.
Never been so happy to see that majestic stunning house. I love it so much and love going there, but this was different!
I was super lame so went to bed early with the excitement of watching Outlander in my bed.
We organised all our food the the next day and rested up.
I was not sure walking again was going to happen for me.
Our sailing friend called in to pick up their gear from Carolyns where we are staying.
After they left we realised they had taken all our food, my toothbrush AND the vaseline.
So we will need to shop, lets see how the legs feel walking to the co!
Will I make stage 3, only one way to find out.