September 19, 2021
From Radical Glasgow (UK)

A heron leaving the beach at Lochranza.
Goat Fell Arran
       The last year has been difficult, my partner Stasia has sufferer very painful gallbladder problems, but the other week she finally got taken in to hospital and had her gallbladder removed, and is feeling better by the day. Added to that I have had my own problems to add to the mix. So with Stasia feeling much better we decide to head to the Isle of Arran for a few days escape.
Row of 12 identical cottages called the twelve apostles.
Beach at Lochranza.

       We stayed at a place called Lochranza, a once happy stomping ground for myself and hill walking companion, my brother-in-law Vic, back in the days when I had hair on my head, late teens and early twenties. Both of us keen hill walkers summer and winter weekend after weekend. However, Arran was almost like a religious festival to us. Every Easter weekend and long September weekend we took the boat to Brodick, walked to Locgranza, a fair walk with lots of steep hills, found the same wee burn and that’s where we left the road and started our climb up the hills. there was a very small loch on a plateau where we pitched our ten and spent the remainder of the weekend walking the beautiful hills of Arran. Weather made no difference, there were many total washout weekends but we still got up in the morning and got onto the hills.

                                              Sunset over Lochranza and castle.

        However on this visit more than sixty years on, I didn’t recognise much at all, there seem to be many more buildings, a new distillery, I couldn’t find the burn where we would leave the road and turn up towards the hills. The Lochranza castle is still there and the view across the loch is still resplendent magical and at times breath taking. In those few days there all in all we covered a fair bit of the island and had a wonderful time, even if my memory had somehow managed to play tricks with the reality at the moment. 

                                 Sunset on the cottage where we stayed, Lochranza.