Wednesday 18 February 2015

Paddy's Milestone

Ailsa Craig, or Paddy's Milestone is a prominent lump of granite sitting about 15km west of Lendalfoot, near Girvan. What paddler could resist the draw of an island that looks so close?

Laura and I set off for what we thought would be about 2 hours paddling. It was the sort of crossing where the target didn't seem to get closer at all.

Eventually we arrived and were relieved to find that the landing would be easy. We had planned to set off early enough to allow a return paddle if we didn't fancy our chances landing. This would have been a very bad place to damage a boat.

There are a number of old buildings on the island and we soon found a sheltered place for our tents. Next job was a bit of exploring. Following a path we came across this sign. You can probably guess what we did next.

The bridges and walkways took us to the site of the curling stone quarry. There was plenty of evidence of curling stone cutting.

As the temperature began to drop we retreated to the shelter of one of the old buildings where we cooked dinner and sat around a small camp fire. I wasn't sure we were going to find wood on the island so I carried some over, ready cut to fit in my tin can fire bucket. I needn't have bothered, there was masses of dry wood washed up.

As the sun dipped we were treated to a lovely pink sunset.

Next morning it was again cold and dry, we made a quick porridge breakfast and set off back the way we came to Lendalfoot. This time with the wind behind us we enjoyed an occasional surf. It wasn't obvious which bit of shore we were aiming for but Laura's directions were good and it wasn't long before we landed at the vans for a well earned coffee and lunch.

Thanks Laura for planning this and making it happen.