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  • Writer's pictureLesley McLaren

Bute West Island Way - Day 2

Updated: May 2, 2021

Bute West Island Way - Day 2

31km Hike

So today we ended up conquering the final 2 parts of the route which means tomorrow is a rest/exploring day. My feet aint thanking me right now!

We began today picking up the route where we left off last night at the top of Rothesay Bay walking towards Port Bannatyne. The route was fairly straight forward at this point, meandering along towards Ettrick Bay where we were fully expecting to enjoy their famous seafood chowder for lunch however, our step-we-gaily enthusiastic stride was killed immediately with the words “sorry it’s not on today”. Wit?! We’d been talking about it for the last 3 weeks! An outrage. Unhappy demeanours followed up quickly with “cheese n pickle toastie and a cream of leek soup, please”.

Our meal was hoovered and then it was onto meet Lisa Boonsanong who had arrived on the beach to camp for 2 nights with her kids and their friends. She took a great photo of us all on the beach before we charged up the hill towards Glenmore Farm. It was jaickits aff as we paced up the hill with a welcome stop for Irn Bru jelly babies (big thanks to Franki Hanson for giving us 2 bags of this sugary goodness!)

The chat varied from politics, to music and to past adventures. Many differences of opinion and managed not to kill each other - it must be a maturity thing!

Now we were nearing the top of a moderate climb and moving into the conifer forest. Rob gave us a demo of self-defence techniques and tried them out on Ludo which was quite amusing. I now know how to take a man down using two strikes with a 30 minute escape window.

The next significant moment was coming across the turn off for Operation Starfish - a decoy site from world war II up on the hillside overlooking the Kyles of Bute. I'd seen it before and we were keen to get the route done covering Day 3 miles if possible so we plodded on along the woodland path and up to Windy Hill - the highest point on Bute. We met a lovely family who were out walking and Danny Brown gave us a fiver for our cause (I hope he is reading).

A few pictures of the breathtaking view and then it was time to meander down to Port Bannatyne again. My feet were louping because my lighter boots for these less demanding trails were a bit tight. They’ll be in a charity bin soon. Rob announced it would be a 2 mile stretch to Rothesay Bay or a bus, Well…I don’t do giving in, especially since the bus stopped an hour ago.

We passed many bars on the way in and not one was open due to the pandemic - those without sit-ooteries are really missing out. After 7 hours of walking, 1800 calories and plenty of Bobtale’s stories, we made it back to the digs. I cooked us spaghetti meatballs and we enjoyed a few beers and unbelievably, it’s midnight and we’re still up!

To be continued….

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