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  • Writer's pictureLesley McLaren

Straight Outta Lockdown 25/04/21 - Toward on bikes

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

As the coronavirus pandemic rumbles on, in Scotland the restrictions are beginning to ease and we can now venture outside our local area for day trips. I like to be outdoors exploring my own area and other parts of Scotland and I thought I'd begin documenting this as it looks like it will be some time til I'm playing live music again.

I intend to make the most of our new found freedoms and spend as much time as possible kayaking, hill walking, cycling and camping because I fully expect to be busy on the live scene again come summer 2022.

For me a trip is not complete without a stop at a local cafe for cake and coffee or to a pub for a pint so I intend to feature the gems we discover on our travels and recommend them to you.

Today, we set off from Greenock at 10.30am with our friends, Rob & Vicky and cycled to McInroy's Point, Gourock to meet the Western Ferry to Dunoon. By 11.30am we had landed in Argyll where the feeling of calm is instantly noticeable. It's not too far from home but it feels like you are. Being on that ferry means adventures are ahead so to me it always feels exciting!

We turned left off the ferry to start our ride out to Toward which would be completely flat the whole way - a welcome prospect after a busy week. The sun was splitting the skies and with little wind, it felt lovely and warm. We hadn't been on the road long when the first opportunity for coffee presented itself much earlier than expected!

Java Walk in Kirn turned out to be a great pit stop. The coffee was excellent and perfect for washing down the homemade Rocky Road cake. The staff were super friendly and took time to chat as they made the drinks. We also purchased some tablet from the newsagent next door (it was recommend to us). I can confirm it was absolutely delicious although I have saved some of it for another day as I've not seen a dentist in over a year due to the pandemic!

After a lovely time sitting on the beach with our treats and some stone skimming, we headed on to Toward and probably arrived there around 30 mins later. The route was so beautiful, passing geese who live on the rocks at the beach, beautiful houses & tiny village hubs. I feel quite at home on that side of the water and wonder if I could feasibly live there.

Soon we arrived in Toward and couldn't believe our luck with our spot on the beach which was completely out of the wind. The sun was so hot it was "taps aff" (the boys!) and trouser legs rolled up while we relaxed with our basic packed lunch of bread and tinned mackerel - the best thing to pack for adventures! It wasn't long until we realised we were missing a beer, so the boys were dispatched to the village shop for supplies.

After a few hours lazing around, we made it back to the ferry and on the road home through Gourock, met other friends on the beach who were doing exactly the same thing. We of course parked the bikes and joined them for a blether.

It was the perfect Sunday and I'm looking forward to many more days like this.

Next week we will be on Bute to complete the West Island Way for Kiltwalk in aid of Mind Mosaic (Greenock Mental Health Charity). We're very much hoping we will have this weather for the hike!

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