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Visit our website at www.arran-campsite.com
and our Blog of our
"World tour of Scotland" at www.nigelandkathyinscotland.blogspot.com

Monday, 29 March 2010

28th March

Yesterday I was picking up wood on the golf course and I accidentally picked up a water vole. I put it down and it sat there quivering, looking at me with big eyes. After a while it felt brave enough to run for cover in a heap of turf. Water vole numbers are declining rapidly in Britain so I was delighted to see one.

Today Nigel and I walked round to Catacol then climbed up Meall Mor (496m), the big hill that stands behind Lochranza. We saw lots of red deer as we climbed the steep heather, though not before they saw us. Their brown and cream coats blend perfectly with the heather stalks and pale grass. The pictures show views down to Catacol and to Lochranza Campsite from Creag a Mhadaidh.

Friday, 26 March 2010

26th March 2010

Nigel and I began our new lives as owners of Lochranza Caravan and Camping Site a month ago today.

Until this week, the weather on Arran has been settled and beautiful, with glorious sunshine by day and temperatures plunging into the minuses by night.

Sea and sky have been vivid blue and the mountains dazzling white. It has been a wonderful month for winter walking or night-time star gazing (which is the positive option when it’s just too cold to sleep!) One night in February, before the site was open, the pipes froze. Washing in the burn first thing in the morning was a highly efficient way to wake up!

When we have not been tidying the campsite ready for spring, I’ve fitted in some walking. This photograph shows what it looked like up around Loch na Davie in early March. It was hard work kicking steps through the deep snow but worth it for the breathtaking sights.

To the left you can see down to Laggan from Fionn Bealach on a day when the views stretched out to the Paps of Jura and beyond. There was no wind and no sound. I didn’t meet anyone else out walking but I did pass lots of red deer. The deer on Arran seem to have fared better in this harsh winter than their Highland counterparts.

Regular visitors to Lochranza campsite may remember Rim, Iain’s greenkeeper, who has moved to Invergordon this year. We have turned his old lodgings in Reception into a campers’ lounge, which we hope will be a useful addition to site facilities. When Nigel and I undertook our sea kayaking tour of Scottish Islands last summer, camping in a small tent throughout August and September and cooking entirely on a Trangia camping stove, we really appreciated sites that offered this kind of refuge, even if it was just a corner of a barn. August last year was very wet and it was great when we could spread our maps out comfortably.