Day 21: Ardrossan to Portpatrick

Well, it’s been a busy town-hopping day with a brilliant end.

I began today’s journey in Ardrossan where the lighthouse is tucked away behind railings next to a ferry terminal. Nothing too special about that, except it looks a bit neglected in comparison to some of those owned by either the Northern Lighthouse Board or Trinity House.

My second stop was Troon. Troon was fine in itself, again nothing amazing, but I had a horrific experience. I’d just got out of my car to look at a lighthouse and happened to look back at it and saw that there was a bird stuck in the grill at the front with its wings spread. I decided to mull over what to do about it while I went to see the lighthouse. When I returned I knew that what was needed was something to furk (my favourite Isle of Wight word) it out with. A tent peg would be perfectly, surely, and it was. The only problem was that when it fell out it fell onto its back with its wings still spread and it’s little legs stuck up in the air. That made me feel really quite ill, so much so that I couldn’t bring myself to go back and move it from where it had fallen in front of my tyre. So, you can guess the rest. I don’t feel good about it, but there is a certain type of bird that seems to like flying straight in front of the car and away really quickly. I cannot be held responsible for his lack of timing.

Anyway, I then entered a town with the most confusing roads ever: Ayr. I have no idea how anyone actually gets anywhere around it. I happened upon a car park that was going to charge me £3 so I moved on and, really luckily, found a free car park. It was a bit of a walk to the lighthouses there, but it was mostly alongside the river, so rather pleasant.

Girvan was my next stop. Girvan confused me a bit as there was a weird thing on the end of one of the piers that I imagine was once something important for guiding boats using light (who knows?). I’d read that there were two and there was a building in the harbour that had a tower that looked like it might have been a lighthouse. It may have been a good guess or may be completely wrong!

I then happened upon a lighthouse at the side of the road in Cairnryan, which runs alongside Loch Ryan. I wasn’t able to get close, but it’s a lovely place. This also reminds me that I happened upon two more lighthouses that weren’t on my list yesterday (love it when that happens – my usually response is ‘oh, hello you!’).

A short time later I arrived at my final destination of the day, Portpatrick. I managed to find the campsite on my third attempt and also found reception at the campsite on my third attempt (didn’t do very well there). I have an amazing view of Dunskey Castle from my tent and I went on a mini Famous Five-style exploration of it this evening. It was fascinating. It’s just a ruin now, but the moss that’s growing inside gives it a greenish light in places. Stunning! The village/town itself is also wonderful. The lighthouse (pictured) seems to face the village instead of the sea, but it’s beautiful. A really great place that falls into my handful of places I would love to come back to. One of Scotland’s best-kept secrets, in my opinion.

Only three more lighthouses remain before I bid a fond farewell to Scotland. More on this tomorrow! 🙂

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