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Published: July 20th 2006
Hot and sunny - probably last time I will write that for some time.
Found a water tap in the grounds of the church which is a blessing - filled all my empty bottles and returned to camp and then the short walk down to the beach and had a good wash. More detailed cleansing is available in the swimming pool (also has a laundrette) but not at 7am.
Walked around the village taking photos and then sorted with the car hire firm a sensible place to leave the keys. Found the cycle hire place - it double as the post office. I was offered two bikes - one had a pannier but only one brake while the other had two brakes, no pannier and a rickety seat. Chose the one brake option who needs two.
Headed around the end of the Loch that I am camping above (Loch Indaal) and then followed its northern shore through some tiny settlements including Bruichladdich which has a well known distillery. Continued on to Port Charlotte the largest village on this stretch of road. Quite attractive set around a small bay with a little jetty.
Brief rest and then set-off for the end of this peninsula which is known as the Rhinns of Islay. Just before 2pm arrived at the end - Portnahaven. Undoubtedly the most attractive village seen so far with white washed cottages clustered around a small harbour. Spent an hour exploring and stocked up with supplies from the local store - and had an ice cream.
The return journey was planned to follow the minor road along the north of the Rhins. This was very hilly with some notably steep sections - at least the descent was always enjoyable … even with just the one brake. The road cut across open moorland before returning to the coast which around Kilchiaran was particularly attractive. The road eventually brought me back to Port Charlotte from where I retraced my steps of the morning - unfortunately into a headwind.
Returned to camp about 6.30 - quite tired so took myself off to the sea for a refreshing dip in the cool and delightfully clear water. End of a tiring but enjoyable day.
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