Saturday, 11 April 2009

Ice cream, otters, beach, oh and some bouldering....

I had a playday today (it is Easter after all) and had my first day off in a while. Ex Arran inhabitant Clare Y (she is a bit good) was up from Sheffield with her mate Tom so we headed down to the beach for some seriously hardcore.... otter cream eating.... and in between climbed some rocks.
Kildonan has got a bit of scope for boulderers, and although the rock needs to be treated with care, it is quite fun. Watch out for the landings though, they can be very rocky and unpleasant.
As we were putting our rockshoes on we became aware of a high pitched whistling and discovered to our suprise a baby otter tucked away behind a rock just metres from our gear. We retreated to a kinder distance (jiggling with excitement- not cool)
and the little fella joined its mum and sibling in the sea. Later, whilst enjoying a well earned ice cream break, we watched the female fishing on the rising tide along the shore.
Arran is home to a lot of otters, how many is not known. They tend to have holts tucked away from view up the burnsides inland, but often forage along the shore and out to sea. The seem less shy and are easier to spot along the coast. A sighting inland is rare.
We did do some bouldering as well, and after lunch we headed down to another venue at the Cleats Shore. Even more esoteric with crumbling rock and cowpats, it is also Arran's nudist beach, although I have never been there on a day that anyone would want to take their clothes off.

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