Sunday, May 28, 2017
We awaken to another glorious day at GlenEagles. Oh man, we just realized that we are not playing golf today. Seems a shame to let this sunny day get away from us. But we must travel onward.
Breakfast again is an awesome spread. Today I order the Scot Creamy Porridge with Raspberries and Drambuie Sauce from the menu. Wow! This stuff is amazing – super creamy, soft, light and delicious. I am thinking how my Mom would absolutely love it.
Rich pokes around at the buffet offerings and ends up with Rhubarb Yogurt, Streaky Bacon, some sort of sausage and his favorite fresh, local apple juice. Unfortunately, we cannot linger too long. We have a ferry to catch.
Today we are driving West to Ardrossan. (Please take a look HERE to get the lay of the land). Then we will hopefully board the 1:50 ferry for a 2 1/2 hour ride around the Arran Isle to Campbeltown (Please look HERE – obviously the ferry does not cut directly through the Arran Isle but that is the best map I could manage!). Our end goal today is Machrihanish (take a final look HERE.)
We are going all that way to play two courses in Machrihanish. When we have told local Scots in St. Andrews they can’t believe we are heading “out there.” Rich’s caddie (Martin) had a huge grin on his face when Rich told him where we were going to play. Martin says it is his favorite place to play! Let’s see if the journey is worth it.
According to Google Maps it only takes about an hour and half to reach the Ardrossan Ferry Terminal. But, we are vets and know that we should always allow extra time. We reluctantly leave our GlenEagles nest with plenty of time to relax on the way. We arrive a wee bit early to get our car in line for the ferry so we take a bit to chill in the terminal lounge. Finally is is time to get our car into the queue.
It is a beautiful, sunny day and the sea is calm but it is quite windy on deck. We go into the lounge where I catch up on my blog and we grab a small bite to eat in the dining area.
There really aren’t too many passengers onboard. As we motor on we wonder about folks who choose to live way out “there.” To get anywhere on the interior you either have to drive waaaay around (because of the Arran Isle) or take this ferry. There are lots of brochures etc about holidays in Machrihanish. I think that some Scots and Brits come here for a weekend holiday simply because it is so secluded and “wild.”
First glimpse of the lighthouse in Campbeltown.
Ok. We have arrived. Now it is a simple 15 minute drive across the penninsula to Machrihanish. We see lots of farm country along the way. It is otherwise quite desolate and beautiful. Once we may our final turn the Hotel Ugadale comes into site.
The hotel is beautiful and we waste no time checking in. The front desk hostess asks us if we have dinner reservations. Uh, no. I didn’t realize that would be necessary. She informs us that there was some sort of 10k run this weekend and everything is booked solid. We have 3 choices – the Wee Pub just outside the hotel, the Kintyre Club inside the hotel or the shuttle can take us into Campbeltown where there are several restaurants. We tell her we would like the Wee Pub tonight and the Kintyre Club tomorrow. She will check and let us know.
We head up the steps (first floor which is really the 2nd floor to Americans) to find our room – the Duke of Argyll Suite. It is perfect.
We have a large living area and a bedroom area with two windows. One window looks out to the Wee Pub and the other has a magnificent view to the Machrihanish Golf Course and onward to the North Atlantic. The entire hotel has old golfing photos and memorabilia. Yes. We will be happy here.
Our belongings have kind of become a cluttered mess already from all our packing and re-packing. When we lug our things up to the room I begin to drag items out of bags in an attempt to sort them. Rich claims that I am “exploding.”
The desk clerk tells us that unfortunately the Wee Pub is completely full. However, we can dine in the Kintyre at 8:30. Sounds good. It is time for a nap and a blog.
So nice to just walk downstairs for dinner. The Kintyre is a member’s only club that also allows hotel guests. It is both elegant and comfy at the same time. I happily order a Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic with a cucumber and Rich enjoys a Hendrick’s on the rocks. Our Kiwi friends back in St. Andrews were sucking down the Hendrick’s G&T’s and I want to see what all the fuss is about.
We both order the Wild Mushroom & Thyme Soup. Rich goes for the Rack of Lamb and I choose the Seared Duck Breast. Both main courses were good (Rich’s wins out) and the soup was fantastic.
What a comfortable place to relax and enjoy a traditional dinner. It is getting on to 10:00pm and we are still looking outside at the bright sunlight. Pretty soon we notice that the sky is becoming “pinkish.” I am too comfy to move but urge Rich to go out and take some photos.
Rich is gone a for quite a while. When he returns, he tells me he went over to the first teebox on Machrihanish Golf Club! We have read about the infamous first tee there and he wanted to see it for himself:
After seeing the incredible sunset photos, I can’t help but join him for a little jaunt outside. The sky keeps getting better and better.
Keep in mind this set of pics was taken at 10:30pm!
I bet they don’t get sunsets like this very often because usually it is too cloudy. This one is spectacular.
What a fantastic ending to a great day. We mistakenly read the forecast for tomorrow and it is supposed to rain. All Day. I am sure that is much more typical. Maybe we have been lucky afterall. We have rain gear and are somewhat prepared, but are crossing our fingers for clear skies.