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The Kintyre Way – Sponsored 87 Mile Walk for The Rainforest Saver Foundation

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Rainforest Saver
The Rainforest Saver Foundation promotes the Inga farming technique and practically supports those adopting it, aiming to improve the lives of poor farming families and preserve tropical forests.

Below for the merriment of our sponsors (and of course as proof of completion!) is a wee journal of our sponsored walk through Kintyre. You can also see a gallery of selected (nice) photos from our trip here.

The Kintyre Way

Day 1 – Tarbert to Skipness

The Kintyre Way Map

Kintyre and surrounding islands on the west coast - showing route of our 87 mile sponsored walk

The Kintyre Way is extremely beautiful – we recommend it to anyone for a walk of one day or more. The weather for the first 2 days was extremely overcast – thick grey cloud – it felt like 7pm for the whole day! We started at Tarbert, and climbed 9 miles over moorland hills to meet the east coast of the peninsula and a cracking view of Arran. We camped on a beach at the village of Skipness, rewarding ourselves with hot chocolate with the hush of the sea in the background and had a peaceful night. 10 miles.

Day 2 – Skipness to Ronachan

Walked from Skipness along the coast with the rough sea on our left to Claonaig, then up and over exposed moorland and over to Clachan. Got wet but the wind dried us off again :) End of track passed through wonderful mature deciduous woodland, where we discovered a teeny weeny bat in a box! Walked through the grounds of the hospital at Ronachan to camp on soft long grass again right by the sea. 15 miles.

Day 3 – Ronachan to Tayinloan

Awoke thoroughly dispirited because it was chucking it down! Packed tent up in the wet and walked along coastal path towards Tayinloan. Eventually the track opens out onto a wide steep shingly beach where the sun comes out and dries us off hooray! Have to cross a river with our boots off which is wonderful relief for our sore tootsies. Make slow progress due to walking on beach most of the day. Treat ourselves to a dinner at a nearby cafe near the campsite where we are staying. We see the shadow of a massive otter run across the beach at twilight. 6 miles.

Day 4 Tayinloan to Carradale

Glorious sunrise – rays of sun streaming from behind a bulky cloud squatting on the horizon. Treat ourselves to “baked goods” for breakfast – baked goods yum!! Our mum has the day off as we are a bit behind. Path goes inland again over forestry plantations, pass the 35 mile way-marker. Walk through a wind farm, down the other side, and up again. Arrive at Carradale in the near dark – one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen. Go to a local pub quiz and partake as the Happy Campers! Mum proves a right egghead at the quiz. 17miles.

Day 5 Carradale to Campbeltown

Mum’s second day off. Even Rosé has a day off!! Chucking it down :( Quite awful, we are soaked before we start. Some of us marvel at our waterproofs that are not waterproof. Pick our way round the rocky coastline of Waterfoot, then the track heads up onto forestry land and moors. Soaked, dried off by wind, repeat. Track is diverted the long way round Lussa Loch. See a rainbow. Val makes up a song called the Piggyback song, which has two words in it, one of them which is Piggyback. She likes it a lot. Much delirious laughter due to blister pain and tiredness. When we reach Campbeltown it feels like a miracle. Mum treats us to a B – not a B&B, just a B, in a house that is like yer Nanna’s. The bed feels like *Heaven*! 20 miles.

Day 6 Campeltown to Mull of Kintyre

Dry out the tents at Campbeltown harbour. Feeling more optimistic as we theoretically only have 19 miles to go. The journey from Campbeltown to Machrihanish is worth it only because Machrihanish is such a delight to say in a dead twee Scottish accent :) Walk over a lovely trail of bog, heather, and rushes. Treated to views of Ireland which is only 15 miles away over the water. Enter Largiebaan nature reserve where we see Feral goats rutting (butting heads). See a burnt orange and smokey lilac sunset over Ireland and the sea which is spectacular. Head on over rough ground into the night, can only find a very exposed camp spot. More hysterical knackered laughter in the tent as we cook our tea. 9 miles.

Day 7 Mull of Kintyre to Southend

Tough day!! Good weather, ridge walk with great views. But try to take a short cut as we are running late despite starting walking at 8:50am. Get lost, end up crossing a river on all fours. Serves us right for trying to take a short cut! Limp hysterically into Southend, again feels like a miracle! Collapse in a heap at the last way marker, and can’t believe we made it!! 10 miles.

The End :)

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2 Responses to “The Kintyre Way – Sponsored 87 Mile Walk for The Rainforest Saver Foundation”

  1. 1
    Secretary of Rainforest Saver:

    Well done Alan and all four of you and all your sponsors. You have raised a fabulous amount and you have beaten Charles. But he did very well too. And the walk itself looks fantastic. A million thanks to all concerned.
    i want to make a little but important correction. Alan says “…up to 7% (500m) of the world’s population use forms of slash & burn agriculture.” Estimates range from 200 to 600 million FARMERS, not people. They have families, so it comes to at least a sixth – 17% – of the world’s population. And I have seen a higher figure quoted, but surely that is a huge number to worry about already. The reason why slash and burn worked in the past and not now is that the population density is so much greater now. They just have to reuse the land too soon and it can become totally infertile. I have seen images of whole mountains just bare, eroded soil.
    If you check out the video clip referred to above and the Inga Foundation website where it is you will find another inaccuracy (no fault of Alan!). They claim slash and burn accounts for 20 – 25% of man made CO2 emissions, or more than all traffic put together. No one else comes up with that high a figure. These figures approximate to what authorities like the Stern Revue or Prince Charles’s website give for TOTAL tropical deforestation, which includes cattle ranching, soy, logging etc. Slash and burn accounts for 40% of this destruction, or about the equivalent of all air traffic, if you include the high altitude factor. Which is bad enough, particularly when you consider how poor the farmers remain. Check out the Prince’s site http://www.rainforestsos.org/ and particularly the “book” http://www.rainforestsos.org/book/ pages 34 – 35. There cannot be a more enjoyable way to find out many interesting facts about the rainforests and the terrible destruction, as well as solutions.

  2. 2
    Lano:

    Thank you Tiiu for the “well dones” and those corrections (incorporated above)!

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