Just like we should ban posts containing beer I think there should be a similar ban on any plates containing BACON
Enough said. I’m hungry. The missus has eaten all the BACON in the house. She did give me a rasher however. I’m sure there is a good joke in there.
p.s. thanks for the S2S the other day. I literally, as an afterthought, went to 2m SSB to see if there was any activity, and there you were. Mobile phone was no good on High Raise, so this was pure radio luck. Didn’t recognise the callsign before the accent.
It’s a good looking plateful and as long as I could exchange the beans & black pudding for more tomato and mushrooms etc. then I’d be happy. Not sure about coffee with a full [English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish] breakfast however. I thought it was a legal requirement for that to be tea along with some white toast. Just saying…
I chuck the bike in a bush: I chuck the battery in another bush. I take photos of the bushes and sometimes leave subtle markers as I always worry that I will not be able to find them. I have on occasion left bikes hidden for a few days when doing more complicated routes.
I was up early and rearing to go for my first summit of the day, Cnoc Moy. I found somewhere to park up and cycled down the track. The house at Gartnacopaig is still uninhabited. There are lots of nice high end tools inside but the house looks like it’s not been worked on for a long time. Strange. I hid the bike in a bush and set off up to the top. It was a bit steep at first but they ground underfoot was fairly forgiving. At the summit it became clear that the high wind would make it a challenging activation. I put up the 5 element beam at a low height and it self-orientated itself towards Ireland. I soon had Ester and Ian in the log. A station calling from Scotland was tricky as I could not turn the beam so I removed the reflector and worked him off the back. I then remembered that the SB5 has a clever trick - it was designed to work as a 3 element beam for use in high winds. I swapped it to its 3 element mode and then it was easy to turn. Only added one more contact before I decided that the wind was too much.
The descent was easy. On the way back to the van I spotted a Scottish Brown Snake. These are very rare - only found in Kintyre. Wikipedia says they are extremely venomous. As if often the case with small snakes, their venom is far more toxic than you might expect. Technically they could kill a red deer but due to their size they feed on smaller prey.
Day 7 - continued. Beinn na lice. A very tortuous road led to the parking spot. Another steep fence to follow to the top. It was still windy but significantly less so. I went for the full 5 elements this time. I made a reasonable number of contacts included Don G0RQL (Devon) and Andy G4PIQ (Ipswich). It was nice of Nick G0HIK to make a big effort to work me too - much appreciated.
Tomorrow I will activate Beinn Ghuilean. This is another summit that gets rather poor reviews. I hope to use the bike for some of the way at least.
Day 8 Beinn Ghuilean. I left the comforts of the campsite and parked up just outside Campbeltown ready for the ascent. I got the bike ready and set up. However within a few minutes it was obvious that the bike was not going to be useful on this one so I put it back on the van and switched my gear round for an ascent on foot. The start of this one is pretty naff. A lane of sorts choked with stinging nettles and stuff dumped over the fence from nearby houses. However, things did improve as the walk progressed. In fact it was rather a pleasant ascent. The ground underfoot was quite forgiving and I arrived at the summit in a good mood.
Once again it was very windy so I decided to use the SB5 as a 3 element beam. It works okay like this but obviously its performance is compromised. In the main it worked out well. I was pleased to catch Nick G0HIK/p and friend on Hutton Roof Crags and GI0AZA and GI0AZB on an GI summit. DX was GW4PLP on Cardigan Bay and G4PIQ in Ipswich again. I faintly heard Don G0RQL but with the smaller antenna it was not going to work - sorry Don. Jack GM4COX was looking out for me again but I could not hear him. Maybe Brian G8ADD can help with tips?
I thought it would be fun to make up my own route on the way down. Not my best idea ever but the view was so good that retracing my steps in places was hardly an imposition.
I’m now parked up at the start of the route up Sgreadan Hill so I will be able to make a nice early start. This will be the final hill of my Kintyre campaign and when I have done it I will be setting off home.
Day 9. I have overnighted at the start of the track up the hill. Unfortunately the track stops about 1 km from the summit and the ground could be hard going. While the weather forecast is dry and sunny, high winds are also forecast. I am parked at 120m asl and I can hear the wind in the trees around. Could be a hard end to the mission.
Day 9 Sgreadan Hill. This is the seventh and final one of my Kintyre group of seven. I did wonder if a group of seven should be refered to as a septic? I set off up the track in high spirits expecting a quick activation before the long drive home. Little did I know…
I cycled to the first possible access point for the walk to the summit and it did not look good so I went round to the second point which I had seen on Google’s latest aerial photos. Boy was I in for a surprise. This location turned out to be a construction site for another 14 turbines for the Beinn an Turic windfarm. I got to my access point where I was delayed for an hour by the site foreman and the Health and Safety officer (both very pleasant). In the end I agreed to use a different route. This was somewhat frustrating as it would add another 10 miles to my ascent. Anyway, it was a lovely day to be out and I was not really in a rush (although my alerted time was long gone by now).
I cycled round to the alternative approach (NW of the summit). This proved slightly easier than expected with a track to the edge of the forest and on to the open hillside. Then followed the usual meandering dance across the tussocks and peat hags to the trig. The band was a bit quiet but I soon had my quota of contacts including a nice chat to Jack GM4COX/m who had been patiently waiting for some hours (sorry!). No DX although I did hear Don G0RQL quite well briefly but no contact resulted on this one.
The route back to the van was a long way. On arrival there I noted that I had covered just short of 25 miles for one little hill. I had lunch and a hot shower before heading off. Scotch Pie and chips in Inveraray gave me the energy that I needed to drive down to Ayrshire. It was a chilly -5c overnight and a nice sunny day followed for my drive home (I drove 900 miles on this expedition). I’m now preparing the van for my next adventure.
A big thanks to all those regulars who caught me on all or most of these isolated hilltops. It was great to catch you all!
Well done on the not-so magnificent 7 and activating on 2m SSB as well. Paul and I had these summits planned out as long ago as 2012 and I even enquired about camper van hire. However, the islands called and places like Islay and Mull took precedence. It looks like some mods will be required to the itineraries in light of what you have found.
You could certainly do them far quicker than I did. I had decided to make my life slightly harder by only using the standard internal battery on the FT817. That generally means just one activation a day. Incidentally, I never actually ran the battery flat!