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To the island Bute, but we end up in a hospital

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 08 September 2006

Friday 08 September, to the island Bute, but we end up in a hospital

Breakfast on the campsite Rabbits on the campsiteIt is not really warm yet when we wake up this morning, but the ground is already a lot drier. It has been pretty cold tonight, but we did not suffer from it. The rabbits also survived the night well, because dozens of roam the entire campsite. There are some caravans and campers on the campsite, but we do not see any other people at all.
Castle at Sandbank Glen MassenNear the campsite is a small road that goes into Glen Massen and we immediately see a beautiful house that looked like a castle from the campsite, because we only saw some turrets. It is fairly busy on the narrow, dead-end road, especially with cyclists and we have to stop regularly for them to pass (or vice versa of course).
Through Glen Lean (meaning Wide valley in Gaelic) runs a beautiful road with very varied nature (and sometimes very steep parts) and we drive to Colintraive where we take the boat to the island of Bute. The crossing takes only a few minutes, but a return ticket costs 16 pounds (€ 24). Especially the car makes it expensive. From Rhubodach on Bute we drive in a row to the south, but at the first exit we turn right, the rest of the cars continue towards Rothesay, the largest place on the island.
Cairn on Bute Beach at Ettrick BayBute has been inhabited for a long time, because there are quite some stone circles and standing stones that indicate prehistoric activities. At Ettrick Bay we stop to walk on the beach. It has become wonderfully hot and there are people who are already thinking about bathing in the sea. Bute was already 100 years ago an attractive tourist destination for the richer people from Glasgow.
Kyle of ButeThe views from the coast are beautiful, especially now that the weather is doing so well. The Kyle of Bute is a strait (kyle means 'narrow' in the Gaelic) that ends in the Sound of Bute. In fact, Bute might just as well have been a peninsula, just as many other areas that are still attached to the mainland. The distance between Bute and Cowal is only a few hundred meters in some places.
The southern point of Bute View on ArranAlong the coast we first drive to the south, but went we want to take a walk, I suddenly get a terrible pain in my lower back. I have been bothered by it for a couple of days, but now it gets really bad. Quickly I swallow a painkiller and hope that the pain goes away.
The southern point of Bute View on ArranBut the pain does not go away and I can barely get out of the car so I let Teije take the pictures. Too bad, because Bute is really a beautiful island and I can not fully enjoy it now. I just crawl away in the chair in search of an easy posture, but I do not really find one
From the south coast of the island we have nice views of the high mountains in the north of Arran.
View on AyrshireBute has long beaches but most people today seem to be more interested in picking blackberries. We come along several roads where we can barely pass the cars parked in the verges of the narrow single track roads. On the coastal road it is quieter and on the east side of the island we have a good view of Ayrshire.
House on Bute House on ButeAnd of course we come across some nice houses, sometimes with palm trees in the garden. The mild climate of the Gulf Stream ensures that a number of subtropical plants and trees can survive well here. It rarely freezes here and if it is freezing it is only a tiny bit and snow is usually gone within a few hours, if it falls at all.
The bay of Dunoon The bay of DunoonAlong the east coast we drive to Rothesay, the only city on the island and typically Victorian. The Victorian toilets on the pier are even a national monument, but I have no eye for it today. Also other things worth seeing on Bute, such as Mount Stuart with its beautiful gardens and St. Blane's Chapel, we skip.
Castle canal RothesayIn Rothesay we walk past the well-preserved ruins of the 12th century castle that was twice conquered by the Normans and we sit in the sun on a terrace. But I can hardly stand the pain anymore and we do not know what to do anymore.
Ardscalpsie coast Beach of ArdscalpsieWe drive to Ardscalpsie on the west coast to Seal View. This is a favorite spot for several seals, but today they apparently have a vacation, we do not get to see them. But still a nice view.
I can't sit or walk anymore and we decide to go back to the campsite. Teije can then drive around and I can lie down in the hope that the pain will go away. All in all, it still takes us over an hour on the road to get back to the campsite. We forget to make a clear agreement when Teije will return again and to make matters worse, we forget to take the second mobile phone out of the car so we can not reach each other at all. I feel hurried and must vomit and pee all the time which hurts very much. After fifteen minutes I'm ready to go to a doctor, but I can not move an cannot reach Teije.
Loch StrivenTeije is now quietly touring around again and has gone back to Glen Lean to drive some small roads that we have not been to together. Beyond Colintraive, from where the ferry goes to Bute, is another coastal road to the east side of the peninsula with a view on the south side of Loch Striven.
Kyle of Bute Kyle of ButeThe sun shines beautifully on the natural harbors of the many bays and inlets here. This seems to be one of the best sailing areas in Scotland, probably because the open sea is protected by the many (peninsula) islands in the west.
Kyle of Bute Houses in AltgaltraigThe southern halves of the peninsulas seem to be flatter here than the northern parts, just like on Bute and Arran, and there are more agricultural areas. This area is much nicer than we expected in advance, while we have already seen so many beautiful things in Scotland and know that there are still a lot of undiscovered spots (for us, at least). I would like to look around again when I feel better.
When Teije returns to Stronafian at the beginning of Glen Lean, he has to decide: return to the campsite in half an hour, or drive around for another hour. We can not call each other, so he has no idea that I'm just waiting for him to come back, the telepathy is not working and I'm only feeling excruciating pain ... And he decides to give me an extra hour of 'rest' , and makes an extra round.
The road to Otter Ferry Pheasants in the duskA steep and exciting climb to the west, to Otter Ferry on Loch Fyne. The road is very narrow and sometimes steep and there are not many places with views over the surroundings because everything is densely forested. When the twilight begins to fall, the pheasants appear again en masse on the road and there are also a number of killed ones, because they are not smart enough to disappear when a car arrives. On this picture there are about 19 (live ones).
Sunset on the Scottish islandsAlong the coast of Loch Fyne, with a low sun that lays a yellow haze over the lake, Teije drives north and then back to the campsite. It must have been a nice ride if I look back at the photos later, I missed a lot. But I am especially happy when he comes back to the campsite and tries to arrange a doctor.
We go to the hospital of Dunoon and within fifteen minutes we are there and are immediately helped. I have already collected some urine and it appears that I have an acute bladder infection. Probably I've been walking around with it for a week and it has become really acute now. I get antibiotics and in the store we buy a few liters of red berry juice that should be very good to ease the pain. After a few hours I suddenly do not dare to move at all because I feel the pain go away, I can't believe it. Given the number of photos we have taken and the beautiful weather this was probably the most beautiful day of the holiday, only I did not enjoyed it very much, and that on my birthday! This was really my worst holiday-day.
When we are back in the Netherlands, however, the symptoms remain for almost 3 weeks and eventually there also appeared to be several kidney stones. I can not recommend this to anyone, it was very painful and I can not see a red berry anymore!


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