What a day! Better conditions than we expected so we made the most of it. After a hearty breakfast, we split into two groups.
We headed off to King’s Cave in the minibus with Mrs Bigham, Miss MacNamara and Darryl our Instructor. We were doing a circular walk today which included a visit to King’s Cave where legend has it, King Robert the Bruce once sheltered. We sheltered in the Cave next door, had our lunch and learned about building fires. We put the fire to good use toasting marshmallows. On our hike we learned about the Forrestry work in the area, the types of trees being planted and how it is made sustainable. We learned that there were some plants we could eat, like certain pine needles and brambles, and some fungi that we could not.
When our hike was over we drove to Lochranza. On the way we spotted at least 15 seals basking on the rocks in the sun. We also tried to spot the deer on the hills. Rutting season is underway and we heard a couple of roars from the stags up on the hill. We then visited Lochranza castle and learned about lunar cycles and tides on the beach before the drive back to the centre for dinner.
Set off from the centre in our wet suits and collected our kayaks. Learnt all our basic skills including how to adjust foot pegs and hold a paddle properly. Once we discovered how to get into our kayaks properly, we set out into the sea and headed to Hamilton Rock to see the cormorants. We then made the 1km trip over to Holy Isle where we ate our lunch and learnt about the island and its history. We met some Soay Sheep and Sannon Goats who live on the island. We visited the Magical ornamental mandala garden and spoke to some of the volunteers who work on the island. We were allowed to pick some apples from the garden and learnt about how seaweed can be used as a fertiliser for growing plants. After our time on the Holy Isle we headed back to the centre and safely put our kayaks away before swimming in the sea. All round a fantastic day, each child displayed a fantastic growth mindset and we all achieved our goal of learning how to kayak.
In the evening the groups were reunited for dinner and the Star Challege orienteering, followed by supper and a little more of the John Muir story.