Day 125, Friday 4th August, Lochranza to Brodick.
It was only a 15 mile walk to Brodick so my plan was to get there nice and early so I could find a suitable place to pitch two tents. Stewart was on his way up from Lincolnshire on his motorbike, he had done some research and had found that there was a Highland Games taking place this weekend in Brodick and as neither of us had ever watched one, it would be good to combine it with my rest day. My phone rang at about 4pm, it was Stewart asking me to find him a hotel room, he'd had an accident on his bike so he didn't think he'd be able to get in and out of his tent !!!
I made a few calls but there wasn't a single bed left in the town, the weekend's festivities had meant that there was a lot of people heading to Arran. By complete luck, the last hotel I tried had a cancellation and there was a room available so I booked it and found a place in the bar to wait for Stewart to arrive. When he did arrive at about 7.30pm he was in a bit of a state, he had clipped the back of a van which had spun his bike throwing him off and landing on his right shoulder. He was sweating like a Scoucer on a spelling test and clearly in a lot of pain so I helped him up to the room and helped him get his bike gear off so he could get a shower... not something I make a habit of doing I will add, undressing motorcyclists and getting them into the shower... and just so there's no confusion here, I didn't get in the shower with him, I went back to the bar... 🍺
Scrubbed up and drugged up, Stewart joined me in the bar where we had a meal and a few drinks before retiring for the night, me on the floor next to his bed to keep an eye on him. I should have got in the bed as he couldn't sleep with the pain and spent the entire night sat in the chair trying but failing to get comfortable. £225 for the night and the bed wasn't even used !!!
Clearly still in a lot of pain in the morning, we had breakfast and then ordered a taxi to take us to the A & E department up the coast at Lamlash where they did some Ex-rays to find out what damage he'd done. An hour or so later the doctor called me into the treatment room so she could explain to both of us what was going to happen next and she didn't want Stewart to be talking. I thought that was a bit a quick, she's only just met him and he's boring her death already !!! 🙄 cruel !!! I did detect an air of seriousness and the nurses were busying around him sticking needles in giving him morphine and getting the oxygen going. The ambulance was summonsed and waiting to take him to the heliport where a helicopter was heading from the mainland, he had broken a hand full of ribs and punctured a lung so they thought he might need to have his lung drained which they couldn't do in this little hospital.
That might have explained why he was in a bit of pain and the paracetamol weren't helping much...
So, I was on my own again... I called the taxi which took me back to the hotel, I needed to work out how to get his bike, all of his kit and my kit onto the ferry on Sunday morning and there was also a Highland Games kicking off at any minute and I'd walked a long way to see it...
I spent a few hours walking around watching the mass bands and the various throwing events, the hammer, the heavy weight over the bar and of course the caber toss but to be honest, I was a bit deflated after Stewart's rapid departure in the ambulance, I wasn't really in the mood and a bit fed up that he wasn't here enjoying the day with me.
As Stewart had booked the room for a second night, not knowing he would be lying in a hospital bed in Kilmarnock, I went back to the hotel and took full advantage of the facilities. I washed my underwear in the sink which I knew would dry by morning on the towel rail, I lay on the bed watching the 25th Anniversay of Les Miserables on the tv and by 8.30pm, I was spread out in the large double bed where I slept solid for 11 hours !!! The first bed I'd slept in for over six weeks !!! I won't lie, it was very nice... 😴
Up nice and early and ready to catch the ferry, I ate Stewart's full Scottish breakfast for him which was very nice. I packed and loaded all of his gear onto his bike, walked to the terminal with my rucksack to make the necessary arrangements and walked back to the hotel to get his bike. I had to wait a few hours until a later ferry which had a courier van that could take my rucksack so I could ride his bike on and off the ferry and by 1pm I was in Ardrossan, his bike safely locked in the terminal carpark to wait for recovery and I was reunited with my rucksack and back on my way.
Not the weekend I had planned and certainly not the weekend that Stewart had planned either. He was still in the hospital recovering and would have to remain so for a few days, I felt terrible for him, he had spent a fortune coming up to see me and would be leaving, still in considerable pain with even more expense as he'd have to get a train back to Lincoln.
Cheers Stewart, you're a top man and I owe you one which I will repay at some point. If I can only offer a small piece of advice... the next time you decide to throw yourself from a moving motorcycle, try to ensure you land on your head mate, there would be less chance of you doing any serious damage to yourself !!! 🤤🥰