Saturday, March 29, 2008

Two harbours Corrie, nor any drop to drink.

From Sannox we proceeded south along the east coast of Arran until we came upon the delightful hamlet of Corrie. Despite its diminutive size, Corrie boasts two harbours. We were by now exceedingly parched and Thirsty Tony suggested landing at the Corrie Hotel for a little liquid sustenance.

The landing on the rocky foreshore was not easy, the bay immediately below the hotel sported a large sewage pipe. We did not wish to discover if this was still a source of Clyde bananas so we moved further south.

Thirsty Tony strides purposefully towards the Corrie Hotel.

First impression was encouraging. The hotel is the largest building in the village and is solidly constructed from the local red sandstone. The door to the grand entrance portico squeaked loudly as we pushed it open. To the experienced reviewer, this did not seem like a potral that has recently been well excercised servicing the arrivals and departures of needy travellers. Inside was like the Marie Celeste, a dry, dusty glass stood alone in a corner. The bar looked as if it had been abandoned in a hurry, there were no bodies under the tables. A line from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner came to mind: "nor any drop to drink".

The late winter sun shown down through the windows. Motionless dusty sunbeams hung in the still cold air and nothing stirred to disturb the particles of dust.

"Hello" I croaked (I was thirsty after all).

"Anybody there?" added an equally hoarse Tony.

Somewhere deep in the bowels of the house another door creaked followed by a slight shuffling noise. After what seamed like an age, a delightful old lady appeared in her slippers with a woolen shawl tightly wrapped round her shoulders to ward off the chill. She looked at us expectantly.

"Is it possible to get a drink please?" asked Tony, pointing towards the empty bar.

She didn't seem to understand as she replied "They've all gone."

"Gone where?" I asked, sensing a mystery.

"For the winter." muttered Tony under his breath, which condensed in the cold air.

"Are you boys geologists?" she enquired.

"Actually we are sea kayakers." I replied before apologising for disturbing her afternoon and bidding her farewell.

Our visit was in the week before the Easter weekend, we thought a tourist business would be delighted to see our custom after a long winter. However, we were not seen as the first swallows of spring. We left the premises as dry as we had arrived. This, it has to be said was a first for the staff of Tony and I are generous in our assessments of sea kayaking hostelries but on this occasion, I am afraid we have to award this establishment 0/10. That's right, nul point.

If you visit in the summer you may well find this to be a welcoming establishment with its taps running free and its glasses overflowing with refreshing liquids but we cannot recommend it for a winter refreshment.

We do however, plan to return...