Date & Time: Saturday 19th Sept 2009. ( All day )
Location : Oban, Argyle and Bute, Western Scotland.
Places visited : Oban, Craignure, Loch Scridain, Bunessan, Ardachy House Hotel.
Walk details : A first day drive from Cumbria still leaves time for a walk to the beach.Highest point : Going on holiday !
With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Sunshine and fine views all the way up.
Scotland for a late summer break and we find ourselves driving from Cumbria to Oban to catch the Caledonian Macbrayne Ferry to the island of Mull.
A delightful drive down the Ross of Mull to Bunessan brought us to our small hotel
with the prospect of some excellent local walks and sightseeing to follow.
To start some time after the beginning, this is Connel Bridge as we approached Oban on the west coast of Scotland. A pleasant drive up via Glasgow, Loch Lomond and Tyndrum brought us to the coast in time for the early afternoon ferry to Mull, seen here behind the bridge.
It's half tide and the water is flowing so fast out of Loch Etive that it breaks and forms the Falls of Lora as it passes under the old railway arch.
The falls are large enough to encourage the canoeists out for a spot of white water paddling.
[ Tell everyone you know who owns water skis and wants to practice that we found . . . some sloping water ! ]
The iconic Caledonian Macbrayne Ferry as it enters Oban Harbour
with the island of Mull a tantalising short distance away in the background.
On board ad sailing now, we leave the town of Oban behind.
On the hill, the round McCaig's Tower and in the harbour, at it's moorings, that looks like the MV Chalice on which we've holidayed before.
The lighthouse on Lismore Island as we take the short crossing from Oban to Craignure.
The hills of the Ardgour Peninsular behind. We would see them again hopefully towards the end of our holiday.
Duart Castle home of the Clan Maclean since the 1350's was restored in the last 100 years and now stands proud on the headland.
[ I always remember this castle's owners because Charles Maclean was Chief Scout when I was a lad.]
Over the hills and far away, we drive on single track roads south and west
past Loch Spelve and here, Loch an Ellen and Loch Airdeglais.
Ben More, the only "island Munro" now that Skye has a bridge to the mainland,
stands proud but cloud capped behind the first of many Highland Cows.
Ben More again and an old abandoned boat at the head of the sea loch, Loch Scridain.
Bunessan Village with Creach Bheinn ( the headland of Burg ) behind.
This is the major village on the western end of the Ross of Mull, the island peninsular on the southern part of Mull.
It's half tide at this safe harbour as the narrow entrance to the left is protected from the prevailing south westerly gales.
Sunshine all the way as we reach our hotel and base for the next few days . . . The Ardarchy House Hotel
A good interpretive signboard highlights the birds and plant life we are likely to see.
The geology is important here with three types of volcanic granite all represented in this small area.
On the horizon, the more southern islands of Colonsay, Islay and Jura.
Here though we can let the dogs enjoy a run as we enjoy the scenery.
Wind-blown, sea-washed but this Knotgrass plant survives despite the harsh conditions.
The time and the place to relax after the journey.
The prospect of twelve days of a Scottish holiday ahead.
The scenery should be good, the hotels / B&B's are all booked . . .
Let's hope the weather is kind !!
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . .a Cal Mac Island Hopscotch ticket.
Previous walk - Sunday 13th Sept 2009 Sour Milk Gill and Taylor Gill
A previous time up here - 13th to 23rd May 2006 A Scottish Island Holiday