Thursday, 27 September 2018

And my Final Island of the Trip is Kerrera

I had hoped to do a longish walk on Kerrera but the weather was awful so its just a case of getting on this wee Ferry when it arrives and doing the 10 minute crossing and then after 20 minutes on the Island I come back again. 
The Ferry has only room for 1 vehicle and because there are no metalled roads on Kerrera they have to be 4 wheel drive vehicles. This is the Post Quad Bike which stayed on the island for about 4 hours.
The crossing is so rough for a few minutes and the boat rocked about a lot I would not have liked my car to have been on it.  
The Pier at Kerrera
Side view of the Ferry
I was the only passenger on the return journey. I had a long chat with the Skipper of the Ferry and he told me its a great island for walking on as there is little or no traffic so I hope to come back sometime when the weather might be better.  

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

An Hour on Lismore

Another day and another Island. This is Lismore which has 2 Ferry services but we opted for the small passenger only one which sails from Port Appin north of Oban. Its a tiny Ferry and the crossing is only 10 minutes. Today for 5 of those minutes it was very rough as we crossed the tidal stream. My intention was to do my morning walk on Lismore so Gaye stayed back at Port Appin and did the Times Crossword in the car. It was just as well as it was soon poring with rain and very windy. It is however a lovely Island and hopefully I will get back sometime to see more of it. 
Looking across to Port Appin
Lismore Ferry Terminal
The road south and my morning walk 
Looking over to the mainland 
The road to Port Ramsay. I did not have time to make it to the village as I had to be back for the 11.15am Ferry or I would have had a long time to wait for the next one. By now it was really wet so I was happy to have the wind at my back when I turned round.

Looking towards Port Ramsay
On my way back to the Ferry I met this parked car with a very unusual numberplate. On speaking with the owner I was not surprised to discover he was from Hawick having lived there 30 years ago. He is a fellow Island Hopper and is about 6 islands behind me. We had a 5 minute chat but as I had to get back for the ferry we did not get any longer to chat.  
I had about 1 minute to spare before the Ferry arrived and I headed back to Port Appin and a lovely coffee and cake at the Hotel.
On our way back to the Hotel at North Connell we visited The Isle of Eriska and the lovely very posh Eriska Hotel on this small island.  
The inlet that separates isle of Erika from the mainland. It was now bucketing down so we did not stay or even take photos of the hotel. Despite the weather it was a nice walk on Lismore and nice to see Eriska.

Monday, 24 September 2018

A Day on the Slate Islands

My day started at 7.00am with a walk round Oban Airport as it is just up the road from our hotel. It was longer than I thought and not the easiest of routes due to long grass and jaggy bushes but I made the 4 mile trip in an hour and 30 minutes but was very wet at the end. This aircraft looked as if it had lost a nose wheel on landing and it was parked at the side of the runway. 
The view as I set of on my walk 
The purpose of our day was to visit the Slate Islands. We had booked a cottage on Seil 4 years ago but had to cancel when Gaye was ill. It was great to eventually get there. This is the Bridge over the Atlantic as you go onto Seil.

The main village on Seil is Ellenabeich which overlooks the Island of Easdale. The village is mostly old Slate workers cottages and is full of character.
The Ferry from Elenabeich to Easdale is very small but its only a 5 minute journey. We enjoyed the company of these two American ladies from Seattle who were visiting Scotland for the first time and loving every minute of it. 

One of the flooded Slate Quarries. These were flooded by a storm and very high tide in the late 19th century  and overnight the slate workers were all out of a job.
After spending a couple of hours on Easdale we headed to the ferry for the Island if Luing. Its only a small ferry with a capacity for 4 cars so we decided not to take our car over as we might not have got back when we wanted to. There were also some very heavy rain showers so we just did the 10 minute crossing went ashore for a minute and then returned on the same ferry. At least we can say we have been to Luing. 
Gaye was befriended by the Captains dog which stayed with us for both journeys
Arriving in Luing
The dog wont leave Gaye but that was because she threw a stone for it when we were on the Jetty
It really was a very cute dog and our Hannah would have loved it
The Jetty at Seil
A full load of cars on the way back from Luing

Sunday, 23 September 2018

A Few Hours on Gigha

After leaving Arran at 9.30am this morning on the ferry from Lochranza to Clonaig we headed down to Tayolin for the ferry to Gigha. This is just a 20 minute crossing. I have been on The Mull of Kintyre several times over the last 20 .years but never made it to Gigha so today was a very special occasion. This is the north of the island where I went for a walk while Gaye did the Times Crossword back in the car. 
Everywhere we were today their seemed to be rainbows and this one was on the Ferry from Lochranza. Shortly after this we were witness to a spectacular 5 minutes of a flock of Gannets diving for fish just a few hundred yards from the Ferry. I did not manage to get any photos of them unfortunately.
Again at the north of the island with The Paps of Jura in the background
The ferry from Tayolin pulling out from Gigha after it had dropped us off 
The south end of the Island

Achamore Gardens
A Standing Stone with a bit of a lean on

Great view of Paps of Jura

A Visit to Arran after 8 Years

Before our visit to Arran we had an appointment at an Awards Evening for Paths for All, Scotland in the Scottish Parliament building. I was on the short leet for a Volunteer of the year award but unfortunately I did not win. There were many deserving winners and it was just a pleasure to be invited. We were joined for the evening by John and Sandria and Martin and Aileen. 
Our hosts John and Sandria who looked after us very well. 
On Friday morning we caught the midday Ferry to Arran for a 2 night stay at Blackwaterfoot.
The very small harbour at Blackwaterfoot
My Friday afternoon walk along the beach at Shishkine

On Saturday morning I did a 3 mile walk along the beach just as it was getting light. It was really beautiful
Our B & B is called Lochside and the owners have turned a field into an artificial loch and gardens and it is a fantastic place with loads of wildlife.  
A stroll round the Loch for Gaye
Goat Fell from Brodick  
Lochranza Castle 

We met this old couple there 
This will be our Ferry on Sunday morning to Tayinloan 
One of the stones from the Stone Circle at Machrie 
Lochside B & B which Gaye reckons is the best we have ever stayed in and I wont contradict her

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