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Oban, Isle of Mull, Iona, Tobermory, Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan Point, Strontian, Lismore, Scotland.
(8 day bike-pack)
Wed 09 Apr - Wed 16 Apr 2014

Wed 09 Apr 2014

Wed 09 Apr 2014
Thu 10 Apr 2014
Fri 11 Apr 2014
Sat 12 Apr 2014
Sun 13 Apr 2014
Mon 14 Apr 2014
Tue 15 Apr 2014
Wed 16 Apr 2014
Heading off with my bike for another tour of part of Scotland. For the first time this year the first part of my trip is by car as I need to get to the ferry at Oban. The drive turned out to be fairly straightforward and I went the Callander route to avoid any risk of hold ups on the Loch Lomond road. The weather was dismal with a mix of rain and drizzle on the way. The final 15 miles to Oban had a few delays with three lots of long roadworks and traffic lights controlling the traffic.

The ferry from Oban

I managed to reach Oban just after 1pm and realised there was a good chance I could catch the 2pm ferry to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. The only long term free car park is Longsdale Road and luckily there were a few free spaces. It seemed to take ages to fit the front wheel in my bike and then fit the panniers but I managed to get to the Calmac Ferry terminal shortly after 1:30pm. 5.55 bought me a single ticket to Craignure and as before my bike went free. The weather continued misty for the 45min crossing though the weather seemed a bit brighter at the Mull end. My first objective was to get to Iona but I knew I'd never make the last ferry at 6:30pm so decided to pedal on and see how things went.

On the Calmac ferry

I set off SE on the A849 and was surprised how easy it was for a while. I knew there was a brisk westerly and would soon have to do battle with it. As I rode around the south eastern end of Mull I was riding straight into the fierce wind. The threatening rain didn't happen, though it continued misty with very low cloud. The motorists were a problem as many continued to pass at speed and very close. Most of the road is single track causing more concern. The climb of the pass wasn't too bad.

Much photographed boat at
Pennyghael Stores

I crossed over it 3 years ago but then from the other direction. After the descent I reached the shore of the sea Loch Scridain and was now riding mostly on the flat with occasional climbs. I stopped briefly at the Pennyghael Stores by the adjacent Kinloch Hotel but didn't intend buying anything. It was just gone 5pm and the lady there was just locking up then left in a car that was parked outside. As I rode on I saw a few good spots to camp but signs usually said they were picnic areas and no overnight camping.

Approaching Iona

About 10 miles short of Fionnphort I could see an old stone wall down to my right and a grassy area behind it wide enough to fit a tent on. I wheeled my bike down and was able to pitch out of sight of the road. I then had a view out across the Loch. The only problem was many black slugs around. The tent was up by 18:15 then I made a leisurely tea. There was heavy rain during the night but none in the morning.

Camp one by Loch Scridian