Saturday, 25 June 2011

Mull, part 3

We decamped on a dry morning, but with a poor forecast. First stop, under darkening skies, was Inch Kenneth.

The ancient stones here are fascinating. It's said that some of the Kings of Scotland may have been buried here, if weather prevented them being taken to Iona.

It was only a short hop to a more cheerful spot- the Ulva Boathouse. This is surely my favourite cafe in the world. Good coffee and fresh local seafood with home made bread are a must for every passing kayaker.

Unfortunately, the rain had well and truly started by the time we left. It was to continue for the rest of the day. Not wanting to camp too early, we made a detour out to Fladda in the Treshnish Isles. When I last visited the Treshnish, they were a riot of colour. Today they were hostile, end of the earth islands.

We had a quick brew up of soup before heading north again. Campsites weren't too thick on the ground, but we eventually found a platform above a black, bouldery beach in Calgary Bay.

On a more pleasant evening, we would have had a fine view of the sun setting over Coll.
It was, however, a comfortable night, and we woke refreshed for our next stage to Tobermory. Just as well, as we had an unfriendly wind to contend with for most of the day. Our first roughish water of the trip started at Caliach Point, and stayed with us. Mostly we had waves on the beam. The wind seemed evil enough to change direction every time that we did, so that it was always from in front or the side. It was a long stretch to Bloody Bay, outside Tobermory. The name supposedly commemorates a battle, but it summed up my feelings about it perfectly.
Tobermory was a relief. We rehydrated in the Mishnish Hotel, leaving its floor a little damp. A campsite was found on Calve Island, in the bay. I was pleased to be here because of its connections with the "Canoe Boys", who spent a long time here in the 1930's.

Our last day was to be very pleasant. The sun was out and we had the prospect of a following wind to take us down the Sound of Mull. We another trip into Tobermory first, having been to late for ice cream the night before.

The "Lord of the Glens" was carrying folk in more luxurious style than our kayaks. The lowest port holes were so close to water level that we could have knocked on their windows as we went past.
A relaxing paddle back to Loch Aline followed. The Sound of Mull was bright and sparkling.

We had a stop for a team picture at a lovely camping/ caravaning site just north of Loch Aline.
The team was Kevin, Ken, Sarah and myself. It was a grand trip, with good company and a bit of everything thrown in. My paddling trips are often fuelled by pasta with a cup-a-soup thrown in, but on this occasion we had a wealth of good food- mostly prepared by Ken and Sarah.

1 comment:

  1. What a super trip Iain!

    I've paddled various parts of the Mull coast, and the "integrale" has been high on my list for some time. Glad you stopped at Inchkenneth, it's a hidden gem

    Kind regards