Posted by: digibirder | July 27, 2009

The final hurdle

Well, I’ve managed to get the remaining photos edited (the perils of shooting lots of images in RAW format) and getting the text tidied up, so I think we are now ready to finish this off!

Thursday 9th July
I woke with another headache so we had another delayed start to the day. We drove into Oban for a wander around the narrow back lanes and also walked up to a couple of viewpoints to get a good look over the town. We parked first in the Tesco car park (3 hours free for customers – we bought a newspaper!). Pulpit Hill was our first destination, from where we looked down on Oban bay and the island of Kerrera. We then tried to find the Hydropathic Ruins, which we’d seen from a distance and wondered what they were, but an overgrown path persuaded us otherwise. Since returning home, I have found some proper directions, so maybe next time…

Back down in the town, we went to Ee-Usk for lunch – quite expensive but delicious. We both had haddock chowder to start and then Keith had the halibut and I had salmon mornay. Keith then had lemon cheesecake and I had lemon torte. Of course, it wouldn’t have been right not to have a G&T to start and a glass of white wine with the meal!

We then had to get back to the car and move it to another parking spot (assuming one of us was fit to drive!). After finding another free space to park, we walked up to McCaig’s Tower, which again gave great views over the town and harbour.

CRW_5185Looking towards the island of Kerrera (on the left) from Pulpit Hill
with the Mull ferry on its way in

CRW_5186The ferry docking in the harbour

CRW_5187McCaig’s Tower

CRW_5190From the inside

CRW_5191View from McCaig’s Tower to the harbour
(Pulpit Hill, where we were earlier, is in the middle left distance)

CRW_5193Looking further to the right towards Kerrera with the island of Mull in the distance

CRW_5195On the way back down to the town we came across this old stone gatepost
covered with Ivy-leaved Toadflax

Friday 10th July
After a very cold night, it turned into a lovely warm and sunny day. We relaxed on-site and did a bit of packing in readiness for our departure on Saturday. After lunch we drove around to Castle Stalker and had cake and cup of tea in the café and took a few photos. On the way back to the site we called in at the Creagan Inn to book a table for dinner. Back at the site, we continued with more packing for a while, then readied ourselves to return to the Creagan Inn.

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Saturday 11th July
We woke early so we started doing some packing. It took us quite some time to get it all sorted, as we have so much stuff with us. Only having a small car meant that we had to fit the roof box as well as packing a few things on top of the trailer (bigger car next year). Prior to coming on holiday we had packed the trailer top the night before. Obviously we couldn’t do this to come home as the tent was pitched. We also had the bikes to fit on the towball, and no matter how we tried, we couldn’t get it as secure as the journey up there. We were still on site at almost midday, which is when you’re supposed to have vacated your pitch. The warden was ready with his sit-on mower, waiting to mow our spot for the next occupant. We’d also had to demonstrate the trailer tent to some fellow campers, as they were thinking of getting one, so that set us back a bit. Just about bang on midday we were all hitched up and so we moved the unit to the washroom block to freshen up a little before our long journey home.

As it was lunchtime we stopped at a café just along the road a little way. Returning to the car I noticed that the bikes had slipped and one was quite close to the trailer hitch. A sharp right turn would have caused problems so we took them off to try again. We took out the trailer steady post, which made the whole thing much more stable, so we were at last able to set off.

It was a very long and tiring journey, made longer by the fact that we made two or three stops for a break and some refreshments. We eventually arrived home at about 9.30pm. We didn’t do much except bring a few things into the house, stowed the trailer in the garage, had a shower and crawled into bed.

Here is the general area where we were and here are some photos of the site.

CRW_5211This is us!

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And that’s it!! All in all a fantastic two weeks. I had looked forward to this holiday more than any other we’ve had over the past two to three years, and it didn’t disappoint. The weather was good for the most part, and we saw lots of interesting things without expending too much time and energy – perfect. It’s just that it was quite a distance to drive. I think we should break up the journey next time if we travel that distance again.

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