OBAN  by markp


So I loaded Bumble into the car and drove north through the night. I arrived in Oban, on the North West coast of Scotland, shortly before 4am, and managed a very brief sleep in the car, having set my alarm for 6am. I moved the car into the long stay carpark and took everything I needed for my planned trip. I cycled down to Caledonian MacBrayne's ferry terminal and bought a ticket for the ferry over to the Isle of Coll.
Last check in was 6.30am, and we sailed at 7.15am with a two hour forty minute cruise to enjoy. The journey can be a beautiful passage, steaming down the Sound of Mull, past the colourful village of Tobermory. The setting for the children's programme, Balamory. Then passing south of Ardnamurchan Point with its lighthouse, the most westerly tip of the UK's mainland. You then enter the open sea, and this morning we got a warning that because of the wind, ( Oh ! Weather, more of this later), it might be a good idea to remain seated or to make use of the handrails if you did have to move around the ship.
I didn't think it was that bumpy, though there were lots of white horses and spent most of the voyage outside, trying to stay dry, watching the passing scenery, and keeping my eyes open for interesting birds or marine life.
As we arrived near Loch Eatharna, on our approach to the village of Arinagour, we received a second warning that they were switching off the stabilisers and the ship might be more unstable. To use the dock on Coll, the ferry basically heads ashore, and then performs a 360 degree spin, around the front of the pier, and finally reverses in. This is done at times, literally inches from the harbour wall and is an amazing thing to watch.
The Captain makes it look as easy as parking a car.

I got ashore and it dried out for a while, found my bed & breakfast and then headed north out of the village towards the East End of the village. Although the island is quite hilly, it was easy going, as on the level I could easily reach 20 miles an hour without even pedalling !! It was a very strong tail wind, it wasn't so easy going back. I reached Sorisdale, and had a wander around an old deserted crofting village, a beach and headland, watching seals. On my return journey I stopped at Red Rocks beach, and discovered an Otter playing in the breaking surf on the beach. The wind was in my face and he couldn't see or smell me, and he got closer and closer, totally absorbed in his games. Finally he reached some rocks, and I lost sight of him. Unfortunately while this was going on, my camera with long lens was in one of Bumble's bags, I was holding a 16-50 lens, so yes I took photos of an Otter, but a tiny one.
Then back to Aringagour, for tea and some sleep.

The photograph shows part of the sea front at Oban, including the Oban Tower, an unfinished project based on the Roman Coliseum.

More from today's travels here......


Ahhh...on of my favourite places, had my honeymoon there and named my dog after the place. Very envious
June 22nd, 2017  
Lovey capture with a great story to match. Looking forward to more 😉
June 22nd, 2017  
Great to read such a good commentary of a great scottish adventure! I remember Oban - very picturesque!
June 22nd, 2017  
Have a great trip Mark the Hebrides are one of my favourite places
June 22nd, 2017  
Sounds like a great adventure, such a beautiful part of the world.
June 23rd, 2017  
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