Thursday, 6 June 2013

Loch Awe to Mull - Scotland Tour 2013 - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Hi, I hope you're keeping well..

I'm sitting in my van on the Isle of Mull, looking out at a sunset thats been lingering for hours, reflecting on the day gone by..

This morning, before leaving my camping spot by Loch Awe, I went up to explore the old church I had seen the day before. It was well worth the effort climbing the almost collapsing stile to enter the site.

This place was not on any map, and was magical to say the least. The first thing that met me was this little building..

I'm not so sure of its purpose, maybe a crypt, but it was beside a ruined church building which contained some mysterious objects. There was a full length gravestone on the ground with the figure of a man in what looked like a knights armour, and a strange altar or chalice with a stone bowl. Through a door I saw more of these graves with their carved stones with crosses and figures depicted. I'll show this all in a future video.

I set off in the direction of Oban, and discovered a scenic journey unfolding as the van eagerly climbed hills into the mountains, and coasted downwards towards the coast, bouncing over the uneven surface. I stopped any time I saw an interesting lay-by, and enjoyed the sunshine and the salty air.

I decided to take a detour at Kilninver, and explore the b road which led out to several small islands. After climbing and defending several hills, I arrived at a huge bridge over to the Island of Seil - Clachan Bridge. As I was parking up, a group of sea kayakers was just coming past, and going under the bridge, one waved at me seeing the kayak on my roof.

I stopped here a while, watching the kayakers paddle into the distance along the Seil Sound, and eating my lunch. (I've been eating little and often on the trip so far, and having an evening meal when I reach a suitable camping spot.)

A while later I arrived in Oban to the sounds of BBC Gael radio, enjoying the folk music. The town was bustling with kids getting out of School and the sun was beating down as I looked for somewhere to get some supplies.

I stocked up on necessities from the local Co-op and then made my way down to the Ferry terminal and bough a ticket from Oban to Mull, and from Mull to Lochaline for when I leave the Island. The boat sailed at 6pm just as the evening was reaching its most beautiful and I immediately went up to the upper viewing deck for the start of the crossing..

The views were absolutely amazing as we left Oban behind and struck out into the ocean towards the islands. I am one of those people who is fascinated by the mystery of lighthouses, and this one did not disappoint me..

Driving onto the Isle of Mull I discovered that its a vast place of barren mountains, and many sheep. There are forests and rivers too, and the coastal views out to the islands beyond are incredible - especially on a day like today. I was going to the far side of the island as I'm looking for some good sea kayaking places, and it was a long drive over rugged terrain on narrow roads. I rounded a bend to this view:

On arriving here I knew this was going to be the coastline I would spend the evening and night relaxing and having my evening meal. Also a spot of sea fishing was in order, but much as I enjoyed the pastime, I still haven't caught a fish in Scotland.  Maybe better luck tomorrow..

What will I do? Maybe sea kayak in the loch around the shores of the island of Eorsa? Or will I go to the western tip of Mull and cross to the ruins on Iona? I don't know yet myself..

Miles so far: 260

If you're looking for a good map of Western Scotland and the Western Isles, the one I recommend is the 'Road 2' - this map used to be produced by OS, but they stopped doing it. You can buy it here for £4.99:

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See you soon..

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