Middle of last week the consensus of opinion was that we could easily work from the van for the next few days, seeing as the weather forecast was absolutely fab and that most of the Easter holiday makers had headed home - so in a whirlwind of packing we managed to stuff everything we needed into said van and be on our way to the Isle of Mull and within the hour too - that's motivation for you!
We wanted to catch the last Calmac ferry from Kilchoan (Ardnamurchan) and the road we need to take to get there is mostly a single track, winding route - you never know what or who you will encounter on route - over the years we've met all sorts of live stock (cattle, sheep, deer......) who never appear to show concern for our schedule; occasionally we will get stuck behind a sloooooow moving camper or caravan; there can be tourists who will abandon their cars to take pictures etc thinking no one actually uses this road; and not to mention when we have to pull over to watch Sea Eagles, Otter or to chat to someone - so extra wriggle room added to our journey is very much needed - also we like to hang around at the ferry port - Kilchoan port is a very interesting place geologically - well worth getting there early to read the information boards.
Once we arrived on Mull, and after a quick shop in Tobermory (conveniently where the ferry docked) we headed to a favourite spot of ours for the night.
We have a special spot on the shores of Loch Na Keal, found many years ago whilst otter watching, and so far, no one else seems to use it! I'm sure one day we will get there and another camper will be parked up, but for now it's our little secret (I regularly practice my paddington hard stare for when that day arrives 😄)
A very quiet and calm evening with a fantastic sunset was our reward for the rush to get here - a barbecue and a beautiful view.......... perfect.
Next day we headed round the peninsular and on to Fionnophort. It's another winding, single track road that cuts through the mountains and scree slopes - often we have had to stop to clear rock from the road and this trip was no exception! Also don't leave it too late in the day to drive it unless you enjoy backing up for everyone! Having said that it's well worth doing this drive the view are amazing - to start your looking out towards the close islands of Ulva and Gometra, then the view opens up as you round the loch you see the Treshnish Isles through to Coll and Tiree further out. The road winds it's way from sea level to high up in the mountains, so the view on a good day is vast.
We decided not to wild camp for the next few night but to stay on a campsite we have used for many years at Fidden - a lovely site, welcoming and friendly, it gets very busy during the summer but off season it really quiet. You can camp in amongst the boulders on the edge of the beach (see image below) and you feel like the only ones there. It's a good place to take a couple of bikes and leave the van there whilst you head off and explore the surrounding area - the tracks/roads are not too challenging and it's good to leave the van, get some exercise, save on fuel costs and spot wildlife - in just these few days we spotted otter, hare, seals, dolphin, deer and many sea birds especially numerous (and loud) were the oystercatcher and lapwing. (also worth mentioning that a quick cycle ride get you to Fionnophort where in the spring/summer season, there is excellent Fish and chips from the Creel Shack - sitting on the old quay, eating locally caught fish and chips in the late evening sun is rather magical)
We are back in the Southwest now - at Bath Uni - working away and it's raining and cold, but our heads are still full of this spontaneous-short-spur-of-the-moment-grab-good-weather-just-getup-and-go-trip and I find that this type of time away can often be more fulfilling than longer and well planned holidays - so the new plan - lets take more of them!
Bye for now