Glencoe is transformed – no longer the gloomy forbidding backdrop to ancient bloody battles -more a benign protective giant. Even the snow-capped dark mountains are bathed in sunshine and the sky is bright blue with fluffy white clouds.
We resist the temptation to hang around, knowing that we have other fish to fry today. We are heading off to the Ardnamurchan peninsular – a place we haven’t visited for 38 years. When our first two children were small and on my whim, having read a novel based on this very wild part of the Scottish Highlands, I managed to persuade my parents to accompany us on a self-catering holiday in what we always referred to as a triangular house in Kilchoan – on the tip of the peninsular and opposite the Isle of Mull. The houses were newly built, wooden and very Scandinavian in appearance.
In those days of film, rather than digital, not too many photos were taken so memories are hazy about what exactly we did during the fortnight, apart from some light walking and visiting local beaches. We did remember that the area was beautiful but we were both pretty unclear about how we got there!
Driving from Glencoe, it was only a few miles to the ferry at Corran where there is a regular service across Loch Linnhe to avoid the trek up to Fort William and then down the other side. There was a wait of only ten minutes or so before the boat reached the southern shore where we were waiting in a small queue and it wasn’t long before we were being expertly loaded onto the ferry and transported to the other side.
The coastal road swung up steeply from the tiny settlement of Ardgour and an amazing panorama – one of many to come – was laid out before us. We stopped in a lay-by to take it all in. From here you can see the volcanic Ben Coe and Ben Nevis.
Basking on a rocky outcrop were some Seals and we also spotted a lone Red Breasted Merganser swimming out.
From here it was just one stunning view after another and I make no apologies in indulging myself with just some of the nearly 300 photographs I took along the way, as Loch Linnhe gave way to the wooded slopes of Loch Sunart.
Eventually, after what seemed hours (probably only two and a half) of driving on a winding, and often precipitous, single track road we arrived at our destination – Far View Campsite. Well, not so much a campsite as a back garden with space for up to four motorhomes on gravel hardstandings. We had the final spot next to the house but overlooking the Sound of Mull – what a view to wake up to!
The owners, Chris and Julie, were welcoming and gave us all the information we needed. My 3 dongle doesn’t work here but the Community Centre just up the road apparently has free wifi so tomorrow we will try it out. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s weather doesn’t look brilliant so we made the most of today’s sun and strolled down to the jetty where we will eventually catch the ferry over to Tobermory and then relaxed on seat in the garden with a glass of Pimm’s – our first of the holiday.
A combination of sun, stiff breeze and the Pimm’s and it wasn’t long before we fell asleep…