We left Crannich Farm this morning but not before I had taken this photo of two of the ponies. Our new position at no.7 meant that we had a better view – pity we didn’t go into this spot before! It’s off to Fidden Farm campsite today – a challenge for us as there is no electricity! To get there we drove back down to Salen and then took the left turn for Gruline and discovered a sign for the Macquarie Mausoleum which is sponsored by both the National Trusts for Australia and Scotland. By chance, my cousin from Australia (connection too complicated to go into here) is over in the UK on a whistle-stop tour and we are meeting, for the first time, in Edinburgh on Saturday. She happens to live in Port Macquarie in NSW and, as any visitor to Oz will know, General Macquarie was extremely influential in the development of NSW when he was Governor there in the early 1800s and is known as the Father of Australia. We decided to walk the 500m to the mausoleum and take a look. He was born on Ulva (the island on Loch na Kean which we had passed the day we saw the Sea Eagle, and lived for the rest of his life here at Jarvisfield, after his Governership ended in 1821. The bluebells were wonderful in the woods around here and Peter took this fab picture of a Chaffinch with a bluebell background.
The road around the southern side of Loch na Neal ran in mad bends just above the water level. We had a sheep-free yesterday so will make up for it today! The road eventually reached Loch Scridain and we passed the Eagle Watch site where you can watch live the nest of a Sea Eagle and young. The road then follows the southern side of the loch at Pennyghael and coach after coach came towards us – we were now on the Ross of Mull and the road to the ferry port of Fionnphort with trips over to Iona! South of Fionnphort is the hamlet of Fidden and the campsite. We had read a lot of glowing reviews and we certainly couldn’t fault the location. A low grassy headland overlooking a white sand beach. We parked up with a good distance between us and the next motorhome and I walked around while Peter went back to the farmhouse to register our arrival. It is run in a very informal way, with no asigned pitches and no booking. Just £7 a night per person. I looked across at Bessie and had a surprise – what was that sandwiched between us and our neighbour? A tartan invader is what it was – a small hired campervan which had decided that it preferred to camp squashed between us rather than in any of the other open spaces!
We have to admit to being somewhat irritated as there is an unwritten rule on campsites that you leave a certain distance between vehicles. Strangely, though, the lone woman who was in the campervan, left mysteriously early in the evening and never returned! We had a walk on the beach and spotted some Ringed Plovers and, of course, the inevitable Oystercatchers.
Then Peter spotted a small flock of our favourite wader, the Dunlin. The light was changing all the time as the sun was gradually sinking, albeit behind the cloud. What a truly beautiful campsite Fidden Farm is.