Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Mull and beyond - ice cream at last

Starting day 5

Ken forgetting his paddle comes in 2 bits

We woke the next morning to more soggy weather, so after a quick breakfast we cleared the camp site and trundled back down to the boats. Due to the tide and the rocky shoreline, we had to pack our boats and get launched really speedily. We then headed round the coast to have a wee look at Calgary bay, Mull's most photographed beach. So many photos and none of the group took our photo of it, oh well, it did look quite nice.
Kevin trying out another cave
The next stretch was rocky again with more caves. We were then heading round Caliach point, the most north westerly point on Mull, where the waters started to get a bit bumpier with waves coming from all directions. As we were coming into Langamull beach (another beautiful, white sandy one), I'm sure we passed the palm tree Iain kept promising us, no sign of a soothing hot tub though.

Is that a palm tree up there?
Langamull, lunch No umpteen
Iain eyeing up Rhum and Eigg
We carried on along this top stretch with views across to Rhum and Eigg,  hoping Iain didn't suggest a wee detour round them. This part seemed to go on forever. We passed the rather splendid looking Glengorm castle and crossed Ardmore Bay.

A nice little des. res.
 We stopped for a spot more lunch at the start of Bloody Bay, the site of a 15th century punch up, before turning down the Sound of Mull. This is where we saw three magnificient sea eagles.

Kevin eyeing up the Mishnish
We then carried on round to Tobermory, the one stopping place that had kept me going for the whole trip with the thought of a yummy ice cream. We landed on the beach at 4.37pm, the ice cream shop shut at 4.30pm. Not one to be down beaten by a small hiccup like that, I knew that although Tobermory may not be a massive city, there was another rather tasty ice cream shop in town. Off we set to traipse along to the other end to the posh chocolate shop where we received some quite unusual looks. We still had all our paddling kit on, which is a good way to get served quickly, before we had a chance to dribble too much. Honeycomb crunch and double chocolate was the order of the day and after the paddle I had to do to get it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. After that, it was back along to the other end of the street to the Mishnish bar where a nice refreshing beveridge (no not a cup of tea) was had. Back in the boats, we paddled across the harbour to Calve Island where we had our last night.

Calve Island
Looking over to Tobermory
Next morning, it was suggested we nip back over to Tobermory for another ice cream, like I needed to be asked twice for that one! So for breakfast No2 it was coconut and raspberry ripple, delicious!

Iain fancying another new boat
The little pink shop is THE ice cream shop
Leaving Tobermory
We had a lovely paddle down and across the Sound of Mull and for once the wind was behind us. We stopped for a quick lunch, really to tidy up any leftovers, at Fuinary before heading on down and into Lochaline and back to the slipway again.

Kevin and Iain in the Sound of Mull
I felt a great sense of achievement having paddled over 200k in a few days, but I don't think my hands would have held out much longer, by now, they really were held together with tape. It was a really good bonus to get out to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. We saw lots, although no basking sharks (I think they are just a figment of some folks imagination) and had about as many eat stops as kilometres we paddled and the company was great. Would I do it again?, yes, but I'd leave 15 minutes earlier so as to catch the ice cream shop before it closed.
Back at Lochaline at last

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