Sunday, 10 July 2011

Mull and beyond - the start

At the beginning of the year Iain suggested a wee paddle round Mull. Sounded good to me, even better that someone else was doing the organising.
Saturday 18th June saw Iain, Kevin, Ken and myself heading up to Lochaline via the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe. Getting the boats off the cars seemed to keep the folks waiting on the ferry occupied, especially when we kept bringing out more stuff to pack away. I have to say, seeing all our kit made me wonder if we would ever get anywhere, but it's amazing how much can be stuffed into all sorts of nooks and crannies. We set off clockwise at the back of 5pm, which meant I had a long paddle before my icecream in Tobermory. Within 10 minutes saw a couple of harbour porpoises. We headed over to Craignure and stopped for a bite to eat before rounding the coast to Duart bay where the Lord Nelson was docked.
Iain eyeing up a new boat?
A paddling bothy?
Camp No1
We carried on to the entrance to Loch Spleve where we had our first camp. It wasn't long before we had our first otter sighting, along with seals and deer, toads - and midges!
Next morning when starting off we spotted some magnificently horned goats on the headland beside us. We crossed the entrance to Loch Buie and stopped for lunch No.1 in Carsaig Bay. This day had us paddling alongside huge cliffs that seemed to go on forever. They were all topped in mist (Iain insisted this was not mist, but steam flowing out of the hot tubs on the tops, all surrounded by swaying palm trees) and were lined at the bottom by huge rocks which had been eaten away over the years by the sea, leaving holes where the waves kaboomed into.

Endless magnificent cliffs
Iain at the arches

Kevin and Sarah
No3 lunch spot
We carried on past the Carsaig Arches and onto lunch stop No2 where an eagle was flying overhead. We were now nearing the beautiful beaches of Uisken and looking back, it was amazing to see how far we had come. Lunch No3 was our next break, with a short paddle to Traigh Ghael beach, our camp for the night. This is where Kevin, our club's senior coach announced he never wants to paddle ever again! It was a long, tiring but still enjoyable day. Kevin soon changed his mind once he'd had his tea and a wee big dram. This camping spot was stunning, the beach was perfect, plenty of firewood and fresh running water, oh and lots more midges.
Iain's alternative paddling
Kevin glad to be almost on dry land
Traigh Ghael beach
Having a well deserved rest

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