2009 Summer Tour – Day 4 (Ardnamurchan)
After breakfast, we rolled the bike down the B&B’s extraordinarily steep driveway, and then rode it down the hill into Tobermory and on to the ferry jetty on the harbour. From there, we took the ferry across the Sound of Mull to Kilchoan in Ardnamurchan.
We’d decided to nip over to the beach at Sanna before heading to Salen (or possibly Acharacle, depending on how we felt). So we rode over the hills to Sanna Bay, where we were rewarded by a virtually empty beach composed of glorious silver sands – here we had a drum up. On the walk over to the beach we walked past former crofting fields, with streams populated with a variety of small wildlife, and with butterworts growing around the banks. We were also rewarded with spectacular views of some of the Inner Hebrides (Coll etc).
After our cup of tea, we retraced our route back to Kilchoan, and onwards towards Salen (not the Salen that we previously visited on Mull, but the Salen on the mainland). This involved considerable climbing. This was made more difficult by problems with the gears – at one point we were basically using two of our 27 gears! On the other hand, we met my student Claire’s mother (bizarre, but true) and had further magnificent views across to Skye.
As one travels east along Ardnamurchan, the scenery changes from bare hillside to broadleaf woodland, full of oak, beech and birch. Oh, and more cuckoos… Once over the worst of the cimbing, we rapidly descended to sea level, where we found a nice spot to pause for lunch on the banks of Loch Sunart, before pressing on to Salen, on a remarkably switchbacky road.
Once in Salen, we decided on a bit more comfort than afforded by the typical B & B, and found a room in the Salen Hotel. This is a small hotel (only three rooms, and we were fortunate there’d been a cancellation. It also features rather good food, prepared largely from local ingredients. Dinner was local smoked meats as starter and king scallops on chive mash for me, Carol had venison and vegetable pie.
31.76 miles; 8.8 mph ave; 34.2 mph max; 3:36:24; total distance 209.20 miles