Cycling the Hebrides: Day 13: Salen to Tobermory

We set off as we always did full from breakfast, heading west onto the Ardnamurchan peninsula, a single track road snaked its way along Loch Sunart. The sun was shining and traffic was light for a change. The going was tough as the road would ascend sharply to descend moments later. There was a good ten miles of this, all in the knowing a large hill was to come. It was warm and we were sweating stoping only to drink and wave off midges. We were heading for the Kilchoan ferry at 13:35 so we’d make Tobermory early. We arrived at the bottom of the hill in good time, changing gear as we spun out the first incline. The road took a turn and in the most dramatic fashion a massive volcano came into view. Not the spewing molten lava type but the more serene extinct type covered with grass and rock. The hill rose up out of the sea majestically and the road had a nice view point where most of the cars that had hurriedly passed us were now. We stopped and contemplated the hill that was before us. The road took an inland route to circumnavigate the hil and had a modest incline to it but it went on forever. We started, low gear, spinning away. Slowing to allow cars to overtake when we heard their engine close.

We reached the top and looked back. The toil of the hill always seems worth it when you get a view even though we got a view at the bottom. The sun was still belting out rays, simmering our exposed skin wondering if andys head would look patchy from the holes in his helmet.

We played bunny hop with a campervan whose occupants were at the bottom of the hill giggling at our disdain when we saw the hill ahead. They offered a friendly wave each time we passed each other. We made the ferry for 11:35 and saw that we’d just missed the last one for four hours as the one we were hoping to catch and the one after were cancelled as the tide was too low. We’d noticed recently that the tides seemed absurdly low, often retreating a hundred metres exposing sand and mud and hunners of jelly fish.

I took this opportunity to go for a swim in the sea, I changed in the empty waiting room and tentatively made my way down to the shore. I stripped further into just my trunks. I got to my ankles and it was freezing. I shuffled further in covering my knees and to my nether regions going onto my tiptoes to stop the water from reaching the important parts. I took a few deep breathes, put my goggles on and ducked under. The water freezing took my breath away. I bobbed back up and then started swimming breast stroke. The water so clear I could see fish and sea weed that looked octopus like waving in the current and the waves. I spend a whole 5 mins swimming and decided it was enough, salt water was going down my nose and I did really like being able to see all that sea life especially since the numbers of jelly fish I’d seen on the coast the past few days!

We decided to lunch at the local cafe come community centre and hung about like a pair of toerags in the community garden swinging on the empty swings and laying on the hammock. It was a fine play park but empty of children, at school I suppose.

We eventually retreated back to the pier and chilled out, Andy reading his book and me exploring the rocky shore. The ferry came on time for 1640 and we were in Tobermory for 1720, the crossing being calm with at least one sea mammal seen tho can’t be sure what it was.

Tobermory is our last stop before our return journey which also happened to coincide with my Aunt and Uncle’s holiday. We took this opportunity to have dinner with them in our hotel which had an impressive view over Tobermory Bay. The evening was spent eating, drinking and telling stories of our trip and the islands we’d seen. 11pm our latest night so far we went to bed!




One response to “Cycling the Hebrides: Day 13: Salen to Tobermory

  1. Pingback: Cycling the Hebrides: Day 15: Tobermory to Edinburgh – Indyref chat | Glenn's road to recovery·

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