Published: May 25th 2012May 24th 2012
Bright, clear day again as we set off on ’MV Lord of the Isles’ to Colonsay, where we are also to visit Oronsay on foot as we did with Erraid yesterday. Due to the ferry timetable we will stay on the island until tomorrow night. I do not think this large ferry will pay for itself today since there are only four cars a small lorry, two bicycles and a handful of foot passengers. We must almost equal the crew. The journey goes down by Kerrera, Seil, Easdale and Luing islands, which are interesting to see from another angle. The ferry on its outward leg goes through the Great Race at the Gulf of Corryvreckan with its turbulent water and dangerous tidal streams. Even a boat of this size was being thrown about needing constant steering correction, with Scarba close by on our right and Jura to the left (or is that starboard?). Heading south down the west coast of Mull two days ago we met a lone cyclist, who stopped to talk, and told is he was from near Paris and had been touring Ireland and got wet through and had to abandon camping several times. Once he had spent
some time in Scotland he was going to Norway. He amused us by saying that he was doing some research (on himself). Arriving on Colonsay at lunch time we got a bite to eat at ’The Pantry’ and then on to Oronsay since it was low tide at 1pm and access can be made one hour, or so, either side without having to swim. We made it across on our bikes but had to navigate ’The Strand’, which is about a mile of sand peppered withe worm casts, giving us a very rough ride, and two inches of water at the last stretch near the island. This is reputed to be the landing place of St Columba on his way from Ireland to Iona. Arriving at 2pm we took,a photograph of ourselves on the rocks to celebrate the completion of the marathon challenge of 42 islands in 26 days. At lunch time we met three ladies, one of whom had a ’Giant’ electric bike which she let me try. I found it a great machine and even at the economy setting gives you a great surge of power as soon as you start to pedal. It had 7 gears in the rear hub and one battery, although you can get and extra battery for a greater range. I would recommend one to anyone who is perhaps not as fit as they had been, or would like, and yet wants to cycle and experience the outdoors. Magnificent. A coffee next at the Colonsay Hotel, as you can see we like our brews, and check out the menu for tonight. Bill found there was a quiz tonight at 9pm and his eyes lit up like beacons. So, it looks like we are quizzing tonight and riding back in the dark with no lights. If the police want to catch us they will have to come from the mainland. Colonsay is one of the most remote islands in Argyle with nothing between it and Canada on the West and Jura to the East and the mainland 25 miles away. On the way back from Oronsay we saw three cuckoos on a wire, which is quite rare, but could not get just close enough for a good picture. We saw a red throated diver yesterday to add to the black throated and great northern divers we have seen earlier on this trip. Bluebells and wild irises are also in abundance, as elsewhere in the Hebrides, at this time of year and create a nice blanket of colour. We went to the pub and took part in the quiz and managed joint third, which we were happy with. One more day.