Sunday; a pleasant,if short stay, in Connell with an early breakfast and a ride down to Oban for the 9am ferry to Coll. We had all our winter clothes on since whilst it was bright and sunny it was bitter cold with a North wind. We got on the ferry and had a brew to warm us up only for a very Inconsiderate woman to open the door of the saloon to the outside world letting in the bitter cold. I closed the door only for it to be closed again. Not wanting to cause a scene we eventually went elsewhere but never really got warmed up again and landed on Coll feeling almost hypothermic. A visit to the pub for some lunch and we felt much better before setting out to exlore the island. We bumped into another couple on bikes who were spending the week there and since there are only two roads bumped into them again later. We firstly headed north and the scenery got better and better until we reached the most northerly point and ended up at the site of an early croft with the old 'Black' house in situ with some new thatch and some
old traditional buildings overlookin a most fabulous beach. The old farmer came along and told us of the old times and how they grew potatoes in the sandy soil etc and then gave us a magnificent £20 for Cancer Research - amazing. Next along the road we headed south amongst the heavy traffic of 4 cars we came across an RSPB sanctuary and Bill thought he heard a Corncrake. Hae hen got out his mobile phone on which he had a corncrake in its memory and played it. Sure enough the Corncrake replied to my amazement. We got talking to a girl at the sanctuary who said there were several there and as we spoke one cried out froM in the garden and lo and behold it came out to eat and I was able to take its photograph. This is very rare since most people have rarely heard a Corncrake and never ever seen one. I have promised to sell Bill the photograph for a generous donation to Cancer Research. We swooped down past the 'Airport' and made it back to the digs for a shower and visit to the pub for dinner and a talk to the locals of this island of 220 people.
A fitting end to a great day.
Tomorow; Island number 12, Tiree and a forecast of rain, Agh!
I am a retired engineer, born in 1945, who loves cycle touring. I have ridden Lands End John O Groats, C2C, the Three Towers (Blackpool - London -Paris Blackpool), European section of North Sea Cycle Route (Rotterdam to Bergen, 3,500 km), several sportives and trips to Spain and the Alps, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia, Turkey, Japan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu (India), Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Australia, including Tasmania and New Zealand. Kyushu Japan, USA, Republic of Ireland and Sicily. I ride several sportives each year and ride one day every week with some retired riders and usually lead a gr... full info