Corryvreckan


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July 23rd 2006
Published: July 28th 2006
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Weather Report

Overcast at times but some good sunny periods. One heavy shower in the evening.

Setoff shortly before 9am with the intention of following the road to its end at Inverlusa in the north of the island and then to follow a track to The Gulf of Corryvreckan celebrated for its rip tides and whirlpools.

Within a few minutes I had spotted a seal hauled out on a small rock so that was the first photo opportunity of the day. He disappeared rapidly as I approached although not before I had taken a decent photo.

About three miles along the road I detoured to the right and followed the short track leading up to Ardfarnal a small crofting community on a headland. Interesting display board describing the croft from where I walked onto the top of the headland - excellent views. Retraced my steps along the track and turning left onto an unmarked rough track came across a pretty beach also home to the island airstrip with amusing notice advising campers not to pitch tent on the runway - grass and used irregularly. Close to the track I spied two small standing stones and hacked my way through the deep undergrowth.

Returning to the main road I continued the long journey stopping at various point to take photos - some good ones of red deer stage although perhaps I now have enough of those.

Just before 2pm I reached Inverlusa - a community of just three houses. Snacked on grassy area overlooking the foreshore.

Having rested I setoff on what I knew was going to be a hard trek to the end of the island with its views over Corryvreckan - famous for its whirlpools and considered by the Admiralty to be unnavigable. First part was hard enough along a steeply undulating minor road. In about thirty minutes this brought me to a small car park with sign say motor vehicles not to progress further. Mileage to go was given as Corryvreckan 7, Barnhill 4, Kinuachdrachd 5 miles.

The track was little better than riding over builders rubble presumably because over the years people had dropped rocks onto the road to make it more usable. Perhaps for four wheel drives but not bikes. Anyway - at one point I met a young Scottish couple who had given up and were heading in the opposite direction. I continued on with the surface deteriorating all the time. Eventually passed Barnhill - famous because that is where George Orwell lived in the 1940s and wrote ‘1984’. Some twenty minutes later I reached Kinuachdrachd - a single farmhouse. Here the track totally disappears and the bike had to be abandoned - that is something you can do on these island in the reasonable assumption that it will be there when you return.

Continued on foot for 2-3 miles which brought me out onto the cliftop above Corryvreckan and looking out to the west coast of Mull. There was little whirlpool activity to be seen because that varies according to the state of the tide - however wonderful views in all directions as far as Ben Nevis. Next week I will be on Mull - ie looking back to today’s position so hopefully I will be lucky then.

Set-off on the return journey estimating it would take about three hours - I was not far out. I stopped a couple of times for a snack and change of clothes when the temperature fell. Worst part of the return was undoubtedly when a heavy shower soaked me - by the time I returned at 9.10 I had dried out once more.


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