Whenever I pass a harbour with fishing boats or trawlers they all seem to be ancient. They look to have been painted several times with flaking paint and rust stains from windows and doors. Marine ply decks are chewed up with rusty cables, chains and faded multi-coloured buoys and buckets strewn around.
Most of these boats seem to have come from the shipyards of Glasgow. This was the powerhouse of Scottish shipbuilding but by the 1970’s this had declined as cheaper labour costs were made abroad.
Overlooking Oban is a big tower which is lit up at night. This is McCaig’s Tower which is where I walked up to, it’s further than you think. It was built to provide work for local stonemasons and as a monument to the McCaig family. There are some fine views of Oban and the Isles of Kerrera and Mull.
On my way back down into Oban I stopped to look at the distillery, it is one of the oldest in Scotland, which is right in the centre of Town. You can do the tour with a sample of the golden nectar at the end.
That morning when I looking out of the Youth Hostel I saw a Cruise Ship moored off the coast at Ganavan Bay. It made the CalMac ferries that passed it look like toy boats.
On my walk today I pass three castles, the first is Dunollie just a mile north of Oban. It was the stronghold of the MacDougall clan. It has stunning views, woodland walks and gardens. I continue to the sandy Ganavan Bay and through woodland to Dumbeg.
Between Dumbeg and Dunstaffnage is a European Marine Science Park which does world class research into marine life.
My second castle today is Dunstaffnage overlooking the Firth of Lorne and my third and final castle is Barcaldine which has been restored as a luxury B&B.