Whilst at Oban I noticed boat trips going out to the Corryvrechan and also the Wetherspoon pub at Oban was called the Corryvrechan. I was curious about this and decided I would find out. It’s a narrow strait between the Isles of Jura and Scarba where the strong tides create a whirlpool. It is the third largest in the world and can create a violet cauldron of waves.
Today is another walk from castle to castle, starting at Barcaldine and finishing at Castle Stalker on the islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhie.
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.
I notice on the road to Clachan Bridge a tin church made out of corrugated iron. The building had been derelict for some time until a couple bought it in 2005. They have renovated it making it into their home and a B&B. They have also created a holiday let at the rear. Interesting.
Following the road towards Oban I walk over a hump back bridge at Kilninver where a car and coach are reluctant to give way to each other. This seems unusual around this part of the world as must drivers anticipate bottlenecks and give way to each other with a smile and a wave.
I walk to the end of the road from Melford to the Ardmaddy estate at the end of another peninsular with beautiful scenery and great views out to sea. I pick up the bridle path across the estate towards Ardmaddy castle.
The castle sits on rising ground overlooking Seil Island. The castle looks more like a Georgian stately home than a castle. There are several cottages on the estate that are let out for holidays.
The walk today started a bit later for me as I was moving on from the Camping I had down for the last week. I had to break camp in the wet and try and get the tent dry. After getting wet through before starting to walk did not put me in the best of spirits.
One of the things that caught my eye yesterday was a teashop and gallery by the turning off the main road to Craobh Haven. So I stopped here to restore my soul and well being.
The village of Kilmartin sits at the heart of the glen at the top of a hill. The area is surrounded by many historical monuments including rocks, cairns and sculptured standing stones. of which I have only passed a few of these whilst walking.
At the centre of the village is the parish church which has one of the best collections of standing stones in the country. The village also has a museum in the old manse with a separate building for the visitor centre and café.
I leave Carsaig by the forest track roughly following the western coast known as the Ardnoe Trail. The trail is a cycle route with fine views of the Isle of Jura.
Although this was a cyclist route, I didn’t meet any cyclists on it. I pass an area where trees had been cut down and the logs stacked alongside the path ready for the lorries to come and take them to the mills for cutting.
I leave Tayvallich by road and walk past a small inland loch, Loch Taynish, to the Taynish Nature Reserve. It is an Atlantic Oak woodland, grassland and bog interdispersed with smaller trees covered in lichens and moss.
They have set up a couple or circular trails and an artistic trail to follow. Down by the lochside I find an old water mill. It was a corn mill which now serves as an outdoor art gallery. The trail and artwork was very interesting to follow.
Achnamara is at the top of Knapdale, a newly built village was built in the 1950’s by the people who came to work for the Forestry Commission. The village hall is the hub of the community which is run by volunteers.
Along the road from Achnamara at Barnluasgan by Loch Collie-Bharr the Forestry Commission have joined with the Scottish Wildlife Trust to set up a trial site to introduce beavers back into the area.
Whilst travelling through Argyll I have seen a lot of trees, the county is very heavily forested. It boasts of beautiful woodlands and there are certainly many trails for walkers and cyclists.
It can be a bit scary when you have to walk along a road or forest track and a big logging lorry with it’s trailer on the back comes thundering past. The drivers are very skilled at manoeuvring there beasts around the area.