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.
Kilberry was an interesting place. First of all there was the inn where someone had recommended the food to me, but I noticed from the notice on the door that it was only open Thursday to Sunday.
Secondly, outside the inn was one of those old red telephone boxes. This one was a bar that read “a wee dram”. There were some wine and champagne bottles, empty I think, on the shelf inside. I tried the door thinking that you served yourself when the inn was closed but I’m afraid it would not open.
Kennacraig is barely a hamlet but it does have a turning off the main A83 road to a jetty. From here Caladonian McBrayne (CalMac) run ferries to Port Ellen and Part Askaig on the Isle of Islay and also to the Island of Colonsay.
The Isle of Islay has about 130 miles of coastline and at one time about 8 malt whisky distilleries. Probably the most famous are Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Bowmore. Besides whisky the isle has some beautiful beaches and a RSPB reserve at Loch Gruinirt.
I am now on the west coast of Kintyre at Tayinloan. I start at the village hall and walk down to the jetty where the ferry goes to the Isle of Gigha. The Isle is only seven miles long and a mile and a half wide. It was bought and is run very successfully by the community.
The path onto the beach is not obvious, you have to go a few yards down the jetty and through a gate onto the sand dunes.
Today the Kintyre Way goes cross country from the east coast to the west coast. I drop my bike off at one end in the bushes so that I can use it at the end to get back to my car.
The path leaves Carradale by the café I visited yesterday and climb into the woods. It eventually opens out with views opening out across the water to the Isle of Arran and Goat Fell, it’s highest peak.