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Adventures around Argyll and Bute, and maybe a bit of The Highlands.

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rustyruth
rustyruth
Posts: 18776
Joined: 23rd Oct 2012
Location: England
quotePosted at 19:39 on 15th June 2014
We had a rather uneventful journey yesterday. The M62, M61 and M6 motorways were quite and even the M74 through the centre of Glasgow was reasonably problem free. It was nice to see that the A82 which runs up the West side of Loch Lomond was open. On our previous two trips up here it had been blocked by accidents and we had to endure a 75 mile detour, so it was fingers crossed that we could make it from one end of the loch to the other without something dreadful happening.  

We stopped for around half an hour at the small village of Luss, which is about halfway along the loch to eat our sandwiches and take a couple of photos. We also realised now was the time to start putting on the midge repellent, the little devils were coming at us like bomber planes. We survived the onslaught and carried on, briefly stopping at the village of Tarbet for another photo shoot. Then on through the village of Crainlarich where we swung East to take the A85 on through Tyndrum and Dalmally. The journey then takes you along the North shore of Loch Awe and finally to Taynuilt which will be our base for 10 days, staying in one of the charming wood chalets on the Glen Lonan road. We were a little early for check in so we carried on the 12 miles to Oban to visit the supermarket to stock up on groceries.

Once settled and unpacked we had a quick bite to eat before walking down the mile or so to the village to partake in a drink in the Taynuilt Hotel, which is the only hostelry for around 5 miles, so it's take it or leave it. One drink later we decided to leave it, we thought we'd bought the pub the drinks were so pricey. I don't know if it's the Yorkshire blood but just under £10 for a medium sized glass of wine and a pint of beer seems a little excessive to me, well compared to what we'd just bought in the supermarket.

Following a quick look around the rest of the village it was back up the road to the chalet. It was a lovely clear evening so I decided to stay up until it went dark to see what the stars were like, there is absolutely no light pollution. Sadly it still wasn't dark at midnight so I called it a day, it had been a long one. So ends Saturday.

We haven't seen a midge around here yet !
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Dave John
Dave John
Posts: 22335
Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 19:51 on 15th June 2014

Sounds like a good start Ruth, look forward to more. Makes a change to be reading rather than writing!! If the Taynuolt Hotel is the only drinking establishment for miles they can just about charge what thet want, captive audience and all that. £10 get me 3 pints in the Rule, but there are another 6 pubs to keep prices reasonbly steady. Look forward to the next installment

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rustyruth
rustyruth
Posts: 18776
Joined: 23rd Oct 2012
Location: England
quotePosted at 20:26 on 15th June 2014

And here it is Dave Smile

 Sunday morning, another dry day, but not quite so sunny as yesterday, it's still very warm though, this area has a very mild climate due to the Gulf Stream.

We hadn't planned anything for today so we decided to drive over the Glen Lonan road to Oban instead of taking the main road. It's much more picturesque, and the local constabulary don't have speed checks set up every couple of miles. Although the route is shorter it does take considerably longer due to the livestock commandeering the single track road. On arrival in Oban the weather was much clearer, we made a quick visit to the supermarket to pick up the things we forgot yesterday i.e a lighter, the citronella candles to repel insects are no good if they are not lit !!

We found a 24 hour free car park (there's the Yorkshire blood again, we like the word free) and wandered off into town to find the Tourist Information Centre. We were interested in booking a trip to Mull later in the week and wanted a CalMac Ferry brochure. Armed with all the info we needed we wandered into the Oban Distillery to book a tour. 

The next tour was at 1330hrs, we had an hour to spare so we decided to take a hike up the hill to visit McCaig's Tower, which looks like a miniature Colosseum like structure sat on the hill overlooking the town.  It's quite an impressive structure and dominates the Oban skyline, I won't bore you with it's history as a quick Google will fill you in with all the details, but it's well worth the climb for the views and the lovely gardens inside the tower.

Back down the hill we still had time to spare so we sat at a cafe on the harbour front enjoying the views and watching the world go by.

There were only eight of us on the distillery tour which lasted around and hour, we got a glass of the only Whisky made at the small distillery which is called Oban 14, we also got to keep the lovely engraved glass. More information on the distillery can be found on the internet should you be interested. Now some of you already know about the £84 50cl bottle of single malt that we ended up buying here 4 years ago, the one that sits in a cabinet at home and we just look at it. Although on this occasion the drink was lovely we walked away before spending £78.99 on a bottle of the special stuff, or £48.99 for the standard. This doesn't mean we won't go back though, our discount ticket lasts for a week. 

Leaving the distillery behind we headed for the CalMac booking office, where we were told not to bother booking, just turn up any day we liked and there would be room. That's great it means we can pick our day according the the weather instead of being tied to a time.

Not much left to do in Oban now so we drove back to Taynuilt on the main road, watching our speed of course. The weather has cleared a lot since we left this morning, so I'm now sat outside typing all this rubbish before I start making sandwiches for tomorrow. We have hired a boat for a full day on Loch Etive, David is fishing I'm going to be captain, though I don't think my RSY skippers and navigation certificate from 1980 are still valid !! Must make sure the camera stays out of the water.

If you don't hear from me tomorrow evening, fear the worst.

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Dave John
Dave John
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Joined: 27th Feb 2011
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quotePosted at 20:48 on 15th June 2014
Had a week in Oban several years ago and have to agree the views from McCaigs are great. Didn't do the distillery trip but did take the ferry to Mull on what was probably the wettest and windiest day of the week. Make sure you take the car as the ferry terminal is miles from anywhere, unless they now go into Tobermory, which was not an option when we wentThe samll distillery in Tobermory is well worth a visit and thw standard 10 oer 12 year malt is much more reasonably priced!! Enjoy your boat and hope your navigation skills get you back home OK!!! At least on a loch you can always see the shore, whether or not it the bit of shore you really want to land at. . .
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rustyruth
rustyruth
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Joined: 23rd Oct 2012
Location: England
quotePosted at 21:22 on 15th June 2014

Loch Etive is a sea loch Dave, but we can't get out into open water because of the Falls of Lora at Connel so we should be OK, David hired one last time we were here with a friend of ours, but I didn't go. Our friend Arthur is huge and there wasn't room for me.

The trip to Mull is an all inclusive tour including the castle, who's name I forget, but it covers the bus at the other end to take us round. It's £66 to take the car and £15 each for the tour, so it works out cheaper, there I go again wittering on about saving money Smile

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Dave John
Dave John
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Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 21:26 on 15th June 2014
Can't remember what it cost us but it was not that much ..but it was 8 or 9 years ago. Nothing wrong with taking care of your pennies ... especially for a Yorkhire lass ! ! ! Sounds a good deal on the bus hope you get a good day.
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rustyruth
rustyruth
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Joined: 23rd Oct 2012
Location: England
quotePosted at 21:28 on 15th June 2014
Thanks Dave, you'll no doubt be reading all about it. We'll pick a day with the best weather, we're here until a week on Tuesday so we've plenty of time.
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james prescott
james prescott
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Location: UK
quotePosted at 21:32 on 15th June 2014
Wont you get fed up??Foot in mouth
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rustyruth
rustyruth
Posts: 18776
Joined: 23rd Oct 2012
Location: England
quotePosted at 22:16 on 15th June 2014
I'll be fine James, I can always find something to occupy myself Smile
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Vince Hawthorn
Vince Hawthorn
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Joined: 19th Apr 2010
Location: UK
quotePosted at 22:21 on 15th June 2014
 Way to go Ruth, sounds a good trip already and Dave certainly has competition with the Travel writing. Hope the holiday continues in the same way as it has started and the weather stays good- look forward to the next instalment.
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