Holly managed to take a last day off with us before we left the peninsula, she drove us out to the most westerly point of mainland UK where she spoiled us with cake. Rob had a swim in the sea and sprocket (the dog) bounced around wildly, ears flapping, through the ferns as only a spaniel can, we’re pretty sure the dog can actually fly!
Leaving Ardnamurchan we boarded the ferry to the pretty fishing town of Tobermory on Mull. Steep climbs and rolling hills followed until we reached ferry number two; Craignue to Oban landed us back on the mainland, we stopped at the fish shack just off the ferry and enjoyed some of the best mussels ever. After lunch sustrans cycle route 78 led us from Oban and followed pretty rural lanes to Loch Awe where we pitched the tent for a night, the midges were still bad and we have been spending as little time outside the tent as possible in the evenings, there’s always seems to be a price to pay in the most beautiful places.
From our woodland camp we cycle south in the morning, Rob’s bike making an increasingly loud creaking noise. He’d cracked a baring case in his hub and we eventually found a shop that could fix it, the extra effort of carrying a bag of bearings around for a year now finally made sense. We got to Kintire; a long peninsular rumoured to have been used by the BBC to judge whether a penis was to be allowed on TV, the angle of the peninsula would be the maximum angle of a penis allowed. We have no idea whether of not this story is true, but we like the imagery of people in suits siting around comparing nobs and maps for viewers safety.
From the ‘penisular’ we hopped across to the Isle of Arran. Just one more long climb and another picture perfect coastline and we camped over night in the woods a short ride away from our final ferry which would take us across the Firth of Clyde. Rising early we made our way to the docks but had misread the timetable which resulted in a long wait in the tourist info centre. Eventually back on the mainland again the roads got busy once more, we deviated off route a little to avoid the traffic taking the longer but more scenic route to meet our friend Yoda in Dumfries, he’d driven up for the long weekend and we took a trip down to the Lake District together. As all good friends should he’d remembered the wine AND the cake.
Lucky with the weather again we got a break long enough to climb England’s highest peak (Scarfell Pike), leaving from Seathwaite (the wettest place in England) we made the ascent looking up to misty peaks which lifted as we climbed, only closing in again right at the summit. On the descent we were quickly back into clear skies and only hit a few drops of rain as we arrived back to the car.
After a final night laughing over a bottle of wine Yoda dropped us at Kendal with a brief tour around Lake Windermere on route. We had a farewell lunch by the river and an impromptu swim and went our separate ways late in the afternoon.
Stopping to ask a farmer if he had a little land we could camp on, he directed us to a couple of large fields. When we arrived though his sheep were a little too interested in our kit and we abandoned the idea in favour of a campsite a couple of miles farther. We have a leisurely few days now across the Yorkshire Dales to the Peak District where we meet Rob’s sister and yet more friends for some hiking and presumably MORE wine and cake?!