Thursday, 19 April 2012

Day 10 - Oban to Adrishaig, Kintyre, via the Mull of Kintyre Loop

Actual Miles Driven Today - 217

Oban Harbour
My day 10 began at breakfast in the Best Western Queens Hotel, Oban. where I met Alan & Veronica Hedges who are on a touring holiday from Australia. 

Alan, who's business is in the Automotive industry at home, asked me to wait for him so that he could photograph the Mog. 

This allowed me to have a more relaxed  begining to my day. The weather was fantastic again today with mirror surfaced water in the Loch.

As soon as I was ready to depart I was on a series of missions set for me by Dennis ONeil who I met at Whitley Bay. Dennis had been to places that I would have missed if it was not for his excellent advice.

First Stop was McCaig's Tower set on a hill at the back of the town. I was able to drive up there and photograph the whole bay on one go.

View from the Tower
Next was the daily fuel stop. The first ever petrol station I have been in where there is a 'Chippy' frying away at 10am in the same building as the shop and Fuel Sales Desk. Interesting.

I checked the tyre pressures and set off for Seil Peninsular which is a lovely village at the end of a windy single track road.

There I met quite a few people on a coach tour who were interested in my project and happy to make small donations. 

The H4H tin has been out quite a few times now with quite a few Rolled Up Banknotes going in (Scottish which I cannot visually value). I even sold a sit in the car to one gentleman.

I was to look out for the House of Trousers - Look here and you can see how I missed it -

Crinan Canal - Sea Lock
In Good Company with a Couple of 'Old Steamers'
Back onto the road south towards Kintyre diverting down a single track road to the village of Crinan. The Crinan Canel runs from Loch Fine to the open sea at Crinan.

Going Down!

There are about 14 locks along its length and the Crinan Basin always contains a mixture of Modern boats and old Steamers. 

At the Crinan Hotel where I stopped for coffee I met Alan & Veronica again so had a relaxed lunch with them.

South along the Canal 

I was now in trouble because my relaxing morning left me with the afternoon to fit in 160 miles along with one more visit. 

However, why worry as I set off for Campbeltown 80 odd miles down a road I know very well from years of driving it every week. We had a ball along the wide sweeping curves.

Stonefield Castle Hotel

When Planning the Trip I was keen to stay at Stonefield Castle but their website said that they were fully booked for today. 

I decided to call in for a photo shot on the way past and ask the same question. Yes! Plenty of Rooms *#*#'*

The Harbour at West Loch Tarbet

A must is a stop at West Loch Tarbert to look at the harbour. 

In a Public house in Tarbert there is a picture of a little girl talking to an old Sea Captain. 

The conversation is written underneath beginning with the little girls question - YAFA YA? - YA - WA YA YAFFA?

Home form Home?

Another quick stop was at Ronachan Point on the East Coast where there are always a group of seals basking close to the shore on the rocks there.

Putechan Lodge Hotel

Further down the road I pulled in at a Hotel (The Putechan Lodge) where I lived as a guest for over 4.5yrs when developing a factory locally.  Then it was owned and developed by Peter Moll and his wife Terry.

It has changed hands many times, been vandalised and now is being re opened once more.

Machrihanish Bay

Next I stopped briefly at Westport on Machrihanish Bay which is 4.5miles long and curves away to Machrihanish Village in the distance. 

I also visited the gate of the Nato Air base looking for a 'RAF Machrihanish plaque' to photograph with Mog. 

The RAF must have left there as it is now only classed as an MOD site. 

The runway there used to be the second longest in Europe and when Concord was being developed it was used as a reserve runway for it.

The Club House at Machrihanish Golf club

So across the Peat marshes to Machrihanish Village and my old Golf Club. 

I had already been given th Ok to use the clubhouse facilities where I met Ian, the steward who is still there some 13 years since I was there last. 

We had a nice conversation over coffee before I took myself off to the first tee professionals shop.

The First Tee - Chosen as Hole No.1 of the Worlds Dream 18 Holes
 I had taken with me, a 7 Iron and box of three golf balls to hit out into the Irish Sea in memory of my two old golfing partners and a work colleague who had all passed away since my last visit. 

While it was an emotional moment for me, I actually hit three good shots, unusual, as I have not played golf for some time now. The Boys were with me just then.

Where My 3 Golf Balls Went
Job done, I took my photos an departed for Southend and the south most Mull of Kintyre. Of Course I sang the famous song! (or the words I could remember) Why Not?

The View from Southend, Kintyre towards the Ayrshire coast
At Southend, I set off up the single track road to the Mull Lighthouse only to find it blocked by a locked gate??? 

The road condition was Diabolical. A Real Bone Shaker. It was when the Steering Wheel Horn Center fell into my lap that I decided to turn around.

Looking across The Mull to Northern Ireland in the distance.

Southend Beach
I then drove through Sunny Southend with its Golf Course and sandy beaches before turning into the single track switchback road which runs up the east side of Kintyre back to Campbeltown. 

There are a number of steep hairpin roads down to rivers and many blind summits. Once again the road surface was atrocious.

Davaar Island on my run back to Campbeltown
I would certainly not recommend their use for Morgan Motoring. On this basis I chose not to go around the Kilberry head circuit as the road is even worse.

Campbeltown High Street

As this was my only visit to Campbeltown I drove around the Wee Toon as the locals call it. The pile drivers where busy at the Town Pier for some reason.

Where the Jaeger Men's Tailoring factory used to be
 I drove up to 'The Roading' to see where the factory that I was involved in building in 1977/8 used to be. It was just an overgrown piece of wasteland now and a sad sight.

That Road looking across Kilbrannan Sound to the Isle of Arran
Carradale Harbour
Along the Shoreline
My final run was to go back north to my overnight hotel via the east side again to the village of Carradale. 

The road to Carradale is good but after that it was another Bone Shaker and not much fun. I was glad to arrive at my destination in Ardrishaig.  


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  2. Oban Harbour is the prettiest in the world. And Carradale Harbour looks similar to the one in Barna, Galway.