Sunday, 12 June 2011

The 'Wow' factor

This is Friday's Blog.

I had been told by several people that Tayvallich was an amazing place. As that was my target for the day I was determined to get there in good time. The day started with a visit to Loch Craignish, with Ardfern as its centrepiece. This was a 'wow' place too, pretty as a picture and a haven for yachties. I cycled to the end of the road to 'nab' another long-forgotten jetty, returning for an early coffee at the hotel in Ardfern.

The route then took me to the Crinan Canal, where I stopped by a bridge and had a long chat with Fred, a South African who now lives by Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. We seemed to share the same political (or should say non PC) views. I then cycled along the towpath for a couple of miles to reach Crinan itself, where the basin between the final two locks (nos 14 and 15) was filled with yachts and other interesting craft.

Tayvallich was now within easy reach and I made it there by 15.30. Before I left home I had been following the Jura Passenger Ferry website, hoping to be able to get across to Jura (don't forget that you can click on any hyperlinked text). It seemed that the ferry would no longer be operating, as it relied on a subsidy from the Argyll and Bute Council, which had been withdrawn. When I arrived at the campsite, I asked about the ferry. Apparently funding had recently been approved and the service had only started last weekend! So tomorrow I will be taking the one-hour journey to Craighouse on Jura, where I'll have four or five hours to cycle up the east coast towards George Orwell's refuge at Barnhill, where he wrote '1984'.

Having pitched the tent I continued, pannier-less, to Keills, where two amazing jetties remain, testament to Thomas Telford's skills. The jetties are next to each other, but one slopes down to the sea and was clearly designed for cattle droving. The other is of standard jetty design, but sadly is slowly deteriorating, as the photos on Facebook will show.

Tayvallich certainly deserves its 'wow' tag. It sits in a sheltered wooded bay and is humming with activity. Yachts and fishing boats fill the bay and the Inn and shop are heaving with activity. I enjoyed the best Thai green chicken curry for a long time at the Tayvallich Inn this evening.

Later, as the sun begins to set, I plan to cycle over to Carsaig, a mile away on the west coast, hopefully an oppotunity for some good photos. No internet signal again, so none tomorrow night as well, as I'll be staying here. Hope no one starts worrying about me....

No comments:

Post a Comment