Many Magic Moments on Mull

Bank holiday weekend in May was planned to spend on the Isle of Mull. We have had many great adventures on Mull and this weekend was no exception! Catching the ferry from Oban at 22.00 we headed for Craignure on the good old Calmac! The great thing about leaving Oban at this time in the summer is you get some fantastic views!

Arriving at Craignure it feels a bit like wacky racers along the singletrack road along the Ross of Mull to enjoy the spectacular camping at Fidden Farm. This campsite was a hidden gem but it has certainly got more popular! Arriving just after midnight we managed to get a sea view!

Sea Kayaking around Iona

We have attempted a trip around Iona during previous trips but the weather had always had the better of us! We were about to be rewarded for the wait as the wind was blowing no more than a 3 but the swell off the south of Iona looked ominous! 

Leaving the campsite we headed across the sound of Iona heading for the south end of the Island. 

The water was flowing fast around the south side as the tide was going out even though there is little tidal assistance in the area. We knew once we rounded the end we would have the wind behind us and fly up the west side. The plan was to land on a beach south of Eilean Chalbha on the North of Iona and admire the view out to Staffa and the Dutchmans Cap! 

After a brew stop and explore it was time to continue the exploring around the North side of the Island. The views were stunning and the weather was feeling more like summer. The next stop was just before the ferry port to admire the Abbey before heading back to Fidden. 

The paddle back was like paddling through 3 seasons. The wind increased and the sound of Iona started to get a messy chop to contend with. However once in the shelter of the bay we headed for the campsite and a well earned brew! 

The plan was to leave Fidden the next day and head for a campsite at the head of Loch na Keal. Boats loaded we were good to go! 
The weather had improved considerably which meant a famous Mull sunset! We took the football onto the beach after tea and watched in awe as the sun set north of Iona. 

The next morning we headed around to Gruline and the next campsite. Overnight an expedition ship had moored in the sound of Iona and looked a little out of place! 

The plan was to ride a loop around the north of the Island visiting the famous Tobermory. Having nephews we were excited to visit the home of Balamory and looked forward to the colourful sea front! 

Tobermory Road Ride 

The Tobermory loop would be an undulating 50 miles with some of the best scenery Mull has to offer. The road was quiet heading out of the campsite towards Ulva Ferry. This was to be the start of our next adventure the next day heading out to the Isle of Staffa! 

The ride gave fantastic views over the Ben More estate and out to sea. Past Laggan Bay we hit the next significant climb at Burg. This was a pass that would drop us over to Calgary Bay. There were a few cars on the pass who offered words of support and encouragement! 

On the way down the view out to sea was stunning and it did not help when eyes needed to be on the road! The ride along Calgary Bay was stunning before hitting another steep incline away from the bay.

The road climbs out of Dervaig passing Loch Peallach before it drops steeply to Tobermory. There were many birds flying around and we were excited when we thought one was an eagle. However the very knowledgable lady next door to us in the campsite soon set us right! 

The descent was great down to the sea front at Tobermory. Lunch was to be had in a lovely cafe on the sea front.

It was soon time to climb steeply out of Tobermory heading to Salen. We soon turned off the main road and climbed a small pass that would drop us at the campsite. 

We felt we had earned our tea so we treated ourself to a meal at Glen Forsa Hotel. The food was great and the view from the hotel was stunning. Well worth a visit! 

Fingal's Cave and the Isle of Staffa

Very excited about the prospect of paddling out to Staffa and with the slightest of chances being able to enter into the famous Fingal's Cave! Before we got ahead of ourselves we decided to take each stage at a time and judge conditions as we go! This did not however stop the excitement! 

Launching at Ulva Ferry was spectacular in itself! The weather was stunning and the view was equally as stunning! When the scenery and weather are like this the camera is in constant use! 

We headed out of the sound of Ulva exploring the many islands on the way to Little Colonsay. 

As with tradition it was a brew stop before tackling the open crossing from Little Colonsay to the Isle of Staffa. The landing was not the easiest but the view was well worth the effort! 

After a brew it was decided that we should get going to explore the Isle of Staffa paddling the 4km crossing. The weather was great and the sea had a little wind chop and nothing else! It was looking promising to get up close and personal with Fingal's Cave! 

Approaching Staffa it is clear to see why this is so popular with sea kayakers, it simply is spectacular! We circumnavigated the Island admiring the basalt columns that characterise its shell. 

As it is popular with tourist boats it is very rare to feel alone on the island but out at sea you get a very different feeling! We spent time going close to explore the many nooks and crannies before heading around and into Fingal's Cave. Entering and sitting in the cave was one of life's moments! 

We reckon we were the most photographed sea kayakers in the Country as the many tourists snapped away. After going as far in as we dared we paddled around to find a place for a brew and to discuss how cool paddling into Fingal's Cave was. The view back to Mull was fantastic and apart from the fast incoming tide that kept threatening to flood our brew stop it was a great place to stop before heading back.
Before heading back we decided to paddle through the small causeway and take one more look at Fingal's Cave. 
The crossing was a little messy at times as the wind had increased but with the right angle we soon reached the end of Little Colonsay. Our last brew stop took us to Traigh Bhan and a lovely beach. 

The paddle back to Ulva Ferry was a little slower with the view and Islands needing more exploring. This paddle was one that we did not want to end.

Back at Ulva Ferry we had to wait for the tourist boat to disembark its passengers before landing. It certainly had been a day to remember with great memories and views to match. Back at the campsite we were greeted with a nice sunset and moonscape to top off a great day! 

Home Time

The next morning before heading home we were treated to a view of the nesting eagles. This topped off one of the best weekends ever! 
Leaving Craignure we passed Duart Castle and some fancy boats before landing back in Oban. 

Once again Mull had not disappointed. The paddling and riding had been spectacular. We will most certainly be back to explore more !

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