Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Day-4: Mull

On paper the plan for today looked straightforward. Starting in Tobermory I would follow the west coast through Dervaig, Calgary, and Kilninian then cross the island to Salen, and down to Craignure in time for the 3pm ferry to Oban.

I expected it to be a bit of a challenge, but at the planning stage six hours to cover 45 miles seemed ample to allow a few breaks. Faced with reality, yesterday's slow pace on hilly roads was the first wake up call, and a more detailed look at the map over breakfast this morning persuaded me that I needed a fall-back plan.

So I divided the route into sections, and worked out that if I covered the first section in an hour and a half I could still make the ferry. If I did it in an hour I would have time to spare. It actually took me nearly two hours. The next section was no better. So by the third section I had given up the original plan, and I was beginning to wonder what to do if I missed the 5pm ferry.

Then after 25 miles of roller-coaster the crinkles in the road levelled out. I don't know what got into me, but I covered the last 20 miles at a cracking pace, and arrived half an hour early for the 3pm ferry. There was enough time to sample the first Irn Bru I had tasted in many years - which was possibly a mistake.

From Oban I followed National Cycle route 78 up Glen Lonan, It's a lovely route. There's a bit of a climb out of Oban, but after that it's very gentle. Which was just what I needed after a strenuous time earlier in the day.

The weather was cool, but otherwise perfect, and I think I've managed to collect GPS traces of a few roads that haven't yet been charted on OSM.

All very satisfying.

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