Day 3 Jura-Tayvallich to Oban 71km 878m ascent
Cumulative 222km 2778m ascent Ferries 5 Islands 3
Cumulative 222km 2778m ascent Ferries 5 Islands 3
|Jura Passenger Ferry Jura to Tayvallich|
Weather alert, very brave in shorts. Dreich* plus a bit. Midges...man eating! 500m from hotel to ferry terminal (aka pier) and the blighters chomped my legs!! I still love Jura.
*From the UrbanDictionary.com "A combination of dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and miserable weather." At least 4 of the above adjectives must apply.
Weeks before, after seeing a reference to the Jura Passenger Ferry in Richard Barrett's superb Cycling in the Hebrides book (that we based our holiday on), I had booked us and our bikes on the first ferry at 8.45 from Jura to Tayvallich on the mainland. Ferry #5
We said goodbye to the lovely Jura Hotel after a superb breakfast, packed up the panniers and sauntered down to the dock. We were getting better at this routine already. Here is the plan:
Originally we had wanted to take the CalMac sailing to Oban (from Port Askaig) possibly via Colonsay, where on a Wednesday or a Saturday you can spend 4-7 hours on the island arriving from the twice weekly Islay-Colonsay-Oban service and then get the daily Colonsay-Oban CalMac ferry in the evening. However we routed it we could not make it work for a Saturday or Wednesday without having to cut the plan elsewhere, as days go to waste. Even if we had parked in Oban and worked the route as a figure of 8 we were scuppered. But Richard's excellent book mentioned that the private Jura Ferry runs daily, and fortunately it still has funding and is running, but you need to book, as there is limited bike space and only 2 crossings a day (none on Wednesday and only 1 on Sunday). This "Plan B" then entailed cycling up to Oban from Tayvallich. The crossing (around an hour) was a bit more exciting than CalMac, but we didn't see any seals as it was so claggy.
|Patiently waiting at the lock|
|Slow boat to ....|
|Loch Melfort marina|
We did feel a little out of place arriving like wet otters dripping at the lovely Sawdays recommended Greystones. I had been very lucky that they had had a one night gap as this place is usually full and only takes bookings for 2 nights plus unless a gap. All the rooms here have a stunning view of the harbour and the ferries coming and going, it was worth that last climb! We were also kindly allowed to leave our bikes in the shed, which entailed a cross country style yomp down slippy steps in the garden. We were very glad to get to our lovely room and start the nightly hot shower, washing shorts, drying off us and clothes, warming up and eating routine. Very nice home made Florentines were left out for us on the tea tray. I am very good at weighing up a B&B by their complimentary tea trays.Home made offerings are essential. Greystones was excellent. The architecture was very Scottish and very stylishly updated, and had originally been the Maternity hospital. No ghosts of labouring mothers though. I took this picture later on when it had stopped raining and we had cleaned up a bit! Again a 2-3 night stay here would be great. Walking distance to the centre but very peaceful.
|Greystones B&B - not the laird|
|View from our bedroom at Greystones|
|Oh look, a whisky distillery, Oban|
|View from our bedroom; time 22.45 !|
1 Try and avoid trunk roads, although not busy by any means rumbling lorries do make for a workhorse approach to "getting done". There were only 2-3 sections in the whole holiday like this, not bad really.
2 Do not spend the whole holiday dreading the one section of road we knew we were reversing part of later in the holiday. We made the lumps into Mount Everests in our head by the following week. We were fitter by then and laughed at ourselves for making mountains out of molehills, well lumpy molehills but nothing like we remembered!
3 Wash cycle shorts out whilst having a shower, as if treading grapes, squeeze excess water out at hourly intervals and even with heating you are lucky if they dry by morning. No hope of dry shorts if camping in this weather.
Tour d'Ecosse quick links:
Day 1 Isle of Arran and a little Mull of Kintyre
Day 2 Inner Hebrides: Isles of Islay and Jura
Day 3 Inner Hebrides: Isle of Jura-Tayvallich to Oban
Day 4 Oban to Outer Hebrides: Barra and Vatersay
Day 5 Outer Hebrides: Isles of Barra Eriskay South Uist Benbecula Grimsay North Uist Beneray and Harris
Day 6 Outer Hebrides: Isles of Harris and Lewis to Callanish Stones
Day 7 Outer Hebrides: Butt of Ness to Stornoway and Ullapool
Day 8 Ullapool to Gairloch
Day 9 Gairloch to Shieldaig - Applecross Peninsula
Day 10 Bealach na Bà from Applecross to Plockton
Day 11 Plockton to Inner Hebrides: Isle of Skye Armadale
Day 12 Inner Hebrides: Isle of Skye Armadale to Ardnamurchan
Day 13 Ardnamurchan to Inner Hebrides: Isle of Mull to Oban to Loch Melfort
Day 14 Loch Melfort to Tarbert, Loch Fyne
Day 15 Tarbert Loch Fyne to Ardrossan THE END!