Sunday, 5 January 2014

Counting sheep: I am not dreaming, I am on Island of Kerrera, Oban.

Sunshine over the hills of Isle of Kerrera, Oban, Scotland

Inner Hebrides are a group of islands stretching for about 150 miles near the west coastal line of Scotland. They are rich in history: from the Neolithic period (standing stones) to the Viking migrations, various cultures have left their mark on the landscape. Also, the group of isles is a habitat for numerous birds, cattle and marine wildlife such as dolphins and sharks.

Sheep Herds and fences close to the seal colony on Island of KerreraWe took a small stroll from the centre of Oban to the Kerrera ferry port (3 miles). Two alternative ways are going south and they will bring you to the meeting point. Pick up the one you prefer. One of them is crossing a steep slope in proximity to the ferry port. The second is following the coastal line. At the meeting point I spotted a group of kids and a lady from the hostel. Good to have some company! We had to wait a couple of minutes for the boat man to appear. The truth is the Island of Kerrera isn’t that far away from the land. A bit chilly air, but the sun was on the horizon so favourable weather for my hiking. 
Once on the other side, we saw the map and I made up my plan to cover the whole island for less than 5 hours (anti-clockwise). 

Basically, I was moving in a circle starting from the port to the right where the seal colony was and then moving south. Most of the time, the path is rambling along the coastal line. Romantic and a bit gloomy atmosphere which makes you dream about epic battles and glorious past. Fences for the herds are scattered across the whole landscape. Do not disturb them or else the wrath of god will be upon you. 

Ruins of Gylen Castle, overlooking Firth of Lorne

On the other side (southern) of the island you will encounter a Tea House. Warm up your bones and heart inside and steal a moment for yourself. Then it is time to go back. Do not stray away from the route otherwise you might miss the majestic ruins of the Gylen Castle. It is facing the Oban bay and reveals fantastic panoramic view. Needless to say history is in abundance and is pouring out from every stone. 

Walk back to the ferry port

Now time to relax and chill out on the green grass near the ferry point, observing the birds. The kids were running here and there and I met the lady from the hostel once again. ‘A piece of paradise’, I was thinking for myself while chatting with my companion. You may decide to make a picture of yourself near the old-fashioned red phone cabin. 

Weather phenomenon

The information I have had about the local climate warned the enthusiastic tourist for abrupt changes. What I witnessed on the ferryboat back proved you should not underestimate the Oban weather. Imagine in one moment sunshine and then everything around you gets dark and blizzard is approaching. 10 minutes after, the rays gently caressing you face. Sun, show, rain, sun again. Bizarre phenomenon! Not for the fragile and “delicate” souls, on the contrary for the brave and courageous wanderers. That’s what Scotland is about.

Overlooking the sea, southern part of Isle of Kerrera

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