11 miles walked, ~500 miles driven
(total 1,154 miles walked)
Another week of inclement weather but lots to see and yet another change in the landscape as I ventured into the SW Highlands and then into Argyll and Bute, the county to which the Isle of Mull belongs.
Having a car has been enabled me to make the most of my trip in the bad weather, certainly providing shelter and thus indirectly promoting a positive outlook. I have seen more, and also less, than I would otherwise have done. The extra things I have seen come from covering greater mileage, stopping at more museums and the like, and of course from travelling inland as well as around the coastline. Where I feel that I miss out is by not being immersed in my surroundings, which means less wildlife and a faster, less intimate experience. I have enjoyed the contrast more than I thought I would, although I do look forward to getting back to the exercise of walking (I haven’t stopped eating cakes and it’s taking its toll).
This week the theme has definitely been the white sandy beaches. When I first got to Arisaig I was astounded by the pure white sand and the little islands of rock (and sometimes grass) that punctuate the bays and are marooned at high tide. The sea this week has taken on different colours, particularly around Iona, which I think comes from the relatively shallow bottom that is a mix of sand, seaweed and rock. Truly stunning when the sun comes out.
I enjoyed my first experience of a Highland Games and I definitely have to go back to Mull as it’s a beautiful island and has so much wildlife. I agree with the description I’ve heard of Mull being “The jewel with the gem at its feet”. The third highlight of the week was standing at the top of the lighthouse at the Point of Ardnamurchan in the glorious sunshine admiring the views.
I feel a little sad to be leaving the Highlands behind next week. Despite the (mostly) terrible weather I have really enjoyed this wonderful part of the country and can see why it’s very popular with foreign tourists.