2010-05-03-scotland-westcoasttour_(oban-malaig)

After a pleasent night and a good breakfast in Oban I set off for the next part of my trip. Some time ago I went to the most westerly point of the UK mainland. Sadly there was a bit of weather there that day. (It were rain' down in buckits!) So I have decided that I shall re-visit again today. The see how far I get before nightfall.
I headed out of Oban on the A85. The last time I went to Oban I would have needed to drive Tyndrum and then along the A82. Since then the rail bridge at Connal (close to rail thanks to the prat Dr Beeching) Has not been converted to a roadway. It is single track for vehicles and is controled by lights to give traffic each way an eaqual turn. This now forms the start of the A828 which has become a major road and cuts off many many miles from the previous route. SO I quickly made my way through Benderloch, past loch Creren, through Pornacroish to join the A82 near North Ballachulish.

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p5030054 Just a few miles further is the Conran ferry that crosses Loch Lynnhe to get over to the A861 that winds its way west to the Ardnamurchan peninsular.
p5030055 This short fery crossing cuts out the drive round the loch and through Fort William.
p5030056 Once on the other side it stopped raining. Here I am heading south by the side of Loch Lynnhe.
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p5030058 Soon the road cuts across from loch Lynnhe, westwards through the vally of the river Tarbert.
p5030059 Although a well made road it was pleasantly quiet.
p5030060 I stopped for a leg stretch at the start of Loch Sunart just after the A884 trun off.
p5030061 Quite clearly a glacial valley
p5030062 I had a nice chat with the bikers before continuing along the A861 and later the B8007.
p5030063 Somewhere along the B8007 I just had to stop to get a shot of these flowers
p5030064 I don't know what they are (yet) but I'm guessing some sort of violet.
p5030065 I find it astounding how nature manages to get so much detail into so little space.
p5030066 Much later on I stopped for tea and cake at the community centre (aka the rubber egg shop) at Kilchoan. There I found these wall charts that should help me work out what kind of plant I'm admiring.
p5030067 Nope, they're not on either chart. Possibly a discoloured sea rocket but I can not tell.
p5030068 Still may come in handy for other plants.
p5030069 The road west. It's only about 6 miles but the road is little more than a track and so it'll take some time. I don't care got lots of time.
p5030070 The way back. I will have to come back this way later.
p5030071 The tea shop where I had the tea and cake.
p5030072 Looking South over the Atlantic ocean to the Isle of Mull
p5030073 ANd here I am. The lighthouse at the point of Ardnamurchan. It is still in service but like all other lighthouses is no longer manned. The foghorn compressed air tanks can be seen in the foreground but they are so rust now I doubt if they could be pressurised.
p5030074 Looking across the car park in to the northeast to Sanna bay and Sanna point.
p5030075 and looking south west to the isle of Coll
p5030076 There is a small tourist info place and tea shop. Here is where I bought ticket for the tour of the lighthouse. (Hmmmmm more of that later).
p5030077 The views from the top of the lighthouse is spectacular in every direction. Well worth the gruelling 150 step climb along a very claustrophobic spiral stair.
p5030078 There's my 'ikkle rad vroomcar in the car park. Doing a fine job of getting me about.
p5030079 The islands, left to right, of Rum, Muck and Eigg. In the far centre is Skye.
p5030080 Looking down at the old foghorn. Thinking back I never went to look at that closeup. I'll have to go back now!
p5030081 A better view of Sanna Bay
p5030082 again Rum, Muck, Skye and Eigg
p5030083 The isle of Coll
p5030084 OK OK so I'm a bit geeky and was interested in the working bits.
p5030085 maybe a bit too geeky.
p5030086 OK I'l give over soon.
p5030087 The light assembly. Two banks of 8 100W car headlights offset by a few degrees. The entire thing rotates to give the flash,flash,pause.
p5030088 A plaque to prove it's really here.
p5030089 In the converted living area, which is now a museum there are many exhibits both about and not about lighthouses.
p5030090 I can name all the bits and say what they're for and how they work. Luvvvverly things.
p5030091 One of the three air compressors. They don't look too bad from a distance.
p5030092 The other two. Note the green pipe joining them at the top of the picture. This is the compressed air pipe that leads out to the storage tanks. The silver pipes are the exhaust.
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p5030095 If you look closely you can see the ravages of time and standing idle.
p5030096 The tourist info shop where you can buy tickets for the lighthouse tour. There were about a dozen people came to the top of the lighthouse while I was there (gasping for breath)! I was the only one who had a ticket.
p5030097 And farewll as I start the drive back.
p5030098 That idiot in front just drove right at the sheep and almost ran them over. I, of curse, just crept up nice and slow and waited for them to let me pass.
p5030099 It's their home after all.
p5030100 and I'm not in any hurry. I don't know why but I took no more photos that day. I drove back down the B8007, re-joined the A861 where I had left it and continued to the A830 arriving in Mallaig at about 8pm. Where I had no problem at all of getting a room for the night, with free wifi. A nice fish and chips and then to bed.


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