LEJOG DAY 10 – Lochranza to Oban (75 miles)
The ride from Lochranza to Oban was most definitely worth the wait. Having enjoyed a day’s unexpected rest on Aaran, we woke to discover what looked like relentless rain, but thankfully no wind.
Ferries to Claonaig were back up and running and our passage off the Island was a straightforward one. Another day on Aaran and we’d have some serious rescheduling to do. Crisis averted.
From Claonaig we picked up NCN Route 78, which was signpost straight for Oban. We’d cut off a bit of this on an A-road to save time, but for argument’s sake it’s more or less the way we went.
The morning was pretty chilly and the murky hills of Kintyre were not an appealing prospect, especially after a day off the bike. Expecting to feel refreshed after a rest I felt decidedly sluggish as we climbed away from the ferry terminal.
We crossed the northern end of the Kintyre Peninsular and descended into Tarbert for a coffee. Having suffered another sleep-deprived night at the hands of a youth hostel roommate’s thunderous snoring, we were glad of the caffeine and also the chance to warm up after a fairly fresh crossing.
On leaving Tarbert the weather cleared, and as we followed the water’s edge north we saw salmon leaping in farms to our right. Suddenly this felt like proper Scotland and, except for the now beautiful blue skies, the Scotland I’d been expecting.
Cutting inland we followed a tow path connecting the sea with Loch Crinan to our west. It was odd seeing sailing boats waiting for lock gates to fill up as they took a short cut to avoid the long, jagged coast lines.
As we left the tow path and headed northeast the terrain flattened before climbing again as we skirted the north shores of Loch Awe. Rather that stick to the water’s edge we were undulating over the hills around the lake, making for a tiring couple of hours.
The roads were almost completely car-free and the views over the Loch were definitely Awe-some…
As we neared Oban I ticked another item off my Scottish must-see-things list, as herds of grazing highland cattle lined the roads.
Arrived in Oban. Ate chips. Too tired to go into more detail.