I found a fantastic travel report about a trip to the remote north-east of Islay titled backpacking, bothying and bongoing on Islay. A trip that was nearly cancelled due to a 3hr traffic jam in Glasgow but the author managed to arrive on time at Kennacraig. Imagine the contrast between the busy city centre one day and walking alone in some of the remotest areas of the island on the next day. John Muir did just that, wrote a really nice report about it and took some great images. Time to share it with you all.
Proaig Bay, McArthurs Head and the Isle of Jura
John's trip started at Claggain Bay in appalling weather after his campervan almost blew over by strong winds. John "The road from Port Ellen passed a couple of distilleries with familiar names, Laphroaig and Ardbeg before becoming single tracked as it wound its way through low wooded hills. In the darkness with heavy rain and gale force winds I felt pretty disoriented, this was heightened when rounding a corner there were two large stags standing in the middle of the road! At the end of the road I found a parking spot and went to sleep with the wind rocking the van pretty violently, my last thought being whether it was possible for the van to be blown over!"Continue reading...
When he woke up the next morning he walked a long stretch along the coast towards McArthurs head and up to the An Cladach bothy in really bad weather: "I suddenly found myself exposed to the full force of a gale. I was now on a well defined ridge but the strength of the wind made it almost impossible to move." The first part of John's post reads as an adventure novel and he continues: "I was terrified of being lifted off my feet and I was aware of sea cliffs to my right, if I was blown over there was nothing to hold onto."
John wasn't all that unlucky with the weather. After a good night sleep in the bothy he woke up and wrote: "A couple more hours sleep were called for so I curled back up in my sleeping bag, I drifted off again with the sound of a stag roaring on the hillside. The sun was shining when I finally got up and it was like a summers day outside, amazing that the weather can change so much in a few hours." After a walk over several ridged in beautiful weather John wrote: "As I reached the final summit the light was quickly fading and I had to get a move on as I did not want to still be on the hills in the dark. Unfortunately the following day the rain and gales returned and I could not face walking in such horrible weather." The next day John visited the Isle of Jura where he made another backpacking trip and great report. If you want to know what bongoing is follow this link