Camchain and tensioner seen up close in a cutaway bike engine

Home Travel StoriesAndy's Scottish Expedition

Easy Onto Mull

By Andy Gray

Day 5: Port Ban to Fidden Farm campsite, Isle of Mull (111 miles)

A rough night with strong winds & rain, it stopped early in the morning and the wind dried the tent. Plenty of time today so didn’t rush and left the camp at 09:45.

Hazy blue skies, darker clouds, sun and the calm waters off West Scotland

Managed to get to Lochgilphead on my remaining fuel just as the heavens opened. I had been expecting it as you could see it following me up Loch Gilp from the south.

Put on the waterproof oversuit before setting off towards Oban. Stopped for an expensive tea at a viewpoint along the way. As I knew I’d missed the next ferry, I had plenty of time to explore down one of the headlands. Ended up at Easedale which used to be the centre of the British slate industry. One of the nearby islands was quarried to depth of 250 feet leaving just the rim of the island, it eventually washed away leaving no trace.

A row of small cottages painted white at the town of Ellenabeich
Round fat mountains and hills in changeable weather riding through The Highlands

Headed back to Oban and managed to get on the next ferry to the Isle of Mull at 14:00 which was handy as the next was at 16:50. The cost of this one was £10.60 for the 50 minute crossing.

Slightly bumpy crossing due to the strong winds. Arrived in Craignure to be greeted by more single track roads. These worked their way through pine forests, gradually getting higher and going between the highest hills/mountains on southern Mull. There were heavy showers on & off but it looked spectacular. The road finally dropped back to sea level and went by the side of Loch Scridain. This was when we hit a traffic jam of highland cattle which took a while to clear as they weren’t even worried about a double decker bus.

On the rugged moors and mountains of Scotland we can make out a rainbow disappearing into a valley
Bleak grey skies, hardy moors and 2 small lonesome lochs
Woolly longhorn cattle nonchalantly block the narrow road on Mull

The 35 mile journey to Fionnphort took quite a while as I had to stop to take photos. Got my first glimpse of the island of Iona where I’m planning to visit tomorrow.

Headed the 1.6 miles to the campsite at Fidden Farm. This is a huge place but only with basic facilities, you’re camping in fields next to the sea along with the sheep.

A rainbow drops into the field with campervans and tents by the shoreline at the campsite

Once everything was set up between the showers, I decided to walk back to the pub to get dinner. Seemed a lot longer than when I rode! Got to the pub to be greeted by a sign on the door saying no food tonight. Good job I’ve got a supply of camping meals back in my panniers.

In darkening skies we can make out Andy's tent, motorcycle and the rugged shoreline at the campsite

No phone signal anywhere round here & dodgy internet in the pub.


If you've a travel tale to share click here.

Llangollen Andy starts his trip to Scotland... by going to Wales! It is a long way from London Village to The Highlands though, give the man a break.
Friends And Finally Scotland Day 2 and 3 of Andy's Scottish expedition - and he's only just reached the borders. He's having way too much fun and should be focused on heading North.
Bad Weather, Brilliant Roads Andy's first proper ride into Scotland is proving to be a cracker even if the weather is dire.
Exploring Arran and The Mull Of Kintyre There's wildlife and scenery aplenty for Andy as he explores Arran and The Kintyre Peninsula. "Mixed" weather is keeping him on his toes though.
Easy Onto Mull Andy is taking in the splendid West Coast of Scotland at a sensible pace. From the Kintyre Peninsula to the Isle Of Mull there's a lot to take in.
Walking On Iona Andy is using Shank's Pony to get himself around the small island of Iona. Thing is the island isn't quite as small as Andy's feet had hoped for.
Mulling Around To The Mainland When Tobermory is a major town you know you've been somewhere remote. Andy is making his way up the West Coast of Scotland now.
Bealach na Bà Ain't So Bad Andy is making his excuses for a late start today, but it's all self-inflicted. It's time to be overwhelmed by the not really scary Applecross road.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North said :-
Andy, you must really have p....d off the weather gods. I do like Mull, quiet and remote but easy to ride too. We went over from Lochaline in the North and were treated to good weather and sea eagles overhead.
Looking forward to hear about Iona as we've never been.
Opportune moment to talk about single track roads, particularly, why do car drivers think there's room for a bike and a car when there clearly isn't. Then when you do have to stop because they've driven straight past the passing place there always seems to be a 2 ft drop where you want to put your foot.
Keep the tales coming.
Upt'North.
27/12/2019 12:14:33 PM UTC
ROD said :-
Upt, The car drivers can't understand why we do not select reverse to get out of their way!
At my size there always seems to be a 2ft drop where I want to put my foot.

Andy, I am enjoying the pics. I really must get up to Scotland next year.
27/12/2019 3:57:55 PM UTC
Andy Gray said :-
I thought the weather wasn’t too bad, it was mainly showers which I can handle.

That’s why you need a big bike and to be a fat so and so - more road presence ;) Multiple bright lights also helps as they can’t work out how big/small you are. I didn’t experience any problems.
29/12/2019 9:11:01 PM UTC

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