Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Short Break In Oban - Ganavan To Dunstaffnage

Oban Bay

This was our last day in Oban so, once we'd had breakfast, paid the bill and checked out, we headed back up to McCaig's Tower to get some decent shots out over the firth since the weather was still pretty good. What really made it better looking was the fact that the sea was glassy calm!

Island Views

Ganavan To Dunstaffnage

Then, it was once again down into town for the makings of a pack lunch and off for another walk. Just a short one this time so we headed up to Ganavan, planning to walk around the coast to Dunstaffnage Castle. It's about a four mile round trip so nothing too strenuous, especially with a couple of hours worth of driving ahead.

Ganavan has a lovely sandy beach and I remember we spent an afternoon on it a few years ago one warm September day. We headed off along the beach towards the cliffs and onto the pretty rough path leading around the base of the cliffs. It has to be said that the path is mostly composed of broken off rubble from the cliffs and is pretty rough so sturdy boots are a good idea. I also have to mention that there is a tricky step to negotiate on the cliff edge that you might find a show-stopper if you're not very sure-footed or confident above drops into the sea. I fancied just leaping over the gap but Lorna managed to find a more sensible route so we made it over safely. Mind you if anyone had slipped, then they'd have been in the sea with possibly a broken bone or two as well.

After that the path leads on towards Dunstaffnage without any further problems. You come across the ruined Chapel before the Castle, which is also sort of ruined with the addition of a small tourist shop and ticket stall. The castle itself is a ruin as well and we'd been in before so didn't fancy paying to see it again so we sat down in the grounds and had lunch on the grass.

Dunstaffnage Castle

The return trip involved walking back as far as the cliffs and then following the faint path over Ganavan Hill, which was a much more pleasant way to go. The views were better and the Gorse bushes were in full bloom so the smell on the wind was excellent. Then it was back down onto Ganavan beach for another wee rest on the sand before heading back into Oban for some last minute shopping. Managed to pick up a Stornoway Black Pudding, as we both love the stuff, an Isle of Mull Truckle of cheese for my mum and dad and a jar of mint boilings for Lorna's dad.

Then, sadly it was time to head home to Glasgow. There were some really good views of Ben Cruachan, Ben Lui and Ben Lomond, all of them covered in snow, on the way back. Pity I didn't manage to get any photos of them.

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