Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Welcome to Oban

I thought I had better get my bed sorted out first when I hit Oban just before lunch time, so I headed for the Backpackers Hostel and booked in, treating myself to the luxury of a single room. I am in a seperate house which is owned by the hostel, but just up the road from the main building, it's very quiet with not many people here. We have our own kitchen downstairs, and I am on the top floor.

I have a library book with me and I picked out one of the walks to do for this afternoon. It's about four miles. From the harbour I followed Gallanach Road which runs alongside the Sound of Kerrera. There are a lot of these colourful flowering bushes everywhere.

About two miles along the road you come to the Kerrera Ferry, it's only a short distance to the island, and if you want to go across you have to rotate the Ferry board to show the black side and the Ferryman will see it from the other side and come across to fetch you. That's how it should work. I chatted to an American woman who had been waiting ages, I think the Ferryman must have fallen asleep. In this photo you can just about make out the parked cars next to the waters edge and the jetty. This is where I was sitting when I did the quick post earlier, sheltering under my umbrella.

The walk takes you back into Oban along the top of the hills. There is a viewing area up there called Pulpit Hill, I had a look but the visbility was not good, very misty.

As I got back down to the harbour a boat came in, this is the one I will be going to Mull on. It was a quick turnaround, everybody off and everybody on, no messing about. Loading up.....

and away she goes.

There was still time for a look around before I went back, and according to the map I got from the tourist office there was something called McCaig's Tower, so I followed the signs.

There are a lot of steps to climb as it sits on the top of a hill. Construction started in 1895 and finished in 1902. John McCaig decided to build it as a memorial to his family to give work to a number of unemployed skilled masons.

There are magnificent views over Oban to the islands of Mull, Lismore, and Kerrera. Not good for photo's today though as the wind was blowing the rain sideways and I couldn't shelter the camera lens from the spots.

A big walkabout day tomorrow, I'll have a look at the map and decide where to go next. Catch you tomorrow.


  1. I love Oban!
    I've spent many a while up there.
    Always stayed on Oban caravan and camping site, almost at the end of Gallanach road that the hostel is on.
    The gateway to the Isles could not be a better description of Oban.
    When you go on the ferry to the Isle of Mull, please pay attention to the announcements and let me know if the announcements still mention buying 'trinkets' in the ferry shop.....This made us laugh our socks off when we first heard it.

    Have a great time!

    Sandie xx

  2. I've been on Google maps (satellite image) and took the little yellow man for a walk along to the ferry stop. I could even see the board you mentioned. WOW its amazing! I feel as if I am having a little holiday every night when I log on. The views are wonderful.
    I noticed there is quite a nice looking Tesco in Oban and thought I bet Ilona has been in there checking out the bargains for tomorrows lunch. I am glad you bought the mobile computer its so nice of you to share your holiday with us.

  3. Hi Ilona, I really enjoy reading about your travels. This time you've taken me back to the summer of 1976 when I had a summer job at a hotel in Loch Awe village. What a lot of memories come rushing back! We'd hitch a ride into Oban for something to do after our morning shift and go back on the ancient rattletrap school bus. The journey was always a riot with the older lads fighting for the privilege of shifting the gearstick for the driver and the lasses cheering them on. No H&S rules in those days! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  4. What beautiful colours those bushes are. I love the harbour and the Tower - it almost looks Roman!

    You seem to be having a great time. Are you there before the midgies? Would love to visit Mull myself but we've never got around to it.

    It's really interesting following your trip.

  5. Wow! that tower is amazing. I always loved viaducts and I love this too.

  6. This is wonderful....I feel like I'm on holiday with you (but I'm not getting wet in the Scottish rain).

    Hope you are continuing to enjoy your adventures.

    Sue xx

  7. Super Scrimpers on at 8.30pm tonight on Channel 4 and, again at 9.00pm on Channel 4+1. Will be watching. I don't think it's long enough, just getting into the programme when it ends.

  8. You have inspired me to think about Scottish holidays! I quite facny the Kintyre way - catching ferry to Arran, ferry from arran to Argyll adn exploring that droopy bit of west coast Scotland!!!

    Your hols look wonderful! Enjoy and hope the midges are kind!

  9. The colourful bushes in the picture look very much like Rhododendron bushes, they are out now and in full bloom everywhere and Scotland seems to have a lot of them. Every time I have been to Oban it has been raining, wonder if you managed to get to Mallaig the journey on the train from Fort William to Mallaig is lovely. I did that journey earlier last year. I am loving your journey==== Danneke LTC


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