Early morning atmosphere in Loch Linnhe.
After visiting the Falls of Lora Govert and I had done all the highlights we planned. We were so lucky to have 2 more days left over and felt like another kayak-camping trip. Circumnavigating the Isles of Lismore and Shuna in Loch Linnhe was a fitting option. Starting point was the Pierhouse hotel at Port Appin - a perfect place to embark: with a easy accessible pebble beach direct in front of the car parking and the comfort of a good restaurant at start and finish of the trip (note: there is not much parking place in Port Appin, I won't advise it at busy days!).
Thursday was the first and only day during our Scotland-journey that it was clouded, raining an drizzling all day long. Yet it wasn't an unpleasant day - actually the drizzling atmosphere made the experience of the impressive scenery of Loch Linnhe, surrounded by the Scottish Mountains even more intense. Porpoises and seals accompanied us on our paddle. We headed from Port Appin south to Lismore Lighthouse where we had planned the first stop. Arriving at Lismore point however, it wasn't to appealing to get out there in the rain. The next few places to land (which are rather scarce at low tide) were all occupied by seals or seabirds we didn't want to disturb. Finally we paddled over 30 km's before we got out of the kayaks for an extensive break. Cooking water (Tea (Hans, Coffee (Govert))took a bit longer because the MSR-Whisperlite cooker needed an in the field repair. Sometimes these cookers refuse to work properly for some vague reason, but after repeated disassembly and assembly they always recover in the end.
After the break it was just 10 more kilometres to the Northern tip of Lismore, where we camped between the sheep. The next morning was fantastic - it had stopped raining, and while the clouds slowly disappeared, the impressive Scottish mountains around the mirror like Loch Linnhe appeared. Shuna is only a little isle - so there was no reason to hurry. Between Shuna and Port Appin lies the picturesque site of Castle Stalker. We arrived at the Pierhouse hotel before lunchtime. The hotel-manager welcomed us friendly in Dutch. It turned out she had worked in Leiden in the Netherlands in younger years. After unloading the kayaks, packing the car and changing clothes we celebrated the end of a fantastic journey with fresh seafood in the Pierhouse Hotel. Scotland has made a marvellous impression - we are devoted!
Click on the Picasa miniature for more pictures of Shuna and Lismore.
Thursday 5th June, 38 km, Port Appin - circumnavigating Lismore - no wind, rainy
Friday 6th June, 12 km, Lismore - Shuna Island - Port Appin - no wind