South back to Tobermory
South back to Tobermory
Zoonie was sailing nicely down the Sound of Sleat towards Ardnamurchan Point in the distance. The Go to Waypoint setting on the chart plotter decided it had had quite enough so we used the Auto setting and adjusted it occasionally to allow for tide and leeway.
The grey skies kept us warm and dry but as we approached the point the wind was funnelling up the Sound of Mull hugging the corner and creating an acceleration zone of wind on the nose, so the engine went on and brought with it not just slow progress headlong into the wind, but hot water and a good charge for the batteries. Rob had his shower first, then I had mine. Then I ran off enough water for a load of washing and by the time we picked up a buoy off Tobermory the water tank was again full with blistering water and the batteries boasted 100%, perfect.
We were re-visiting for once and there was a sense of fun knowing which pubs we would go to and what they were like; the comfort of familiarity made a change from cruising onwards to the unknown.
bound on the 494
After a couple of days spent locally, we chose a day based on the weather forecast to catch the 494 bus to Calgary, the pretty bay and beach we had passed on our way from Iona to Tobermory the first time, around three weeks before. For £13 return we bounced for an hour each way along the single-track road, juggling who gave way with the oncoming traffic and taking in the lay of the land, clicking away on both cameras at will, achieving a trip we thought we might have missed; I was happy.
A visitor to the castle on his return to Alberta, Canada, decided he so liked the name he used it for the extant fort there. Later, in more settled times, the growing city took on the same name, from this tiny place in Scotland!
We paced the beach and scrambled up onto an old well laid track towards a stone quay in the distance. Questions were entering my mind as usual. Who used the quay and for what transfer of goods? Also, we knew there was a ruined village here, Inivea, another victim of the Highland Clearances, but where was it, I could see no sign. David Tennant found his way to it when researching his ancestors so maybe we’ll have to find the episode of ‘Who Do You think You Are?’ to see how he made it. Shelter would have been important so it would have been built where there was protection from the Atlantic in its bad moods, but the terrain was overgrown and with my history of being a tick magnet I wasn’t up for pushing my way through thick wet undergrowth. So, it remained hidden from us for the time being.
A vein of crystal granite ran up the hillside from the quay forming a natural stone wall and a man-made wall was built a couple of metres next to it. The two walls were once roofed to form an estate office, or so I think it read on a very worn sign by the entrance.
The quay was substantial, built with a mix of pink granite boulders and grey rock. It turns out it was used for the movement of sheep to other islands and back for grazing and market journeys, placing it on the time line after the clearances.
We followed a trail up through woodland to a café for lunch and were met by a mystery aboard our return bus. On the seats in front were shopping bags and a handbag. Calling out the findings to the driver was met with a long suffering “I know, I know.” Ah well, duty done I thought and then wondered if the lady owners would be getting back on at some point on this circuitry route.
The mystery was solved outside Mull’s oldest pub, The Bellachroy Hotel at Dervaig. These two friends had shopped early at the Co op in Tobermory, climbed aboard 494 and enjoyed the run to the pub for lunch, and finally enjoyed the run back to the doorsteps of their homes, giving them a nice excursion and a lift home with their shopping, so avoiding the steep climb up the hill from the town laden with the week’s groceries. Maybe they even had free bus passes. Now that’s what I call Boxing Clever!
We had heard from Liz and were going to spend some time with them the next week, (this week, tomorrow to Saturday in fact) so we popped over to Loch Drumbuie for a few days of R & R in a settled period of weather.
the lost village of Inivea on his Google Earth app, up the hill
from the quay
and tucked away, as we thought. I wonder if anyone will ever
live there again, many of these 'clearance villages' still have
their names and that's a start.