Calmac to adventure

by backpackingbongos

There is something about catching a Calmac ferry that makes me feel like a small child going on a big adventure.  Previous trips have included Mull, Skye, Raasay, Rum and Islay.  As a backpacker there is something magical about leaving the mainland and crossing the sea to get to the start of a walk.

This is something that I am going to be doing this week with my good friend Rich.  The hugely underrated island of Jura is going to be our destination for a four day backpack along its uninhabited west coast.  When listening to those that love the wild places talk you often hear them mention Knoydart, The Cairngorms, Fisherfield and Assynt to name a few.  What you hardly ever hear is the word Jura.  I was fortunate to visit the island in Autumn 2009 and the place has left an impression ever since.  It is probably the wildest and most spectacular place that I have visited in the UK.  The north of the island was my destination then and will be again at the end of this week.  There are no soaring mountains or hidden corries here, just low hills, bog and the most amazing uninhabited coastline you could imagine.

It’s a place to take your time, watch the wildlife and slowly explore raised beaches, cliffs and sea arches.  A couple of remote bothies and a wild camp on a beach will be our accommodation.  My blog post on my first visit to the island is still available if anyone fancies a read.

Backpacking, bothying and bongoing on Jura

Lets hope that the weather is a bit better on this trip!

Glengarrisdale bothy will be home for a night.


15 Comments to “Calmac to adventure”

  1. That’s one on my to do list, even got the guide book but 2 yr old stops play, if the weather is good you’ll have a great time, don’t forget your tick remover!

    • One of may favourite places Simon. The guide book is a good one. Visited Rum last year with Peter Edwards when he was researching for his Small Isles guidebook and managed to get my ugly mug in print. The Jura ticks are buggers, lets hope a blast of cold has killed a few off.

  2. Visited briefly Jura during my short holiday on Islay a few years ago, it really does offer a feeling of remoteness and without even going too far out the village. Don’t forget to visit the distillery, good stuff they do!

    I miss my Calmac sailings, last one I did was a proper one, Barra-Oban…7 hours!

    • I have to admit to not having very good sea legs Yuri, so am hoping for a calm crossing this time. Can’t wait to park up the car and set off into the wilds. Think I’m getting a cold though, which is not going to be very welcome.

  3. Looking forward to that post James. I love visiting the islands and the Ferry is all part of the adventure. I’ve been to Rum a couple of times and the ride from Mallaig to to Rum via Eigg is awesome

    Hoping to visit Jura at Easter next year. Bit a debate at the minute between my Corbett bagging mate who wants to do the Paps and me who wants to walk the NW coast. Might take a whole week there so we can do both

    • Aye I was looking forward to your trip report from Jura this year Andy, shame that you could not make it. When you go next year you could have a big day on the paps before heading to the NW coast. It’s just a long long journey to get up there.

  4. I have to say, that all looks and sounds pretty idyllic James, I could be feeling a tad envious….!

    • You may not be envious once you see the weather forecast from Sat afternoon onwards, looking like wind and rain sweeping in from the west 😦 I hope they have got it wrong!

  5. James, have a cold but happy one!

  6. I love to watch dolphins argyll. A place to treasure in memories.

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