It's been a while since I've woken to the heat of the sun on the tent and what a glorious feeling it was.
Today I was bound for the Isle of Canna, the westernmost of the Small Isles. The crossing is two and a half hours and the ferry made a stop in Rum first to let off those people exploring for the day. I'm going there later in the week and I hope it still looks like it did today!
Rounding the north west of Rum there was a shipwreck of a French trawler that ran aground there in a storm in 2011. It was an ugly, rusting sight next to the lush green of the mountains and a stark reminder of just how powerful nature can be.
With Canna on the horizon it wasn't long before we pulled into the harbour and disembarked. The best thing about being on the bike on these small islands is that I can get to places before the hoards descend and have them all to myself for a wee while. Today was no exception and I rode out to Coroghon Tower, a medieval prison tower.
Just next to it was a lovely little beach with white sands and blue waters and there wasn't a soul to be seen.
As people arrived I headed off to ride the rest of the road and over the causeway to the neighbouring island of Sanday.
It was a rocky sandbank road from here that allowed me to get to the church that I'd seen from the harbour. Unfortunately it was locked but it was a nice peaceful spot to eat my lunch.
There wasn't much more to see as I didn't have time to visit the Celtic cross over on the other side of the island and it probably wasn't very ankle friendly to hike there anyway. I did pop into the old dairy building though which had a small exhibition of the history of island life.
It seemed that the community shop and the Canna Cafe were the places to be as I pulled up to people enjoying lunch in the afternoon sun. In the shop I bought a flapjack and postcard and only then did I realise that it works on an honesty basis. You write down what you've bought and leave the money, helping yourself to the correct change. It's little things like this that remind you that you're in a completely different world.
Getting a refreshing ice cold beer from the cafe I sat on the grass in the sun, ah - this is the life!
My ankle was rather sore today so I took off my shoe and support to give it a breath of fresh air, who knows, a bit of sea air could be good for it, haha. I made sure I wasn't too close to anyone though as my socks sure do pong and I'm all out of clean ones!
Just over 2 hours since we arrived and it was back onboard the ferry. It's quite a long haul just for a few hours but it was definitely worth it and the views of the crossing were amazing in the summer sun.
I managed to beat yesterdays 4 mile ride by a whole mile today - I'm really getting into this concept of life in the slow lane, in fact I may not even get back to Sunderland at this rate! Unfortunately the message doesn't seem to have reached my stomach as I'm still eating like I'm riding 30 miles a day and I'll be lucky if I don't end up fatter than when I started at this rate.
Once back in Mallaig I headed up to a circular walking route which thankfully wasn't too taxing on my ankle. This will be my last overnight on the mainland at Mallaig and so I decided to go out in style for my camp spot.
A bit different looking down on the town but certainly no less beautiful with amazing views of Eigg, Rum and Skye in the distance.
My entertainment for the evening is to sit, watch the world go by and the sun go down on another days adventures.
PS. I found another wee hitchiker this evening stuck to my stomach of all places, +1 for the tick count!
Miles ridden = ???
- Ice creams eaten = 8
- Ferries taken = 23
- Islands visited = 20
- Wild camp nights = 32
- Ticks removed from body = 4
- Distilleries visited = 6
- Breweries visited = 3
- Bothy nights = 6
- Trips to A & E = 1