Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Most westerly point

By Stuart Lowe on

There was no wind this morning but there also weren't too many midges so taking down my tent was relatively painless. It was wet though.

The next hour or so was on and off heavy showers as I rode along Loch Moidart, up Drynie Hill, and over to Acharacle. I visited the shop (hungry cyclist mode). Outside the shop an English accented man asked me about my bike. He was pretty impressed by the trip and told his two companions when they came out of the shop. They immediately gave me £20 for MSF. Thanks! I'll have to add it to the site when it loads in my phone.

Rain near Acharacle

I then visited the "Internet Cafe". They had WiFi in an area with little or no phone signal so became quite busy with tourists. I spent a bit too long sitting with a cup of tea so didn't leave until midday. I wasn't going to make the 13:15 ferry at Kilchoan.

The road turned right to Kilchoan with the sea on my left for once. I've got really used to it being on the right so it was a bit odd. The road didn't reach any great height but was constantly up and down with blind corners on single track roads and tourist traffic. I hadn't realised that this was the way to "mainland Britain's most westerly point" as well as the island of Mull. That explains why it was so busy. Anyway, the tourists and the hills made it slower going.

I stopped by the side of the road and had three fried egg sandwiches, a banana, a bar of chocolate, and some liquorice (from Norway). It was a hungry day.

Eventually the road struck inland and up to skirt around the imposing Ben Hiant which was the flank of an ancient volcano that also formed Mull 60 million years ago. An information board told me that the basalts in Giant's Causeway were formed at the same time. This was around the time Europe and America started to drift apart more rapidly.

Ben Hiant

After circling Ben Hiant I dropped down to Kilchoan. I could either get the 15:30 ferry or visit the most westerly point. Having been to the most northerly, and on my way to the most southerly, it seemed a shame to miss it. It was 10 km away over likely hilly, single track roads. It was after 3pm and the ferry was at 16:45. I'd be cutting things fine. I enquired about leaving my bags with the Kilchoan tourist information but they wouldn't let me. So up and over the hills I went, fully loaded. I was frustrated every time I had to stop for slow, inexperienced, tourist cars. I didn't have time for this. I reached the lighthouse at 15:44. I didn't have time to enjoy the moment, the glorious weather, or the sandy beach. After a quick photo I was back over all the hills I'd just tackled. I arrived at the ferry 15 minutes before departure as it requests in the timetable. I could relax.

Mainland Britain's most westerly point

Ferry to Tobermory

Over the sea took me to the many coloured buildings of Tobermory (the basis for the kids TV show Balamory). I visited the Coop and then a sailing store where I purchased 4m of thin rope as an experiment to keep my tent flap open as an awning. Then I rode up the steep hill to find the Tobermory campsite. Like every campsite I've stayed in in Scotland, it was £8.