17 October 2011--And so farewell to Knoydart. How often does it happen that good weather finally arrives the day you leave? Well, not
today...it's even more miserable than it's been, which I guess dulls the sense of regret I normally feel on departure from a special place.
Nevertheless, I intend to return...there is much unfinished business. Ladhar Bheinn lies awaiting.
A rough and queasy crossing to Mallaig is followed by the long drive to Oban, where we are scheduled to pick up the ferry for Colonsay. We make two stops, one at Camusdarach (Camusdarroch in some sources), where the beach scenes in Local Hero were filmed, the other in Fort William, just for a break (although the Grog & Gruel is tempting). Arrive in Oban midafternoon to find the ferry has been canceled. I'm not too surprised--there's a strong west wind, in direct opposition to the pier at Scalasaig. We check in with the B&B on Colonsay (they already know) and scramble to find a room in town. We're lucky with our first try, a guesthouse on the Corran Esplanade, on the north side of the harbor.
We settle in and relax a while, watching out the rain-pelted window as the ferry for Mull glides by. Tobermory's ferry pier also faces east, but is better sheltered by the high bluff surrounding the harbor, I suppose.
It's been a long time since I last stayed in Oban, ten years or more. Sadly, the venerable Oban Inn is closed, the building boarded up and looking alarmingly dilapidated. It's been this way for a few years now, I gather, despite various rumors of reopening. It would be a terrible shame if this historic 18th-century hostelry were lost forever. I'm afraid it will rot there for a while yet, until demolition is the only option, with replacement by something bland or ugly or both.
We find passable food and drink at Markie Dan's Bar. Ron then goes off to bed, and I wander into the rainy night in search of a good pint.