Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lightly peated first night on Jura.

After we left the boathouse at the head of West Loch Tarbert on Jura we...

 ...entered one of the remotest and least inhabited areas of Europe. As darkness fell we negotiated a series of dog legs that connect the inner loch to the outer loch.

Our speed picked up to 10km an hour as dark cliffs and the twilight gathered round us we entered...

 ...the final narrows before we...

...were ejected into the outer loch in a series of swirls and boils that reflected gold from the sky.

In the gathering darkness we scanned the shoreline for Cruib Lodge, part of which is maintained as an open bothy by the Mountain Bothy Association with the permission of Ruantallain Estate. Eventually we spotted the little cottage. There was no light visible but there was a curl of smoke coming from a chimney so someone else was there. Tony knocked on the door but there were just a couple of grunts from two occupants who had decided on an early night. Fortunately this bothy has two rooms accessed by separate doors... we made ourselves at home next door. There is no supply of wood at this bothy but you can cut peat from the hillside above and leave it to dry in front of the bothy for the next person. The peat was pretty damp but I had brought a bag of barbecue charcoal and that got it going. Soon the bothy was filled with the distinctive aromatic reek of burning peat. Indeed we enjoyed lightly peated baked potatoes followed by some lightly peated Jura Superstition malt whisky. We certainly had arrived on Jura.

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