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  • Day18

    Lismore - island hiking

    August 18, 2015 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    On the very strong recommendation of Adrian, I spent a day on the Isle of Lismore. I don't think it really lived up to his claim that it is literally the best and most amazing place ever, but it was very pretty, quiet, and relaxing. It's not one of the main tourist islands around here (like Mull, Skye, Iona) so there were just 3 other tourists getting off the ferry with me (pic 1) - no fighting the crowds here! It's called "the garden island" but I think "the farm island" would be more accurate, it is almost all covered in sheep/cattle farms.

    I followed the other tourists up to the cafe/visitor centre/museum (yes, it was all one building) and it wasn't supposed to be open yet (at 10:30) but the owner kindly opened it up for the crowd of (4) people arriving. I got a (hand drawn) map and proceeded to the ruins of Castle Coeffin (pic 2, it's about 800 years old) on the cafe owner's recommendation.

    The way to the castle was quite unclear - had to go down driveways alongside fields and through closed gates. At one point I got a fright when farmer in a nearby field stopped his tractor and angrily yelled "what're ye doin'? Ge' over here!" a few times... before I realised he was yelling at his dog. Whew.

    Next, I hiked to the highest point on the island. Only 127m up, but quite difficult because there is no path (and I also have quite inappropriate hiking shoes) - so, finding my way over streams and fences and avoiding mud, poop, and thistles. Worth it for the spectacular views though, here is a photo sphere from the top: https://goo.gl/photos/Ep19iHkX73jAWjJu6 and there are a few more pics on this post.

    Finally I hiked back down to the road, past the lochs (one in pic 6), toward the lighthouse at the south end of the island. Unfortunately (after jogging a bit in a last ditch effort) I had to turn around to make it back before the last ferry left. Less than a kilometer (judging by GPS) from the end of the road, but I really didn't want to be stranded there overnight!

    Despite what everyone says about Scotland, it was hot and sunny all day, and I even got a bit sunburned!
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