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Mull - Dun da Gaoithe - beware the Blackbird.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:58 pm
by Gordon Ballantyne
A liesurely start from the Hostel in Oban on the 9.15am ferry to Mull, bound for Dun da Gaoithe, just above Craignure, where the ferry docks.
The bike was left in Oban as the back brake was down to the metal and totally ineffective - making a screeching noise with nae reduction in velocity. A descent on only the front brake was too risky - even for me !


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A purposeful stride down the A849 had me heading towards the bottom of the track that zig-zagged up to a collection of radio masts on the ridge between Meol nan Eun & DDG. The weather was thankfully a little cooler than on Rum, so the ascent up to the masts was quite easy, punctuated by a sighting of a pair of eagles quartering the ridge ahead.
The top of DDG seemed awfy far away when initially breasting the ridge, especially when a glance at the map confirmed it as the furthest top ! However it was fairly easy going up the ridge to Mainnir nam Fiadh and a short hop over to DDG.
On the way back I met a couple from Stafford with their airline pilot son soaking up the atmosphere just above the last radio mast. We had a great crac and parted much richer for the meeting.
I'd decided to take a "shortcut" directly down to the roadfrom the lowest radio masts, as I could see that some of the forestry had been clear felled and a road had been driven up the cleared ground, with only a wee bit of birk trees in the interveninig ground. What I hadn't realised was, that there was a lot of felled conifers which had been left as cover - presumably for game.
What a struggle to get through this few hundred meters of mixed scrub 7 felled trees with pointy branches threatening to poke my eye out or stab me in the bum. Anyway, I crashed through this for half and hour until I emerged via a wee burn into the open ground and on to the track. Back down the A849 to the pier to await the arrival of the next ferry at a nearby cafe.
As I sat down at the table on the veranda to get torn into a croissant & jam, I thought it prudent to get a napkin ( knowing I'm a messy eater ), but no sooner was I in the door of the cafe than this "tame" blackbird swooped on to the table and nicked ma piece !
It had obviously happend before as the cafe owner immediately offered me a replacement croissant. He blamed this birds behaviour on the Coop folk next door feeding this blackbird !
Unfortunately no pics as the Mull ones seem to be corrupted.