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Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking trip.

Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking trip.


Postby mountainstar » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:01 am

Date walked: 04/09/2013

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Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, on the Isle of Jura.

In May 2012 the MBA took on and renovated a Bothy called Cruib on the Isle of Jura. That was enough of an excuse for me to head back for another visit to this West Coast Island.
After weighing up various ways of combining a stopover in the Bothy over 3 days, I finally came up with a plan of including a night wild camping by Glenbatrick which is about halfway down the west coast between Cruib and the Foelin Ferry. It looked straightforward enough, no paths but you just follow the coast.....although I had read reports on how rough going it could be. :roll:
I had asked my friend Keith to join me on this trip, but with a recent knee problem which saw him in a Swiss hospital for 4 days at the end of August (Long Story) he felt that he may not be up to it, at the 11th hour he decided to come along, partly due to a good weather forecast for the period.

Wed 4th September.
Walk to Cruib Bothy 3 miles (4.77k).
Weather. Sunny spells, calm and hot.

We left our other half’s (who would be living in B&B luxury in Tarbert on the mainland for the 2 nights) and boarded the 1pm ferry that leaves Kennacraig for a pleasant sail. Plenty of time for a couple of bottles of Islay real ales with a grand view of our Island home for the next few days as we sipped our expensive beer in the viewing lounge… well worth it though. :D

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The Ferry to Islay

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The Ferry to Islay

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A pint with a view, Islay ferry.

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Port Askaig, Islay


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The Ferry to Jura

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Jura and the Islay ferry.

The ferry reached Port Askaig at 3.05pm; we then hopped onto the 3.20pm ferry that sails on its 5 minute journey to Jura. One of the few buses that go up the Island to Inverlussa was waiting for passengers off the ferry. En route it picked up the local children who had just finished school at Craighouse, although most of the children had English accents we were entertained with several traditional Scottish songs by them on our journey north up the Island, very sweet and apt. :D


Cruib Bothy Day 1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



The bus dropped us near to Loch a’Mhuilinn where a path heads for the east end of Loch Tarbert, several white painted rocks point the way ahead at intervals, not that finding our way was a problem as strangely this path seems to have been strimmed of long grass recently.

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Start of path to Cruib Bothy

Once we reached the Loch side we dumped and hid our tents and any food and drink we did not need that 1st night, saving carrying a few kilo’s as we would be heading back this way the next morning.
At the head of the Loch there was a river to ford where we found the stumps of an old wooden bridge, nearby it was possible to cross via some large rocks which straddled the river (If the river was in spate it would be a problem getting across I would imagine.)
The path disappeared at this point, we kept along the shoreline as far as we could, then headed inland high above the loch over several grassy ridges, all in all this was very rough going with very boggy parts, huge areas of 6 foot high ferns, 3 foot high grass with uneven runnels underneath and Lochs stopping us making a bee-line for the Bothy. On a good path this would have taken us just over an hour, in-fact it took us nearly 3 hours! It was all worth it when we arrived at this magically set Bothy, which is set in a lovely sweeping bay looking south over Loch Tarbert.

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Arriving at Cruib Bothy

As we walked along the pebble beach to the Bothy we were disappointed that there wasn’t any driftwood washed up on the shore line for our Bothy fire later, no problem we said, as we could probably collect some dead wood in the trees that we has seen just behind the Bothy. After checking out the interior (There are 2 rooms with table, chairs and sleeping platform, a lovely Bothy and a credit to the members of the MBA who renovated it) and unpacking we headed to the trees only to find a 6ft deer fence barring any access to our hopes of fuel for our fire that night. :(
Our disappointment was short-lived though as just behind the Bothy is a peat bank, with some peat already cut and drying on top…we would have our Bothy fire after all. :D
As darkness fell we settled into a nice night by our peat fire with a very welcoming hot meal, beer and a few drams to while away the night. As forecast it started to rain about 10pm, which lasted for a few hours or so, good timing for us in our warm and dry Bothy. :D

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Cosy in Cruib Bothy, Jura.

Thurs 5th
Coast walk around Loch Tarbert.
Weather. Sunny, calm and hot.
I awoke at dawn with a view through the window to see the rain had cleared.
Up at 7am for the sunrise and pictures….

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Sunrise, Cruib on Loch Tarbert

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View from Bothy, Loch Tarbert just after sunrise

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Cruib Bothy at sunrise

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Packing up our gear.

Breakfast, packed, Bothy cleaned and we were away under blue skies, we chose a slightly different route on our way back, but it was still very rough going.


Cruib Bothy Day 2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Leaving Cruib Bothy

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Leaving Cruib Bothy

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Loch Tarbert

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Loch Tarbert

Once we had picked up our gear we headed around the south side of Loch Tarbert.
It was nice to be on paths again in this short section which led us to a boathouse, soon after the boat house the path finished and found ourselves on trackless terrain again. This was tortuous, even worse than the north side of the Loch, with added seaweed covered slimy rocks thrown in for good measure… Oh and the dreaded midges whenever we slowed down or stopped. :shock:

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Loch Tarbert

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Loch Tarbert


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Loch Tarbert

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Loch Tarbert

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Loch Tarbert

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Loch Tarbert

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Loch Tarbert

We walked for a few miles when Keith said he didn’t fancy several more miles of this torture, his lack of fitness and knee problem was taking its toll, so he told me he would be turning back for a night of relative luxury in the Jura Hotel bar and camping on their lawn outside…this seemed rather appealing to me as well, and although he didn’t mind me carrying on, I needed no second thoughts in deciding to go back.
That was it then, just a couple of miles of backtracking and we were back to the boathouse and a decent path which led to the road. One further problem though…. Once on the road we were a long, long way from Craighouse, and few cars go this far up the Island. Only one thing for it was to walk and hope that we eventually we would get a lift. After about 5 miles and several cars not obliging to stop to our upturned thumbs we finally got our lift to Craighouse. :thumbup:

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East coast of Jura from the road.

The Jura Hotel is very obliging in letting people camp on the lawn in front of the hotel, in fact they also used to let people use showers and laundry facilities in a building behind the Hotel, but this has been removed at present as they are building an extension in its place. (There are toilets a few hundred yards away by the pier to use instead) Of course there is a method in their madness as they do get “bar business” and especially when a round of 2 bottles of beers is nearing £8! :shock:
8 bottles between us later and £15 lighter in both our wallets we went to our tents for our last night on the Island.

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Camping at the Jura Hotel

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Camping at the Jura Hotel

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The bay at Craighouse

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Sunrise from the Jura Hotel

The next day we caught the 10.15am bus back to the ferry for Islay, once on Islay we had plenty of time until the afternoon sailing back to the mainland, so walked for a few hours along lanes and hills near to the ferry.

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Ferry back to Islay

The Paps of Jura from Islay (600 x 450).jpg

The Paps of Jura from Islay

As we drove towards Keith’s home in Stirling through the Highlands it clouded over with spots of rain here and there, but as we passed Loch Awe as the sun was setting the sky started to go pink in the west, with eyes half on the rear mirrors this tuned to deep colours of red as we drove towards Tyndrum. We stopped at a convenient lay-by as this reached a crescendo to take some swan-song photo’s…. :D


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Sunset on the way to Stirling

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Sunset on the way to Stirling
(No photo-shop needed to colour these up! 8) )

It had been a great couple of days spent in some glorious weather. I’d recommend a night in this lovely Bothy…but be prepared for a rough walk in…but it will be worth it …..I promise. :D

My short video of the trip can be seen here….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q94ZAqBw0wc
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mountainstar
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby malky_c » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:05 am

A fine couple of days out 8)

Always fancied a visit to Glengarrisdale bothy - looks like there could be a walk-the-length-of-Jura plan developing now, for some distant time in the future :)

Great photos.
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby mountainstar » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:29 am

malky_c wrote:A fine couple of days out 8)

Always fancied a visit to Glengarrisdale bothy - looks like there could be a walk-the-length-of-Jura plan developing now, for some distant time in the future :)


The whole of the west coast is very rough for walking...so just up your street Malky :D
Glengarrisdale is a great bothy in a lovely spot as well, go for it!
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mountainstar
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby rohan » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:37 pm

I cycled up Jura and due to other objectives didn't go over to the West, would love to return and go to the bothy which looks positively luxurious.
The Hotel I found exceptionally friendly with good beer from the brewery in Islay. I am not a whisky drinker but I am sure the smell from the disitillery helped me have a good night's sleep.
Some cracking photos in this report. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby Bod » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:37 pm

Lovely report mountainstar :D
My Mum's Aunty Mary used to be matron in Bowmore Hospital and most years as a child we were taken to visit her on Islay and we had an odd wee trips to Jura too. Been back for a New Year holiday and a camping trip with Valerie a few years back, but a defo plan are the Paps and a wee stay at Craighouse, and hopefully the bothy now too :D :D :D
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby mountainstar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:02 am

Cheers Rohan and Bod....back on page One!!! :wink: :lol:
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby Tomsie » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:01 am

I havnt got into the bothy thing yet or cant say I will, but that place looks nice, you can put away your tissue now your back on top, :wink: well for a few mins anyway :D

Can you share how you only paid £30 for the bottles, or was it eight each :lol:
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Re: Cruib Bothy, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura. Backpacking tri

Postby mountainstar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:24 pm

Tomsie wrote:you can put away your tissue now your back on top, :wink: well for a few mins anyway :D

Can you share how you only paid £30 for the bottles, or was it eight each :lol:


I said "nearly" £8 for 2, that's cos I canna remember exactly, but it was over £7.50 for 2 bottles......so £7.50 x 4 rounds of 2 bottles=£30.....that works out at £15 out of each of our wallets....I rest my case! (I think? maths is not my strong point :crazy: ).

I was just about to disappear off page 1 :( But thank's to this reply back on top again :D :wink:
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