We walked a short way down the road from the campsite to catch the first ferry of the day from Gallanach jetty across to the island of Kerrera to complete the Hutchinson’s Monument Circuit walk described on the leaflet from the Tourist Office as tracks, boggy at times, then a short wet pathless section on the return and rated a bog factor of 3 and 9km in distance.
The ferry landed at Horseshoe Bay and we headed off to visit the north part of the island with our leaflet describing the walk-in hand. What could go wrong!
The walk began with an easy section and very clear directions. The next part of the instructions stated ‘after a very short distance further the track forks again, take the right fork which is signed for Shell bay’ but there was no sign to be seen so we had to take a guess. We ended up in a field with cows and sheep bellowing, bleating and running in all directions. At last, after circumnavigating the hill we found the path and headed off again going through sections of bog, up hills, through gates and a farmyard where there were peacocks and chickens running wild and pigs laying in mud and grunting with delight.
We then passed by the boatyard to our destination the Hutchinson’s Monument, a massive stone obelisk monument overlooking the north entrance to Oban Bay. It is a memorial to David Hutchison who set up a regular steamer service to the Hebrides in 1835 and was this service was the forerunner of the Calmac ferries today. The views in all directions from on top of the hill are superb and you can watch ferries and boats passing in and out of the harbour.
Following the directions on the leaflet we returned to the fork in the road and continued through very boggy ground with cute and very hairy cows along a stony shoreline until at last we eventually returned to the main island track we followed earlier and returned to the ferry only to see it sail off. We had to wait for an hour until the next ferry as this was the ferry crew’s lunchtime.
Finally, the ferry returned us to the mainland side and we headed back to our campsite. We walked a total of 13 km. Just as well we had directions because I think we would have got even more lost than we did!
Tonight, we hit Oban town to listen to some music and returned to the Oban Inn where a guy was playing his acoustic guitar. Just after the end of the Champions Cup the place filled with a lot of people and the place came alive.