Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Kerrera Ferry

William Winter's 1895 book, Brown Heath and Blue Bells, has a chapter called The Gateway to the Hebrides. The title of the chapter refers to the town of Oban, and it describes some of the author's wanderings in the area. One of his adventures is a walk along the coast south from Oban to the Kerrera ferry; saying about it that for a lovely twilight ramble I do not think a sweeter place was ever discovered.

William Winter made that walk over a century ago. These days a walk down the coast to Kerrera ferry can be a stressful ramble, as you spend half your time watching out for passing cars on the narrow road. I think a better way to walk there is via the five mile hike from south of Pulpit Hill.

Even with the traffic, the coastal walk is scenic, and I agree with William Winter when he says:

...looking across to that island, with its rich, green pasture lands, its broad stretches of breezy heath, its scattered farmhouses and its dark ravines, the stroller is strongly tempted to kindle the signal brand or wind the horn.

Looking across to Kerrera from the mainland
I have yielded to that temptation a half-dozen times over the years. But it is easier to get there these days, for you don't need to light a beacon fire, or go to the effort of cranking a sounding horn. In fact, you may need to do nothing but wait a bit; for in season the ferry runs quite often. But if it's not busy, all you have to do is turn a sign so that its black side is visible from Kerrera.

Turning the sign back to white-on-white as the ferry approaches
There is no better way to spend a day (or two) than exploring Kerrera. For a description of some wanderings around the island see the series of posts that start on April 21, 2013.

Kerrera landing
The Kerrera ferry crossing a sea like glass

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