9-10 August 2008
The last recorded Club visit to Jura was 2001 so it was probably about time for a return trip for this ‘overseas’ challenge. There are various sea routes to Jura and the traditional route is usually Kennacraig (on the Kintyre peninsula) to Port Askaig on Islay and then the small Ferry to Feolin on Jura. On this occasion many people chose the new small boat (12 seater) service from the picturesque harbour at Tayvallich, to Craighouse on Jura. This removes the need to take a car, as the campsite, Hotel, shop and Distillery are all within 100m of the pier. What more do you need?
John and Mick Greenshields set off on Thursday evening, with an overnight camp at Glencoe, to catch the Friday 10.00am ferry from Tayvallich (90mins south of Oban). Strong drink had to be taken in the Clachaig Inn before tackling the fearsome midges swarming around the tents. On Friday morning, the early ferry in glorious sunshine allowed a midday assault on the classic Paps of Jura. To do all 3 Paps includes a boggy walk in and then almost 5000ft of ascent on very steep, scree covered hills. They managed to scramble up 2 of the Paps in a shade over 9 hours before the long but scenic 6km road walk back to the camp site. From the top of the Corbett, Beinn an Oir (Hill of Gold) there were fabulous views of wild uninhabited land, white sandy beaches and improbably Mediterranean–looking azure seas!
Back at the campsite, Peter and Fleur Goodwin and their 2 sons had arrived, having travelled all the way from Gloucester. During their holiday, Peter managed to fit in a few “Historical Munros” gleaned from the pages of the excellent publication, The Munroist’s Companion, which deals with the origins, history, definition and classification of Munros. Cameron Beattie arrived on two wheels, preferring to use his bicycle to travel around the west coast and then over to the Island.
After some serious refreshment in the Hotel, plans were hatched by Dave McLean, Bob MacDonald, Amanda Tomison and Peter for an attempt on the Paps. Unfortunately heavy rain and low cloud on the Saturday morning scuppered their walking plans, so it was a long Tea drinking session in the Hotel, followed by a 10 min tour of the Distillery. Cameron explored the north end of the Island on his bike, but there was little else to occupy the time. An enjoyable meal in the Hotel was the highlight of the day and Sunday again proved to be a washout. In summary, the weather prevented much walking and exploration, however in the right conditions this is a picturesque Island with great hills and superb scenery. Make a note to visit Jura – at least once!
Plans were made with kit and maps
To walk the famous Jura Paps
Could they tackle Beinn an Oir
When heavily the rain did pour
They could have tried to take a brolly
But they binned the walk and tried the ‘swally’.
For more photos from this meet click here