Despite yesterday’s very long walk (possibly foolishly long) Dad was in irritatingly cheerful mood irritatingly early in the morning. “I have never felt so good after a walk in all my life” he assures us, doing knee bends and flexing limbs. “Oh great”we reply, short on sleep and coffee.
The problem with yesterday’s triumph of 20 miles is that we can’t help having high expectations. We set out. Pennghael is a long village. Loch Scridain is a long loch. The Ross of Mull is a long peninsula. It was another long long long long walk.
But the beauty of it all made every step worth the effort: little bays, a group of sheep on a pocket of sand, wavelets breaking gently on rocks and north of us, the grandeur of the massive Burg headland. The magical Treshnish isles began to float on the horizon. Everywhere bathed in sunshine.
At one point even Dad murmured about sore muscles and I persuaded him to have a rest on the road side. As we settled down Joe sailed passed us in the car despite our frantic waving. We caught up in Bunessan. He had bottles of juice and slices of ham at the ready and after a quick discussion we decided to keep going and just see how far we could get but that we would stop by 7pm.
So much kindness along the way: offers of tea, encouraging words, thumbs ups and horn toots.
We hobbled the last 2 miles into Fionnphort singing ‘Ave Ave Ave Maria’ in voices as creaky as our knees. And there was Iona lying before us across a mile of tranquil sea. Thank you St Columba and St Conan for getting us safely here.