One option was to cycle like mad for the next few days back almost the way we had come.
2nd idea was to cycle like mad in a different route, but not have time to stop and see anything. 3rd option was to take a train from Oban to Edinburgh and enjoy a day seeing a few things (but only if the price is right). 1st stop was the train station, and the price was right. It will be interesting to experience taking our bikes and gear on the trains.
So we have 2 days to spend in Oban, and first stop is the distillery. A must for Scotland. Oban Scotch Whiskey was a brand which Brian knew about from Canada. A very informative tour with several tastings (including one of 53% proof). I still don't have a pallet for this drink they call Scotch. Just wetting my lips with the stuff sets them on fire for several minutes! But I am trying to appreciate the subtle tones of gasoline, turpentine, and iodine in the drink. Brian on the other hand was like a kid in a candy store. At the end of the tour when we got our 'dram' I had to physically stop him from dancing around in excitement!
For lunch we hiked up Jacob's ladder to McCaig's Tower. Apparently, some rich guy McCaig noticed that some stone masons were unemployed during the winter months in the area, so he created this little pet project to keep them occupied. After 7 years there was a mini coliseum at the top of this vertical town. Very cool indeed, but you must wonder sometimes...
Spent the rest of the day wandering around and trying to decide how to spend our next day of luxury. Tempted by tours of the famous islands of Mull, Iona, and Staffa I just couldn't do it. As nice as it would have been to see Staffa, we decided against it. The price was too steep, and I didn't want to be herded around from ferry to bus to ferry to bus all day long. We'll just have to find something else to do.
On to our camp for this evening. Only a mile or two away, it was straight up a hill! Totally
unexpected, the west coast of Scotland is very hilly. We expected this in Glencoe and the highlands, but not here. But the rise through the hills in the rain (why does it ALWAYS start to rain at that exact point?) proved worth it. A nice little campground nestled in some amazing hills covered with sheep - true Scottish landscape!
Toady we set off just a few km down the road to the town of Oban. We had a few different plans in mind since time is running out on us to get back to Edinburgh in time for Brian to get to Telford for his big blacksmith Forge-In.