Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 12/July/2002
From: Port Charlotte, Islay
Via: Craighouse, Jura
To: Port Charlotte, Islay
Miles: 69
Midges: 25 (Estimate)
Weather: Hazy sunshine, some showers
Mood: Good, but also sad

Picture of the ferryAfter my relaxing day in Bowmore I was ready for some more activity. The Isle of Jura was my destination this time. From Port Askaig you can take a small ferry over the Sound of Islay to Feolin Ferry on Jura. I didn't have to wait long and soon I was on Jura. Only about 200 people currently live on Jura,Picture of the ruins of a house all of them on the eastern side. A lot of people have left though, leaving only the ruins of the house like you see on the left. The people who lived in this house used to be boat builders.Picture of the view over the Sound of Islay As you drive up the hills you get a quite nice view over the Sound of Islay to the west with Rhuvaal Lighthouse in the distance. The road is a single track road only, but there is not much traffic anyway. The passing places do come in handy though when you encounter other cars. I soon arrived at Jura House Garden, my first stop for the day. They offer two nice walks, which I completed both.Picture of Brosdale IslandPicture of the Misty Pool The first walk I completed (Walk "B") takes you to the Misty Pool (Poll a' Cheo). On the way you have a few nice views over the Sound of Islay to Mc Arthur's Head, Jura House, Heather Island with the ruins of Claig Castle and Brosdale Island (picture on the left). You also pass through some Lazybeds on your way. Lazybeds were a system used to provide drainage and soil where both were poor. Narrow strips were made by digging trenches and throwing earth on to the beds. Walking over them is a bit exhausting, but it's also interesting to see.Picture of the waterfallPicture of the standing stones If you walk along the bay to the far end you can visit two things: First there is a nice waterfall hidden in a gorge the burn has cut into the hill. You have to stand almost next to it to see it, as it is hidden by a few trees. I only found it because I read about it in the little guide provided by Jura House Garden. Next you will find the remains of a Neolithic Chambered Cairn. The most visible part of it are two small standing stones, which used to be portal stones. It's a little bit difficult to find, but once you see it it all makes sense. I then returned to Jura House Garden to follow the second walk (Walk "A") to the Walled Garden.Picture of the view to Mc Arthur's HeadPicture of the Walled Garden This walk leads you all the way down to the shore, from where you have a nice view over the Sound of Islay to Mc Arthur's Head with the lighthouse. It then climbs up again to the Walled Garden. With it being July already a lot of the flowers were gone already, but it was still nice to see. In particular the colourful roses were very nice with the wall as the backdrop. By now it was early afternoon, so I drove on to Craighouse, the only village on the Isle of Jura.Picture of Craighouse In Craighouse you will find the only hotel on Jura as well as the distillery for Isle of Jura whisky. At the small visitors centre I was able to taste a wee dram of the whisky, very nice. I think I should open the bottle I have at home when I return.Picture of the Paps of Jura A visit to Jura wouldn't be complete without at least a look at the Paps of Jura. I didn't have enough time to climb them (apart from the weather not being very good for it), but I got a glimpse from the road. I also spotted two of the 6000 deer living on the island, they allowed me to take this nice picture.Picture of deer They were grazing just beside the road, me stopping and taking the picture didn't seem to disturb them much. With that my visit to Jura was over, time to return to Islay for my last evening at the Port Charlotte Hotel. I had a very nice beef fillet (provided by the Islay Butcher, cooked by Billy) with some very good red wine for dinner. A very nice farewell meal.

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