In 1970 after a visit to Skye we decided to go back and stay in Kilchoan, hopefully with Mrs Scott as we had done in 1968 - see earlier blog here - but she was full until the later in the week. She was surprised to see us again so soon, but arrange for us to stay firstly with Mr & Mrs Cameron (down the road) from 24th to 29th August. The Camerons were very nice and made us most welcome. On the 25th it was a lovely hot sunny day and we went for a long walk and ended by having dinner at Sonachan House which cost £1 each and was a very good meal. The next day started warm and sunny, but a mist came and it got very cold. The fog horn started to sound at the lighthouse with a huge boom!
The next day the mist was still around which did not stop us going for a walk towards the lighthouse, but the mist came down and we turned back. For our evening meal Mrs Cameron cooked freshly caught fish given to her a local fisherman Ross Kennedy – a lovely meal. Afterwards we went with George to Sonachan House where there was a ceilidh with lots of folks singing – mostly in Gaelic which we didn’t understand. We stayed until after midnight and returned to Mrs Cameron’s where we stayed up until after 1am chatting.
At Tobermory, there was a coal boat at the quay and we talked to the crew – we were even invited to stay with his family next year by one men. Then after a walk to the lighthouse and a drink in The Mishnish back to Mrs Scott’s for a splendid meal.
Next day was wet and unsuitable for walking so we drove to Ockle and searched in the rock pools. We found a sea urchin complete with spines which we had for many years until it was accidently broken and destroyed. After the meal we sat by the fire listening to funny stories by Granny and Mrs Scott.
The 31st was very windy and wet. We drove to the lighthouse and were given a conducted tour by the keeper. The sea was very rough. After dinner (high tea) we took Mrs Scott’s dog Spotty Dog for a walk. We popped in to see Mr & Mrs Cameron and had a chat. The next day the wind was still very strong so we drove to Sanna and donned our boots and walked to Glendrian Caves but did not venture inside. After our evening meal we took Spotty Dog for a walk up to the stone circle above the village. The 2nd September was another wet day and never stopped all day. We were car bound and drove to Salen and on to Kentra. We decided that the Ardnamurchan coast was far prettier around Kilchoan and we drove back for a lovely meal and more stories from Granny by the fireside.
Our last day and Mrs Scott cooked some of the fish we had caught last night for breakfast – lovely! Of cause it rained again but we did manage a quick paddle at Sanna during a brief break in the weather before the weather clamped in again.
Another memorable holiday but sadly our last visit until 2011 when we stayed on Mull at the Western Isles Hotel, a place we had seen from afar in the past which looked in 1970 very expensive and way beyond our means at the time. The room we were given in 2011 was the Bridal Suite, the entire end wing of the hotel. After a few days I enquired at reception if they had the user and operator manual? What for I was the asked to which I replied “The Bridal Suite”. That produced gales of laughter all round we were very well looked after for the rest of our twelve day stay.
The whole holiday, as are many other holidays, are recorded in Jane's diaries. She has kept a page a day A5 diary from 1960.
This year we are on an expedition cruise around the Outer Islands on the MS Serenissima, starting from Fairlie and calling at many places including St Kilda. Maybe as we return to Oban where we disembark on 7th September we might pass by Kilchoan and we will remember those happy holidays long ago when we were young!
Many thanks to Jane & Mike for pictures & story.