Mountain Walks On The Isle Of Jura
When I was a young man (sadly many years ago now!) I had a passion for travelling to remote places throughout the UK and overseas. Some of the most memorable places I visited were the Western Isles off the coast of Scotland. They include some of the most unique landscapes in this country, and a step back in time to a more simple existence for the people who inhabit these islands.
Going back through old photo's of my travels, I came across a few from the Isle of Jura which brought back many happy memories. After a short ferry ride from Tarbert, the island rises up roughly from the sea proudly displaying its famous Paps which soar over 2500 feet above the coast. There is just one road on the island, so it wasn't difficult after departing the ferry to decide which direction to head. I was carrying enough food for a week, a tent and outdoor gear so it wasn't long before I decided to hitch a lift from a local who kindly took me the few miles to Leargybreck where my hike up the Paps Of Jura would begin.
I found a small wooded area to leave my tent and non-essentials, tucked out of site for the day, allowing me to travel light over the rough steep terrain of the mountains. It was a perfect spring day, warm and sunny with light breeze to keep cool and climbing to the top of Beinn an Oir, the highest of the peaks at 2,575 feet, was a pleasure despite being a tough walk over heavy scree in places.
The view from the top was simply stunning, the mountains dropping steeply down to the sea then endless miles of ocean and neighbouring islands. It would have been nice to stay there for hours and explore the other two peaks, but I wanted to make further progress up to the north of the island before it got dark. The walk back down the mountain was much quicker than the ascent.