|It’s always incredible how long it takes us to get started from a night spent camping in the rain, but at least we’re aware of our deficiencies and plan accordingly! Unfortunately the stream was so noisy Jamie slept through her double alarm, but luckily we had set Andy’s ear-drum bursting phone alarm so we were only 25 minutes behind schedule from the word Go. Lucky for Jamie, our decision to camp overnight on Mull had been a bit of a last minute one with no time to organise typical breakfast foods (or so she made Andy believe; porridge is yucky!). So, it was giant cous cous with vegetables for breakfast . . . we should have discovered this a long time ago!
The rain sounded far heavier coming down on the tent than it was in reality so once we eventually ventured out we were relieved to find that conditions weren’t actually that bad. We took down the tent and locked up the bikes before following the trail that took us all the way to the summit. The cloud base was about 400m when we set off, meaning that this was yet another summit from which we could see nothing . . . except Jamie doing her celebratory dance on the top because this peak was her final Munro (only Ben Lomond to do on the Challenge, and we’ve both done it multiple times before).
We took shelter from the cold wind by ducking down behind the summit, chowing on chutney and cheese sandwiches (we were out of pickle!;( We decided to just head back the way we had come rather than completing the horseshoe ridge route based on the fact that there were no views to be had and it was quite icy on the top; Jamie had already broken her finger yesterday and we still had to get back to the ferry for the return journey to the mainland so decided to quit while we were ahead!
When all was said and done we only took about 3:40 from start to finish, which gave us ample time for a break back at the bikes before the 20 mile ride back to Craignure port. Once there, we still had a spare 2 hours so spent it chilling out in the glorified bus shelter, making supernoodles (of course!), hot drinks, and eating snacks.
Jamie promptly fell asleep on the ferry, only to discover that when we arrived back in Oban it was pouring. It only took us a few minutes to walk from the ferry to the car and get the bikes and ourselves loaded, but even with that we were soaked by the time we set off. Not exactly what we were hoping for to celebrate our penultimate Munro of the Challenge; neither were the various road closures that led to it taking us nearly 3 hours to get home from Oban (should be 1:45!). But, alas, we were home safe and sound . . . only 1 Munro to go of the Challenge; it’s on our doorstep; and it’s only the 7th of December! Bring it on!!