The white-sanded beach at Calgary Bay, north-west Mull, was noisy with children playing and swimming (we had taken the last space in the small car-park). Calgary Bay comes from the gaelic Cala Ghearraidh, meaning Beach of the Meadow.
As we followed the path round to the old jetty it became increasingly quiet. Here we turned up the hill and walked along the broad, flat, grassy, raised beach (a geological feature caused by the earth rising or the sea level dropping).
Above we could hear a cuckoo calling and eventually we saw it. Then we rounded the corner and were heading north, still on the wide platform, with the sea on our left and a hillside on our right. Suddenly there was a great bird-commotion and we saw three cuckoos, one of them a female making her extraordinary sound (described in bird books as ‘bubbling’ but I thought it was more cackling, like a peregrine).
We continued parallel to the coast, with the low profile of Col and ahead of us the jagged outline of Rum and Skye, and the more angular Eigg and Canna. The visibility was superb and the sun extremely hot.
After a while we could see, or thought we could see, our destination, Caliach Point, the north-west tip of Mull.
The route to it looked deceptively easy. When eventually we arrived there, we found it wasn’t the Caliach Point, there was another point beyond.
And when we got there, full of optimism, we found we had yet further to go. But at least we could be sure we were now looking at our destination because it was crowned with a trig point.
Chris decided to stop on a grassy slope short of the point, and I was rather worried about going on because there was a great skua (bonxie) on a knoll midway between us and the point. He was guarding his lady who was sitting on a nest below. I felt I was ripe for being bombed. So I borrowed Chris’s hat for protection.
I gave the bonxie a wide berth and arrived safely at the trig point.
It was a spectacular view, and well worth all the false points and the risk of the bonxie to get there.
The walk back was mostly on quiet lanes. When we arrived back at Calgary Bay it was entirely peaceful.