Sunday, 4 November 2012

We've been on Mulliday

Well, on holiday to the Isle of Mull anyway. My Dad lives there (see Peter on Mull) with  his wife Pat in a lovely new house they've built together in a very handy spot near where the Oban ferry arrives.

Turus Mara.

We trekked up the motorway, overnighted at Carlisle and spent Sunday night to Thursday morning on the island. It was my second visit to Mull but the first for Brian and the first ever visit to Scotland for H10 and R8.

Mull is like the rest of Scotland - soaring peaks, seaweedy beaches and crystal clear lochs, all packed with wildlife. When we weren't tripping over fat bunny rabbits we were spotting deer, arguing over whether it was buzzard or golden eagle and giggling at the antics of otters. We searched for Highland Coos, admired the curlicue horns on Blackface sheep and bemoaned the absence of white-tailed eagles.

An otter before breakfast.

We bounced around on bumpy roads in the back of Dad and Pat's Land Rover, toasted marshmallows over embers in the fireplace of an abandoned bothy, photographed peak after peak after peak and fell over on slippy seaweedy paths and nearly broke our wrists (well, only Dad and I).

There were the usual funnies - one when I jumped out of the car to photograph an eagle and dropped one of my leather gloves on the road. I didn't realise until my hands were cold in Tobermory. Yes we drove all the way back to pick it out of a puddle. (Sighs and rolls eyes.)

Another happened as we queued to leave the island when the CalMac man took tickets and asked Brian to confirm the number of occupants in the car.

"Five," Brian boomed back confidently, handing over five tickets, forgetting that one was for the car.

CalMacMan smiled thinly, handed over FOUR boarding cards and announced dryly, "The one in the boot gets in for free."

I laughed at that all the way back to Pembrokeshire. (Last time, when we were in Scotland on honeymoon, Brian drove into a lay-by for no apparent reason and I was laughing so hard I couldn't tell him what he had done. It was the lay-by on the left just before you get to the turning for Duck Bay and we gave it a wave on this trip. He maintains to this day that it looks just like road, not lay-by. He's wrong.)

Snow, as requested by H10 and R8.

We left Scotland with snow on its highest peaks and followed the rainbows back down the motorways and over sleet-laden hills and finally back to home. The journey takes 12 hours but the views are so wonderful from the northern stretch of the M6 it's not that onerous (especially if you can't drive because your wrist is too bruised from falling over watching otters!)