I am constantly on the look out for wild life, in particular otters, seals, porpoises and dolphins. This year, disappointingly, we only saw one seal, while we were camped on Loch Na Keal. She came bobbing passed every day. We called her Sally seal.We also had Heinrich heron on Loch Na keal, he was a constant companion and he certainly found plenty to eat in the shallows.
Dolphins we saw from Uisken beach, unfortunately no otters, but I did find myself a mink.
Whilst at Uisken, we christened a very daring seagull Sheila. She would creep ever closer to us and was always there when the fish we caught were gutted.
On a visit to Kintra, the resident sheep seemed to rule the place, ambling along the road, sheltering under boats and in doorways and clambering their sure-footed way over the rocks on the beach.
Fondest memory: We also spotted many raptors but not being experts, weren't sure what they all were.
Just the best place to free-camp on Mull as you are made to feel welcome. As you approach the beach, there is a sign saying, " Camping. Apply here." or some such similar message. You pay £1 a night for any unit, any number of occupants, be it tent, caravan or motorhome. There are no facilities except the occasional bit of firewood and plenty of river water. And the beautiful beach. You share the place with like-minded people who just want to enjoy the simple life so there is absolutely no mess. Everyone respects the beautiful environment and either burns their rubbish, takes it away or uses the bin provided. We chose to burn everything possible and didn't clog up the bin.
2012 Update. Price is now £2 per person per night.Still as beautiful as ever.
Fondest memory: Perfect peace, beautiful views to Jura and even half decent weather. Our neighbours were a family with two children in two small tents. As we arrived, they were attempting to rescue an awning of theirs where a pole had broken. Nick, with his ever useful toolbox, sawed the ends off and spliced them together. Simple.
Neighbours that arrived on our other side were a French family, (mum was English) and once again, Nick's tools came in to their own. They needed some man power to man handle the 30 year old caravan they had borrowed (and towed all the way from the south west of France) and then it needed lfting on to a levelling ramp. This Nick did with his jack and all was fine. We ended taking both sets of children out in the boat, fishing and had a few social evenings. Our "landlords" came down to share a bottle of champagne with us. It was all so friendly and just wonderful. We felt so safe and relaxed here.
One of the best memories was seeing the porpoises who were swimming just feet away from us in our boat. And of course all the fish we caught and smoked. And, we nearly went swimming but once the water hit my thighs, I decided against it!!!
From Uisken you can walk over the cliffs to different beaches.
Too many to mention really. One thing that will always stay with me was when porpoises were circling around us when we were out in the boat. We had seen them before, swimming and coming out of the water but from a distance. This time they were within a few feet of us, just their black fins showing above the water. It was almost as if they wanted to communicate. Certainly an amazing experience and we had to quickly reel in our fishing lines. We didn't want to hook one of these beautiful creatures. I also caught them on the video which I'm really pleased about.
Seals were not as exciting a prospect as we had seen many of these before but still worth tracking down. We found a colony on these rocks, whom we managed to film on our video, as they slid into the water.
While we were at Uisken, we didn't see any seals and thought it strange. Our "hosts" told us that the fishermen shot them as they were stealing too many fish. I suppose it is their livelihood we're talking about, after all.
I seem to be forever gazing out to sea on the look-out for seals, porpoises and anything else that might catch my eye.
Shopping downtown Tobermory doesn't look like it will take long, but you can get delayed by the sidewalk traffic, and most importantly some of the interesting shops along the way.
With the narrow sidewalk, it doesn't take too many people to slow down the walking crowds, and besides... why rush?
If you are wanting to split up and meet a bit later, the clock tower is the popular meeting place.
I have to say I just loved all the colourful buildings in Tobermory. The scenery on the island was beautiful too, what I saw of it.
Fondest memory: Sitting under the clock tower in the sun, eating my cheeseburger and chips from the "fish n chip" stand on the docks along with their many other customers and enjoying the gorgeous views while people watching.
Mull needs to be explored by car, motorcycles and bike. By foot is wonderful too but it would take a long time to see it all... So, take on the road and whenever your chin drop, stop and admire the scenery. You will have a great time.
Fondest memory: My best memory has been just where I took this picture. I couldn't believed how beautiful it was after riding in the forest for 10-15 min, up a long slow hill. Then all of a sudden there was a downhill and an opening in the sky, a little village down close to the ocean, and this huge green cliff.
I know I'm supposed to like the nearby Oban best, but taste is a personal thing. First time I tasted the Tobermory I knew this was my Whisky. I'm no expert at describing a whisky, so here is what they say:
Tobermory is distilled from unpeated malted barley and allowed to mature in oak casks for 10 years. It is light amber in colour with a fresh, lightly peated smoky nose.
Fondest memory: From www.scotchwhisky.net:
How to drink scotch whisky - myths exposed!
There is no right or wrong way to drink Scotch whisky - it's all down to personal taste at the end of the day. However, here are a few suggestions:
Many who drink Scotch whisky neat say they do not want to spoil the taste by adding water. However, equally as many will say that adding a touch of water, particularly if it is pure, soft spring water, (ideally the same spring water used in the making of the particular whisky!) serves to enhance the distinctive aroma and flavour of a whisky. Tap water may contain high amounts of chlorine and therefore would not complement any whisky - your best bet is to opt for bottled Scottish mineral water!
Adding ice to a whisky is such as a shame because it will only dull the fine taste and wonderful aromas. Similarly, carbonated water is not an ideal accompaniment for whisky as it may interfere with the aromas also.
Adding mixers such as ginger ale, soda and even coca cola, is a popular trend, however it begs the question - why drink whisky at all if you need to mask the taste?
Fondest memory: Waking up every morning for a week to this view. On the last few days the mornings were very nice and sunny, and we had breakfast outside overlooking the bay. A perfect start for a perfect day.