This little section gets repeated throughout my Scottish selections. Weather is an important factor in anyone’s trip to Scotland and especially to its western Highlands and Islands. Summers are brief. Days change quickly. Heavy rains give way to sun and back to rain once more. Stars can shine in the evening skies gloriously only to be replaced by gloomy misting clouds by morning. And even with the sun shining, there is no reason howling winds cannot be threatening to blow away your hat. Be forewarned and prepared.
You’ll learn to quickly identify the little black and white pillars along the road that denote turnouts where people can pass each other along the single lane roads. You need to develop this skill quickly along the Craignure-Fionnphort road with the big tour buses trundling along the way. Bicyclists will also appreciate the pillars in the interest of self-preservation.
Well, no, there aren't exactly any traffic jams, but visitors heading for Iona should be aware of the peculiar habits of daytrippers and coach tours. Most of them leave from Oban in the morning and head back -- sometimes with a detour to Tobermory -- around 3 or 4 o' clock. Since the road is almost exclusively single-track, it can be very cumbersome going the opposite direction and having to use every single passing place in order to let the oncoming traffic pass.
Lest you think all those stories of midges are just a fable, here are some facts you might wish to ponder. The Mull Midge is one of 36 species of midge found in Scotland and is the most viscious. The male is harmless and sips nectar, however the female is the one to be wary of (like you could tell the difference). The female is barely 1.5mm long and has two pairs of minute jaws, each with about 20 teeth which painfully puncture the skin for a meal of blood. They live on the damp moorland and rarely attack singly. Oh no, instead, if the speed of the wind is less than 5mph, they'll emerge in the thousands and attack their victims in gray swarms which are virtually impossible to escape. Best advice stay inside unless its windy ;-)
They are everywhere on Mull and as there are not many cars passing, they will lay down on the pavement... So drive carefully and be alert.
They are everywhere and if they don't want to move, they wont! Watch for those guys if you are driving or riding. I don't believe they can harm you but I wouldn't try taunting them either.