When leaving Skye, I didn’t take the bridge; I drove south, instead, to Armadale and took the ferry to Mallaig. Mallaig is a curious little town. Not really a destination, it’s more of a place you pass through on the way to somewhere else. Trains stop here but go not further; it’s the end of the line. Instead of taking a boat trip to Knoydart - I’ll leave that for another time - I drove along the serpentine coast road round the headland of Ardnamurchan (a place I’d only ever heard mentioned in the context of the shipping forecast), and took loads of pix. Lands End isn’t the most westerly point on the British mainland; that accolade goes to Ardnamurchan Point
I waited for the ferry at Kilchoan with a couple of guys who were on a six-day jaunt around the inner isles, having driven all the way from Devon. That must have been two days driving, with two days to drive back… but they seemed cheerful enough. The sky grew ever darker as the ferry came into view, and Mull - our destination - disappeared behind a curtain of rain. It was one of CalMac’s smaller ferries, with room for only room for about eight cars, and we rocked and rolled our way to Tobermory in the gloom.
Tobermory is the biggest town on Mull, but not the biggest ferry port. So, unlike Mallaig, it feels like a place to visit in its own right. The pastel-coloured houses line the harbour - as seen on countless photographs (and now mine as well). I had a wander round the town last night, and watched the first half of Scotland v Denmark - just a friendly match, and a wee bit dull. Scotland won, and I pretended to care.
This morning I got some pix of the town, before another band of rain came over. I want to have a tour of the island - and maybe take a boat-trip to Iona while I’m here - before taking yet another ferry to Oban, and heading south. I’m mildly addicted to ferries, the smaller the better. The guys know what they’re doing, and, so far, the arrivals and departures have been bang on time. It’s just another day’s work for the guys who take the tickets, monitor the traffic flow and man the boats. But for visitors, like me, it’s a bit of excitement; there’s something special about arriving in a new place by sea…