Helen and I are newly-weds – legally married – something I never expected to be again in my life! Off on our honeymoon – not on a Cunard liner but something more down to earth – a Calmac ferry bound for the Isle of Mull.
OK – so this is not the actual boat – ours is even smaller – but it sets the scene.
We had tried to book a mid-summer hotel room on Mull back in January only to find the island was virtually fully booked – then Ian from the Calachally House called us back. We could have the ‘end room for one night on the 21st with a bathroom down the hall all to ourselves’.
Wonderful – that would be great!
About a forty minute drive from the Mull ferry terminal – we eventually found Calachally House hidden away under some massive beech trees.
Maybe not much to look at from outside but the interior is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and a good one at that —
Book lined walls – even for an avid reader like me it would take the rest of my life to read but a fraction of them – and what books! Being an old Colonial family the books go well back in time and cover most parts of the world – as an old Africa hand they are right up my street – even the hallway to our room was lined with them —
Driving back from a nearby pub in the evening gloaming we spotted a red deer stag in the neighbouring parkland who slowly turned his massive head our way and watched our progress.
A little further on we were entertained by two beautiful horses having a ‘before bedtime’ canter around their paddock —
Did someone mention bedtime? ‘Step this way please’ said the spider to the fly —
Having a room with windows in three walls the morning was always going dawn bright and clear – but some thoughtful soul must have had their doubts as to the ability of two ancient honeymooners to make it through the night and had obviously called the coastguard —
Luckily there was no need for their assistance this time and they were soon on their way to more important issues —
By mid-morning we were also on our way- to tour the northern part of the island on it’s single-track – mainly coastal road.
A kindly photographer with a massive lens pointed out a pair of golden eagles huddling in a treetop in a roadside forest. We would never have spotted them without his help – so well hidden were they,
No photographs are available of the eagles who never stirred from their huddle —
but we did spot a resting buzzard posing by a roadside waterfall —
Next stop was at the famous Calgary Bay —
where the mahair has been nibbled almost out of existance by the local landowner’s sheep.
‘Bloody freezing’ considering it was midsummer’s day —
And it took a few cups of strong tea to bring Helen back to smiling life —
Or it may have been a coffee or two —
Next stop was Tobermory where we would catch an afternoon ferry to Kilchoan on Ardnamurchan.
I found us a comfy bed by the harbour while waiting for the boat —
We had a quiet crossing to the mainland made interesting by watching a small helicopter making numerous short trips while unloading supplies from a large vessel anchored offshore. It appeared to be a dangerous game carried out at ‘Bondstyle high speed but there were no mishaps. At least none while we were watching.
Bye bye Mull – for now – as Arnie says – ‘we will be back’.
We were soon on Ardnamurchan and heading down another twisting – undulating single track following the northern shores of Loch Sunart past Glenborrodale Castle and Salen Hotel on our way to Corran Ferry. A road I’ve driven and ridden many times in the past.
A chance meeting with my younger brother John and his partner Sandra over a cuppa at Strontian broke the journey.
They were on their way to their home near Glenborrodale in Ardnamurchan from our wedding the previous day and looked rather worse for wear having spent a lively evening in Oban with my son James and partner Diane. We did well to bail out of that one.
A brief crossing at Corran Ferry and a short drive to Appin had us in our lovely water’s edge room at the Pierhouse Hotel by 1800hrs giving us time to restup before dinner – and what a dinner! Having had very little to eat since the wedding lunch the previous day we went for it!
H settled for the ‘big’ salmon steak with dauphinoise potatoes. Probably doesn’t sound too adventurous but remember – we were in the recently crowned – ‘Best Seafood Restauraunt in Scotland’ and Helen described this meal as the best she has ever had – some accolade!
Against my better judgement I tackled the ‘Pierhouse Platter’.
There were no holds barred and last to go was the oyster —
Well a man needs all of his strength on his honeymoon 🙂
Bye for now ::-)