Sunday, 30 June 2013

and then we were four

still on the Isle of Mull back in April . . .  (I'm writing this with the Glastonbury coverage on the radio in the background - glad they've had such a fabulously sunny weekend and the Stones did themselves proud last night, even if they did look bizarrely ancient!!) OK, back to Mull . . . .

Wednesday 1 May

Sunny, warm and windy and two or our intrepid team decided to go and hike one of the most arduous walks on Mull to the famous Fossil Tree.  We all joined in with the packing of their butties and off they went . . .

Thank you -
so that left the fabulous four - and it was back to Erraid, after our wonderful discovery last year that it really was Treasure Island!
Spotted a beautiful hare just posing for a photo but it was still too far away for this little camera!

Next off we drove down to the little croft at Kintra for a great coffee and cake.  Charming hosts, honesty box in the little shop/cafe, beautiful cottage garden at the edge of the sea and even a hobbit house!
 Quick peek at the tiny old port of Kintra itself
then, after spotting some golden eagles and more hares, it was lunch on our cottage patio, then a walk from the cottage in search of Market Bay.  Beautiful track with boardwalks over the marshy bits and not another soul
though down at the old port of Camas there were signs of habitation - the outward bound centre for Iona - we thought this colourful washing line deserved a pic!
 Backtrack, and ah-ha, a sign!!
But it turned out to be way too far to trek to before dinner, so back to Ardfin and Ardlea for a hasty change and dash down to Ardness House.

But what of our hardy hikers and the Fossil Tree quest?   Well - 7 hours after take off, mission achieved, faces glowing and starving, the plucky pair turned up in the nick of time for Gillian's mega meal.  It as a glorious meal of triumphant tales from the Fossil tree, fresh mussels from the loch, Mull lamb, tender and scrumptious and lots of great banter.

And that fabulous view from Ardness House as evening set in:
Ahhh bliss!!

And if you are still eager for more - read on for our ghost town hike

of if you're new to this blog and want to start right at the beginning of our Mull holiday, then please click here

Friday, 28 June 2013

Where'er you walk

imagine we're still back on Mull and it's . . .

Tuesday 30 April
Setting off from our cottages - the open road beckons
destination - the timeless Ulva
 but of course, only after summonsing the amazing little ferry


Great lunch at the Boathouse with homemade breads and soups and prawns straight from the loch
Who could ask for more!


and after lunch in the sun (and look at that view),
 we set off to walk over the island to see the basalt columns on the coast.
 Incredible beach, cliffs and woodlands.  Really beautiful, gentle island
 . . . then we were all too soon waiting for the boat back again


although before we leave Ulva for good, I must remind you that this was an island that featured on Johnson and Boswell's noted tours of the Hebrides, which I wrote about last year - so click and read here if interested.

We had the most stunning drive back along the lochs with sun slanting into the hillsides casting amazing shadows.

Jo and Dave conjured up a veritable feast back at our cosy cottages
and just a final postcript from me . . .
Walking around Ulva with the sea and the sun and the meadows took me right back to singing 'Where'er You Walk' in the school choir all those years ago.  So I've managed to find a Youtube video with a school choir that sounds much like I remember it - magical!

and the words (with repeats here and there) are:
Where'er you walk
Cool gales shall fan the glade
Trees where you sit
Shall crowd into a shade
Trees where you sit
Shall crowd into shade

Where'er you tread
The Blushing flowers shall rise
And all things flourish
And all things flourish
Where'er you turn your eyes
Where'er you turn your eyes
Where'er you turn your eyes

from Semele by Handel (1743, if Wikipedia is to be believed!)
So if you're not fed up yet and fancy more of the Mull week, then you can read about Wednesday by clicking here

or if you're new to this blog and want to start right at the beginning of our Mull holiday, then please click here

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

spread your tiny wings

. . . still blogging back in time with our Mull adventures . . .

Monday 29 April

up bright and early for our wildlife tour with Bryan and another amazing Wild About Mull Tour (which you can read about on Bryan's Blog and see much better pics than mine)
It was very windy but also sunny and the light was brilliant for photos
 some serious spotting going on here on the beach (why are we all wearing navy blue!) . .
and mysterious prints
then high in the hills
and an intense adder watch
 followed by some great beasties posing against that amazing backdrop
 taking turns to play I-spy
and altogether we spotted:

Black tailed godwit - Blackbird - Buzzard - Chaffinch - Curlew - Dunlin - Eider duck - Golden eagle - Golden plover - Gooseander - Great northern diver - Hen harrier, female -  Hen harrier, male - Heron - Herring gull - Highland cattle - Hooded crow - Lapwing - Linnet - Meadow Pippit - Otter - Oyster catcher - Pied wagtail - Red deer - Redshank - Robin - Rock Pippit - Red breasted marganzer - Raven - Sandpiper - Seal - Shag - Sheldrake - Siskin - Starling - Stonechat - Turnstone - Wheatear - White-tailed eagle - White wagtail - Willow warbler - Wimbrel

So it was back to Ardfin and Ardlea for a curry night, courtesy of our very own Mike followed by - you guessed it - a round or two or three of QI

and the song that springs to mind after our spottings today is of course dear old Macca singing Blackbird
or another Beatles classic - Your Bird Can Sing

now you can either move on and see what we did on Tuesday - by clicking here

or if you're new to this blog and want to start at the beginning of our Mull holiday, then please click here

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Six resume adventures

and so away from Yorkshire and Wales and back to Mull and our wonderful April holiday.

Sunday 28 April
Great en-masse breaky at the cottage then skin-of-the-teeth catching of the 11am Iona ferry over choppy seas
to the atmospheric Abbey
and a corncrake hunt (could hear them seductively near us), followed by lunch at the St Columba Hotel and an exhilarating hike over the Machair to Back of the Bays beach

 where the colours were just stunning

 with horizontal lashing rain and calm sunshine all in good measure!!
 and little lambs braving the storm
Ferry back to Fionnphort and a cosy evening of left over delights from last night's feast and our first hirlarious round (of many) of QI.

If you'd like to read on, then click here for Monday's adventures on our wildlife tour . . .

If you are new to this blog, you might like to go back to the beginning of our Mull holiday and the short pics I put up on the blog while we were thereIf so, please click here