Magnificent Motorcycling on Mull

It’s a disgrace. I was born in Oban; lived in Tyndrum for 19 years (well, since I moved home again), and I had never been to Mull. Shock, horror.

What was really odd, Ed and I had the same inclination to go to Mull within hours of each other. I ‘was’ planning on popping to Oban; then I thought, might as well go to Mull seeing as I am there….. When we came home from work that day, he said he wanted to go to Mull via Lochaline. OK then, game on. Sod going to Oban!

We debated the ferry times. There was a ferry really early, however, to get to it we would have to get out our scratcher at 6.30. Hang on a mo, we don’t even get up at that time normally. I fall out of bed at about 8am normally; shower, hair washed, dried, dressed and in work for 8.30. Down to a fine art. I thank boarding school for that. Once I woke at 8.15, with a jolt and still managed all of the above before 8.30!

So, being sensible, we opted for the 7.30 alarm. Much more sociable. Normally Ed lets me head off first. This morning, I selected first gear outside the garage at 8.20. Ed was still in his pants. It’s become a challenge, let’s see how far I can go before Ed catches up with me. This summer, I have been driving slightly more ‘progressively’, Ed has been taking longer to catch up. 🙂

There was diesel on the road north of Tyndrum. Careful. It was mainly on the southbound carriageway, however, some had dribbled over onto our side. When I got to Onich and Ed hadn’t caught me up, I was worried. I know I shouldn’t be, he’s a very capable rider. So, I turned into the Corran ferry and joined the queue. I was behind the box junction, was off the bike and starting to feel marginally worried. Doesn’t take this time to catch up, pants or not.

Then, a wee polo comes round to join the queue, well, actually, he tried to overtake me, then realised I had stopped for the box junction. I was pretty damn obvious. I resembled Santa: red bike, red jacket and a white helmet. I did get a wee wave of apology. The queue moved. I decided to go onto the ferry, with or without Ed. He still hadn’t shown up…. I looked up at the Captain of the ferry (I am sure they have another name, you know, the one that sails the ship). I made motions of ‘looking’ for someone, then shrugged my shoulders. He got the hint. A few minutes later, there was Ed coming down the road. Phew. Not long after Ed was on board, we set sail. £4.40 later we were paid up members.

That's ma boy

That’s ma boy

It was a bit drizzly, however, it didn’t stop us having a good run to the Lochaline Ferry. Not long after we got there, the ferry appeared. £34.80 return. Ouch. Even the ticket lady told us to brace ourselves! What were the cars paying???? Again, a short crossing and before we knew it, we were on Mull.

Lochaline

Lochaline

As I got onto the Island, I shouted ‘MULL’ at the top of my voice. Woohoo! At last! We headed up towards Tobermory. We were both surprised to find a single track road for part of the route on the way. Oh well, that set the tone for the day.

You have to go to Tobermory though. Really, I only went to see if I could find Tobermory Cat. TC is now world famous. Sadly, he had decided to take a well deserved day off. Otters were noted for their absence too :(. We took a wee stroll along the front. Oh look, there’s the Mishnish. Seems rude not to, so went in and had a drink. The barman was a bitty miserable to start with, however, he soon warmed up, no doubt due to our enthusiastic banter. All the real ale was ‘off’, so Ed asked if he had ‘normal’ Guinness, “No, he said, “We only have the chilled one. But leave it for a wee while and it’ll be just at the right temperature for you.” Oh yes, he did. Fanny.

Mishnish

Mishnish

After our refreshment, we headed down the main street. Not much to distract us from our grumbling stomachs, so we headed back along to the Cafe Fish, who were advertising fresh seafood. Behind motorcycling, eating seafood is Ed’s next passion. He’s good at it too. We walked in at noon. By half past, the place was full. Not a big place, however, the time we sat there scoffing our way through two seafood platters, they had turned away the same amount of people that were in the cafe! It was stunning. Totally different to what we normally fill our faces with at the Lochleven Seafood Cafe, but well worth the visit.

I was 'ere

I was ‘ere

Love the sign....

Love the sign….

Feeling stuffed, we tried to find some otters and TC. Nae luck. Back on the bikes in a drizzle, which thankfully was just for a short time. We followed the road to Dervaig, all the way round the island. On single track roads. They weren’t in the best condition, you had to pay attention and definitely had to think about being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road. All day that was the case….. challenging to say the least. Glad to be on a motorbike! Then all the way down to the Iona ferry pier. What welcomed us made our trip worth it. The sun came out and the view was breathtaking.

Iona

Iona

By the time we got there, given it was challenging riding, I needed a sugar fix. Mars bar – well, half of one of those two bar packs. Just what the doctor ordered. My brain was in a much better place. We headed back, having covered most of the island, we only had to get back to Fishnish for our ferry. For me, that was the best part. The roads were in better condition and there weren’t so many tourists. Ace. We knew when the last ferry was running so we had a bit of fun on the way. As much as it was still single track roads, the line of sight was great and the road surface much better. All in all perfect.

We were accepting that we would be getting on the last ferry, however, as we got round the headland, I spied the ferry coming into Fishnish. It was going to be a close run thing. We might make the earlier ferry….. Damn traffic coming down the road made us stop…. As Ed got to the ferry, there it was starting to pull away. He waved his arms. Bless, they put down the ramp again so we could get on. Result!! That made our day even better!

The run to Ardgour was another highlight, apart from the knobs who wouldn’t let me pass. Just as well they turned off, I was about to put my main beam on as I was verging on frustration. I don’t get road rage in the slightest, however, I was getting a bitty pissed off! Once they had gone, it was a clear run to the ferry. One of the crew commented that he was pleased I had found Ed and managed to keep him during the day, making it back to the ferry together.

By this time, my petrol light had come on. 32 miles left in the tank. It’s 32 miles from Glencoe village to home. I probably would have made it fine and dandy, however, who the hell wants to go through Glencoe at 50mph to preserve fuel? Not me. I filled up in Onich and stonked home. Lovely.

What a great day. Mull, big tick. Would we go back? Possibly if it was dry. Would go back for the squat lobsters and to find TC. It’s been a long day though, it was challenging riding. Smoggy was just ace, and as it says in the blurb, did 250 miles to a tank. Nae bad. Big grins.

Oh, and only spotted 5 other bikes too. How odd, I would have expected more than that.

Back in my garage at 8.15pm.

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