Life at the end of the road

March 29, 2022

The Mule on Mull :-)

Been kinda distracted of late, think I got waylaid by another late one on Saturday or if I didn’t then I certainly felt like it on Sunday. Whatever I spent most of the Sabbath doing chores about the house and getting ready for phase 2 of my ‘holiday’ Smile This will be the part where I actually go away Surprised smile so much time was spent getting my caravan, Land Rover and tools ready for the trip.


The tools being required for my holiday and not for fixing the Land Rover or caravan (fingers crossed). The annual trip to Lochaline with MV Hallaig being cancelled indefinitely by our local MP Kate Forbes This will hopefully stop the lunacy of taking a ferry from a ‘lifeline’ service to cover the drydocking of a ferry that serves an island that already has four or five ferries. This is great and long overdue news for Raasay but I do miss my wee trip down there with the caravan and CalMac paying my expenses Smile

Anyway on Sunday I checked my lights, Changed the rear number plate, made my bed and filled my new toilet cistern pump. I’d had to free it off before going to Lochaline 12 months ago so just got a new one rather than fix it yet again.

Three ferries

Heading off at 8:00 on yet another glorious spring morning

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we stopped in Broadford to fill up with diesel and stores at the Co-op before meandering towards a good dug walking spot just outside Kyle.

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It’s just past the 30MPH end about half a mile on the right at a place called Scalpaidh Bay and there a great path through the woods and up to Scalpaidh loch.

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There are loads of old ruins and judging by the two old oaks growing out of the middle of one they must be REALLY old Surprised smile

Our next stop was at Loch Oich

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on the Caledonian Canal where I bought a mocha and cake at the café there Both were excellent with Molly and Bonzo enjoying their complimentary sausages too, yup the owner asked me how many dogs I had then gave me a sausage each for them Winking smile 


Then it was on through Fort William without even stopping at Lidl Surprised smile and straight aboard the ferry at the Corran Narrows.


We stopped for another bite to eat and walk on the Morvern peninsula shortly before turning onto the single track A884 to Lochaline.

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This year the third hybrid sister the MV Catriona is relieving for MV Lochinvar’s annual docking.

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The short crossing across the Sound of Mull took us to Fishnish and not long after we arrived at Tobermory Campsite and my old friend the owner, Angus Williams came out to meet me Smile I used to stay here in the late seventies and early eighties and it has certainly changed Smile

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Free Wi-Fi, nice clean facilities with great showers and just a ten minute walk into Tobermory.

After getting myself sorted out and realising that I had once more forgotten to bring a saucepan I made dinner in one that Angus loaned me. A much better option than what I did last year at Lochaline, which was to boil my pasta in the frying pan Surprised smile Anyway, after dinner I went up to look at the Mule with Cameron in preparation for today.

The Mule being at Sgriob-ruadh Farm where along with the 150 cattle they keep pigs Smile

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I need to get some more pigs Smile

The Kawasaki 4010 diesel Mule

This morning I had a somewhat late start but had the pleasure of a nice clean smooth floor to work on and my Landy for company Smile


I could even set my laptop up on a nice sturdy bench next to the engine to which I was fitting a new piston.

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After a couple of hours I walked back to the caravan for lunch with the dugs as it’s only five minutes over the hill from the site.


With Cameron’s help after lunch we got the engine back in and transmission belt fitted before ‘knocking it on the head’ and calling it a day Winking smile

March 6, 2022

Daylight both ways :-)

This is the day I’ve been looking forward to since last October, the day when I drive up and down ‘Calum’s road’ without my lights on when I’m working. Sure it is actually a Sunday so I set off two hours later and drive back home some two hours earlier but even so, it was a pure joy to awake just before dawn and watch the sun’s rays bathing the Old man of Storr.

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Then after my morning coffee going out to feed the pigs for the first time since Tuesday morning. I say feed the pigs but latterly it’s been more of a case of Bonzo and Molly trying to steal as much of the pigs food as they can before being shoved out of the way by a hungry pig.

Leaving the house early I ambled slowly down the road,


the two kayakers must have spent the night elsewhere, there being no sign of them or their tent.



A slow climb up the first large hill on my way south who’s Gaelic name I can’t say or pronounce but it translates as something about a pass, a house and the loch. The hill on the right being the hill of the hind.


Dun Caan and Cathedral rock or the White face as it’s known by the Kyle and Applecross fishermen.


My first trip in daylight this year Smile


The clan dredger Jann Denise scratching away off Oscaig around 8:30.

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Walking the wee dugs in the early morning sunshine behind the old Free Church Manse the only house for miles around with a tennis court Smile

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Probably the only wild pampas grass for miles around too Smile


By 9:00am I was at the office, which was almost level with the pier due to the high tide Surprised smile

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After a busy 1st sailing a huge breakfast and a quieter lunchtime crossing the bridge team practiced manoeuvring the ferry on one unit. That’ll be the Voith Schneider propellers of which there are two, one forward and one aft. Anyway after a few dockings we tied up for the afternoon and did the usual maintenance type stuff before taking the dugs out for another wander.

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Molly and I choosing to go up to the old battery


whilst Bonzo investigated a cast iron drain pipe behind the boathouse

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that was probably hiding a rabbit.


Ben Tianavaig with the Storr some 10 mile or so to the north.


A strange boat off Holoman island taken from a long way away on the way home.

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Calum’s road once more and it’s still light Surprised smile

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A stag I ‘spooked’ at Tarbert


Home at last hey Bonzo Smile

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