The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
Mulling It Over

Well here we are with another rainy day. The only thing to do is the American thing: go out and burn up some fossil fuel. Since we opted out of the very cool-sounding Isle of Skye, the fallback position was the equally cool-sounding Isle of Mull.

The only minor problem is that The Isle of Mull is indeed an island. Gettin there and back actually involved three ferries -- nothing new to us Seattle-ites -- but still a bit of an adventure since they were three VERY different conveyances.

The first ferry took us across Loch Linnhe where we set off across the moors on a single track road to Lochaline where we picked up a second ferry across the sound of Mull. Of course it was pouring rain the whole time and single track roads are, by definition, one lane wide. Fortunately there is not a lot of traffic but an oncoming car in the middle of nowhere on a blind curve can still give you a jolt!

We have seen quite a few of these on the trip and they actually work better than you might imagine. Every thirty yards or so there is a little pull-off area (called a lay-by over here) where one car can get out of the way so another may pass ... always with a friendly wave. Quite sweet, actually.

There isn't a whole lot to see on Mull, at least in the rain, but there is the well-known castle Duart, ancestral home of the MacLean clan ... another spot that seemed appropriately brooding in the rain and mist. After checking it out and wandering a bit, we warmed up in a relatively new local pub (early 1800's!) and availed ourselves of their food and grog while we waited for the big boat back to Oban. A 45-minute drive up to Fort William completed the loop and we were soon tucked away back in the comfort of our little rooftop hideaway at the Lime Tree. All in all it was a good, albeit damp, day.

We are finding that two meals a day pretty much does it for us these days. A full Scottish breakfast is very hearty and much more of the American style (eggs, toast and bacon ... although their idea of bacon is more like our idea of ham), To that, they add fried tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, some sort of potato scone and often black pudding and baked beans! We have found the Scottish porridge (oatmeal) generally thick, creamy and filling so of late we are increasingly opting for that.

Since we'd already had our two meals for the day, we really didn't feel up to heading out for dinner. It is difficult for a restaurant guy to pass up the chance to check out another dining experience, but sometimes you just have to say no or face the consequences of an ever-expanding waistline. Pity.

Comings and Goings

The Manses of Mull

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