We got off to an early start the next day and drove straight into Oban to catch a ferry over to the Isle of Mull. Our pups experienced a ferry once before when we went to Arran and generally coped well, although Biggles found the stairs a little too steep for his liking. How would the ferry to Mull measure up now our two were experienced seafarers?
Well, the steps were still very steep but as a big four year old boy, Biggles was well up for the challenge this time. He charged up them, perhaps hoping that if he could get far enough ahead of me he could take a small diversion into the canteen area. No such luck! But at least complementary doggy drinks had been served on the upper deck, courtesy of rainwater that had collected on the outdoor seats. What’s more, this ferry was apparently built to the same high standards as the Arran one:
Head-sized gaps between all the railings for the nosy Beagle? Check!
Lots of strange nooks and crannies to explore? Check!
A spacious under-seat area with the promise of food crumbs hidden in the flooring? Check!
On top of the mostly Beagle-friendly design, the Mull ferry offered some very pretty seascapes:
On arrival on Mull we stopped off at a cafe for a light breakfast. This wasn’t nearly as relaxing as it should have been because Beanie (who’d already had her breakfast!) pulled out all the stops to get an illicit nibble of our food.
Princess Beanie is not above begging if the spoils are worth it..
Breakfast over, we headed to the starting point of our first walk: the Carsaig to Lochbuie coastal trail. The drive to Carsaig is an adventure in itself. Most of Mull seems to be served by single track roads. The major roads at least have regular passing places and grass verges that could be used at a pinch, but the road to Carsaig is extra narrow, with scarcely any passing places. Run into someone coming in the opposite direction and you’re looking at up to a mile of reversing.
As it happened, we lucked out and the only other vehicle we encountered exactly coincided with a passing place. I think Biggles sensed my stress during the drive because he had a very noisy bed making session mid-journey. Biggles isn’t very good at making beds, and on this occasion he ended up lying on the rough plastic crate bottom with only his chin resting on a pile of ruckled up vetbed. Fortunately the walk was well worth the tortuous drive and bedding disaster it took to get to it.
The old pier at Carsaig
The coastal trail is one-way, so we only did part of it then turned back, leaving the afternoon free for a further ferry trip to the Isle of Iona.
..and Beanie & Biggles make their second island hop of the day
We had plans to go on a walk to the other side of the island, but quickly discovered that Iona, like Skye, is absolutely teaming with sheep. For the sake of a quiet life we abandoned the walk and Susan gave the pups a short run along the beach. Needless to say, as seasoned running dogs Beanie & Biggles behaved impeccably, always running forward in a straight line and never once indulging in any funny business.
OK, so maybe there was a bit of funny business. Once. Or twice.
Of course our return journey now involved not one but two ferry trips and a substantial drive. What’s more the first trip from Iona back to Mull had a lot of other doggy passengers. This was the last straw for Biggles. Not only did he have the responsibility of keeping our campsite in order, but now he had to police the blummin’ ferry as well? It was too much to ask of our little boy! He tossed his sheriff’s badge into the sea and climbed up onto his Mum’s lap for a cuddle.
That’s it! If they want a supervisor for this ferry they can find someone else. I’m going on strike!