shorefront camping… here will do nicely

Isle of Mull’s raw and rugged beauty

The Lochbuie experience

Being able to catch the earlier ferry to Mull was a real win. Not only did we witness a beautiful sunset, but be we also still had some late evening sunshine to drive in when we arrived. A big help when driving on the unfamiliar ‘interesting’ winding single track roads to our destination in Lochbuie.

It was a beautiful drive over in the early evening golden sunshine. Plus it had the benefit of less traffic on the single track road section. A part of the trip Lorna was not particularly looking forward to as she’d heard some of them were quite ‘challenging’. I sometimes forget that as it’s a lefthand drive bus, so Lorna is often nearer the edge of the road or any on-coming traffic! 

Simple and quirky sounds good

We were heading to the south of Mull initially. This gave us an experience of a short section of what counts as an A road, plus a slightly longer drive on some single track road. Although I wanted to take in the beautiful scenery, concentrating on the road was more the priority here! Still, I loved what I what was seeing so far.

When looking for places to stay, quirky or beautiful always appeal to us. I had read about the Old Post Office of Mull, and quirky was its initial attraction. Having safely arrived we felt we’d struck gold. Quirky it most definitely was. But it was also remote and ruggedly beautiful as well. Something we’d not fully anticipated until we arrived there.

shorefront camping… here will do nicely
shorefront camping… here will do nicely

We found an ace little spot to stay just nearby. We camped amongst some yellow gorse right on the edge of the sea. It had a wonderful panoramic view of the bay with a brilliant backdrop of the mountains behind and around us. Perfect! 🙂 A bit too late to explore tonight, but looking forward to seeing what we’d discover about our surroundings in the morning…

The beauty of Lochbuie

Initially, we thought this might be a single night stopover for us. Having got here, our minds soon changed. The stillness, quietness and panoramic vistas of Lochbuie made it a perfect place to unwind and relax.

the beautiful backdrop of Lochbuie
the beautiful backdrop of Lochbuie

Looking back from an island at low tide, our little home on four wheels tucked in nicely on the shoreline. The epic nature of the surrounding landscape pretty much dwarfs everything!

Four-legged road congestion

Normally I wake quite early when camping in the bus, even with our blackout blinds. No need for alarm clocks here though. A small group of sheep had that covered, as they wandered around grazing beside the bus first thing in the morning. Road congestion is more likely due to four-legged users, rather than anything with four wheels! 

Highlands highway code – give way to oncoming Blackface sheep
Highlands highway code – give way to oncoming Blackface sheep

Sheep were not the only wildlife in the area. There were sea otters, lots of different types of birds and of course, the iconic Highland cattle. We had already encountered them on the roads, but were surprised to see them on the beach as well! I guess if your free-roaming, then why not head down to the beach in the afternoon! 🙂

free roaming Highland cattle on the beach
free roaming Highland cattle on the beach

The beaches on this part of the Isle of Mull had a very cool looking grey coloured sand. It was amazing to be able to spend time walking on such awesome beaches with not a sole in sight. Apart from the odd Highland cow obvs!

the peaceful panorama of a beach all to ourselves
the peaceful panorama of a beach all to ourselves

The Old Post Office of Mull

The actual Old Post Office of Mull was right on our doorstep. It was a simple wooden shed with a post box outside. This simple shack acted as a bit of a convenience store of sorts. Inside it offered a good selection of both fresh and frozen local produce.

Lorna at the Old Post Office of Mull
Lorna at the Old Post Office of Mull

There were snacks, delicacies and options for main meals too. It covered quite a surprising amount of bases with the range on offer! Everything we tried was of really good quality, and very tasty indeed!

the Old Post Office of Mull has a great selection of food goodies
the Old Post Office of Mull has a great selection of food goodies

We both like trying out and supporting local producers, and we were not disappointed with the various items we bought! 

Honesty is the best policy

The Old Post Office operated with an ‘honesty box’ for payment. Everything was priced up and you simply left money in the box to cover the items you wanted. Simples. 

the Old Post Office of Mull runs an honesty box system for payments
the Old Post Office of Mull runs an honesty box system for payments

In terms of opening hours, the shop ran more casual business hours 😉 It seemed more of a ‘lifestyle’ business!

the Old Post Office of Mull business hours
the Old Post Office of Mull business hours

Having bought a few late night snacks for later, we thought we’d check out some more of the local area. There were some nearby small islands only accessible when the tide went out, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to wander over and explore.

Lorna exploring the small islands of Lochbuie
Lorna exploring the small islands of Lochbuie

Simply changing our location gave us a whole new perspective on the area we were staying in. From the island, you could get a much wider panoramic view of Lochbuie. It was an amazing view that would be hard to get tired of seeing anytime soon!

the ever-changing horizon of Lochbuie
the ever-changing horizon of Lochbuie

The strange little church of St. Kilda

Before we got cut off when the tide changes, we headed back from the small islands and went to see the tiny St. Kilda’s Church. A small church with a strange mystery surrounding its name.

the unusual little Saint Kilda’s church
the unusual little Saint Kilda’s church

The little church was built by Murdoch MacLaine of Lochbuie in 1876. Local rumours say it was originally consecrated to St. Oran. Later this was changed to St. Kilda. Strangely, people don’t know why? St. Kilda is sometimes thought to be a mythical person, as no saint is actually known of that name!

the intimate interior of Saint Kilda’s church
the intimate interior of Saint Kilda’s church

The name is only found on the island of St. Kilda and an ancient well on the island, Toubir-Kilda (Well of Kilda). St Kilda first appears on a Dutch map dated 1666, and that it might have been derived from Norse ‘Sunt Kelda’ (sweet well water) or from a mistaken Dutch assumption that the spring Tobar Childa was dedicated to a saint.

ending the day relaxing around a driftwood beach fire
ending the day relaxing around a driftwood beach fire

After a fun day of exploring, we relaxed around a driftwood beach fire and watched the sun slowly slip below the horizon. A perfect ending to a great day. I could get used to this! 🙂

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