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  1. We had a long day of driving ahead of us today so we made a fairly early start, setting out straight after breakfast in the hotel. We were due to catch a ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull in the early evening and the journey from Whitehaven to Oban was around 227 miles. The first part of the journey was not very exciting as we drove across Cumbria towards Carlisle, then onto the motorway which would take us across southern Scotland towards Glasgow. We navigated the outskirts of Glasgow, before driving on a bridge across the river Clyde towards Dumbarton, where we wanted to visit the Asda superstore This is where we stopped to stock up on food when we were on our way to the Isle of Islay earlier this year and, while I hadn't seen any specific advice this time about it being difficult to buy food on the Isle of Mull, a bit of googling had identified that the biggest supermarket on the island seems to be a rather small Co-op on the high street in Tobermory. It seemed to make sense to stock up in advance! Once we'd bought a reasonable amount of non-perishable food and wine, we got back in the car and began the more scenic part of the journey, which took us along the shores of Loch Lomond. The weather forecast today had been sunshine and showers. The further we got into Scotland, the more we seemed to have showers rather than sunshine! We parked at the small village of Luss to stretch our legs near the lake. It's a pretty little place, but as you can see it was rather damp today. And Loch Lomond itself was looking rather misty! When the shower turned into heavy rain we got back in the car and continued northwards towards Oban. The rain was torrential for a while, but the sky began to clear up a bit as we got closer to our destination. We stopped about 25 miles outside Oban for a short walk. The path took us alongside Loch Awe; not as well known as Loch Lomond, but this is the third largest freshwater lake in Scotland. Behind us we could see a mountain with a large waterfall running down it... ...while in front of us we had a view towards Kilchurn Castle. The castle is a ruin but it still looks quite impressive And it's definitely in a really pretty location. As you can probably tell, the weather was still a bit windy even though the rain had eased off We walked around to the opposite side of the castle to get a better view of the loch. The rain was starting to pick up again by this point, so it was time to head back to the car. It took slightly longer to drive the remaining miles to Oban than I'd expected; the roads were quite slow and winding. In the end we arrived around 16.50, which gave us just an hour until the final check in time for our ferry. We'd been hoping to get a nice meal in the town, but given the time constraints all we were able to do was park the car and rush to the local Wetherspoons where we at least knew we'd be served quickly. Oban looks like a pleasant little town. Slightly bizarrely, there's what looks like a replica Colosseum on a hill behind the town We made it through our meal with plenty of time to check in for the ferry and soon we were on board for the short ferry journey to Mull. The trip only takes around 45 minutes from Oban, so it wasn't long before we got our first views of the island on the horizon. We sailed past what looked like a castle on our way into the port of Craignure. Before long we had arrived on a brand new island It's difficult to find accommodation on the Isle of Mull; at least, it's difficult in August and at short notice. So I'd struggled a bit with making bookings for this holiday. I managed to find what looked like a nice cottage to stay in, but unfortunately it was only available from Saturday night, and all the Saturday ferries to the island were completely booked up. I could get a slot on a ferry for this evening, so in the end I decided to go for it and spend the first night in a rather overpriced hotel just outside Craignure. As it was the only place on the island with availability when we needed it, we ended up paying a rather extortionate £200 for one night. This is what £200 gets you on the Isle of Mull Not exactly worth what we've paid, but we intend to try and get our money's worth out of breakfast in the morning!
  2. Our ultimate aim for the day was to drive from Dumbarton to Dundee, on the eastern side of Scotland. If we took the most direct route, it would be a journey of around 85 miles, but we wanted to have the most scenic drive possible. After breakfast in Dumbarton, we therefore initially drove north, in the direction of Loch Lomond. Our first destination was the small village of Luss, which we'd visited on one of our previous trips to Scotland and remembered as being really attractive. It didn't take us long to arrive and find a car park, from where we could walk down to the shores of the loch. It was a little bit wet this morning, but the views were beautiful even with the mist. We even founds some swans and ducks The village of Luss itself is very pretty too. Apparently it's famous because the Scottish TV series "Take the high road" was filmed there, but I don't think I've ever seen it. It's only a small village, so once we'd had a wander around and finished admiring the lake, it was time to get back in the car. There were some amazing views of Loch Lomond as we continued to follow the main road around the western shore of the lake. The weather began to brighten up as we drove, and by the time we reached the next viewpoint it was starting to look sunny I can't remember what this place was called, but there was a small car park with a path to follow towards a viewpoint out across the water. It was definitely worth stopping to admire the views here After the viewpoint we continued driving north, towards a village called Bridge of Orchy. It was a really beautiful drive By the time we got to Bridge of Orchy the clouds were starting to look a bit darker, though. There isn't much in the village itself but there was a small car park here where we were able to leave the car and walk along a bit of the West Highland Way. We followed the path, climbing up through a forest. It did rain for a while, and when we turned around we could see the hills were disappearing into the mist. After walking uphill for a while, we got our first glimpse of some water in the distance. It was still rather damp and misty when looking back towards Bridge of Orchy... ...but once we reached the high point of the walk and started descending the other side, things started to brighten up We were now getting closer to the water, which turned out to be a lake called Loch Tulla. The path led us past this solitary windswept tree... ...and then began to lead down to this small cluster of white houses which we could see in the distance. It was hard not to just keep taking photos of the same views, because they were so spectacular As we got closer to the loch we could see that the water looked quite dark in places. It reminded me a bit of the black lake which we'd once walked around in Montenegro. The weather was now beginning to look much sunnier Our destination was looking closer too. We were walking down towards the Inveroran hotel, where we were hoping to get some refreshments. Luckily it did indeed turn out to be open and we were able to get a couple of paninis for lunch Suitably refreshed, we then just had to trek back to our car at Bridge of Orchy. The weather had gone off a bit again by this point and it was rather windy! It was still a lovely walk with some great views though! After an hour or so we could see Bridge of Orchy appearing in the distance. The mist had cleared again on the mountains here. The weather was very fast-changing today! We got back to the car some time after 3pm and then had two hours of driving across Scotland to Dundee. First impressions of Dundee from driving through it are that it is nowhere near as pretty as Bridge of Orchy We're staying in a serviced apartment here, which seems like good value for money at £75/night. In addition to the bedroom there's a large living area... ...and a kitchen too. We were feeling a bit tired after our hiking today, so decided to save exploring Dundee for tomorrow and have a night in instead
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