The Goat Surprise
A few weeks ago we changed our North-West Highlands for the Isle of Mull - still west-coast but a fair distance from us so we decided it really needed a proper holiday there, rather than just a rushed long weekend.
One of my big aims was to get to the Isle of Staff and Fingal's Cave - and to see the puffins there. There will be special blog posts about those adventures, but let us jump ahead to the very last day of our trip. When - drumroll - I let Stewart decide what we'd do. This is very unusual because I am the planner in the family and there is seldom a holiday which is not thoroughly researched (yes, yes, we covered that before!). But as it was a very busy week at work before we left AND I aspired to some flexibility I thought why not leave somebody else to call some of the shots.
So on the way back from our far south-west campsite - after a short stop to buy Isle of Mull Cheese for the boys (sold in our local store at home but really wanted to eat some 'on location') and a quick fix of 15 minutes of internet for £1 in a local charity shop for me (after surviving 47 hours without internet or mobile phone signal) we finally reached the turn off for Carsaig. It was a small road and a steep road- I was glad I wasn't driving and as we got closer to the bay I closed my eyes.
We squeezed into the little car park and chatted with a few Canadian tourists who also had the plan to head to the famous Carsaig Arches. Because we had not planned we had no exact idea of the distance or the time it would take but hey this was an adventure and as it was all the way along the coast we couldn't exactly go wrong either! But with a ferry to catch we had a deal that if it just was too far we'd just enjoy however far we got.
The first surprise was the beach - the sand wasn't the bright white coral sand we are used to at home. And neither was it the sandy red we have in the North-West. It was GREY! Volcanic sand! How amazing. I started to love the surprise factor already.
We ventured on along the coast with the path changing between wide and grassy to rocky and narrow and plenty of muddy patches in between. On one of the easy stretches Stewart concluded we'd be at the Arches in no time but then we hit a scrambly part and we realised with a ferry to catch in the late afternoon we'd probably not make it. But it wasn't about a destination really but the experience!
Just as we told ourselves that Stewart shouted 'OH WOW'. We followed around the corner and OH WOW indeed - there was a goat. And another one - three feral goats. Quick photo shoots followed so we could capture the moment and we concluded this was an amazing experience! Then we continued around another corner and OH WOW - there was a beach full of goats! Baby goats - grown up goats - old & wise looking goats. They were everywhere!
More photos of course and we knew that whatever else this walk would bring we've had a major highlight already. Who would have known? And yes indeed had I known it would probably have not been as exciting.
Onward and as it happened upwards to search for the Nuns' Cave. Once found and explored we did a time check and indeed there simply wasn't enough to reach the Arches but never mind - a picnic on an amazing rock shelf with even more impressive rock pools (and Mull cheese) was the perfect half way experience. As we turned around we saw some black clouds appearing on the horizon which was another sign that it was time to head back.
A fabulous last Mull adventure - the goat surprise moment will stay with us forever!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Monika (an Austrian in Scotland), Stewart (a true Highlander) and Corwin (8), plus 2 dogs and 5 cats. We live on a woodland croft in the parish of Assynt, in the far North West Highlands of Scotland.
Favourite place in the world:
Home - we are lucky to have mountains and beaches on our doorstep and Scotland generally; but we also love the mountains in my native Austria and have a soft spot for California, where we spent our honeymoon.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Explovering (our personal term for exploring and discovering) mountains, lochs and beaches, camping, foraging, star gazing, Geocaching, developing our already wonderful woodlands into a magic place to share with family, friends and neighbours and fishing.