As you can see from this Monday morning picture, the texture from yesterday evening’s moody grey skies had completely disappeared to be replaced by oppressive, featureless low cloud. This is the view from the right front quarter of Guillaume across to the opposite shore of Loch Linnhe, just visible between the low grey clouds and the grey water. It was breezy but at least it wasn’t raining.
We went to visit an old friend of Francine who, for some inexplicable reason, has chosen to live in Scotland. Apparently, he wanted to “do all the Munroes” – a Munroe is a mountain above 3000 feet – but, as can so often be the case, health issues intervened. We had arranged to meet for a walk upwards but, as you can see from the first picture, heading upwards was a decidedly bad idea so we opted for a trip to visit Oban instead. Oban was, to quote friend’s wife, “a bonny wee town”. Like our once removed contact at Englethwaite Hall, she also expressed the opinion that Fort William was a dump. A consensus was beginning to form.
We wandered along the harbour and called into an Oban cafe and chocolate shop to sample both the coffee (very good) and chocolates (also very good). Outside, a constantly changing line of cruise ship tourists were being ferried back to said cruise ship, moored out in deeper water, by two tenders shuttling back and forth.
Our friends spotted a fish restaurant, the Waypoint Bar & Grill, across Oban harbour on Kerrera island. There was also a ferry service to and from it which, it transpired, was free. Fish and Chips appear to be regarded as Scottish haute cuisine, along with black pudding which they were at pains to point out was best from a master butcher in Oban. With trepidation – Franco doesn’t do well on small boats – we took the ferry for lunch. Whilst our pals tucked into Scottish gourmet haddock and chips, Francine enjoyed some wonderfully caramelized scallops with bacon and salad (declared delicious) and I chose mussels with garlic, white wine, cream and parsley, or moules marinières, as I prefer to call it. I must say, I think the mussels were the best I have ever tasted.
After a brief interlude of relative brightness, the grey had returned and the rain, which had begun as we approached the island, gradually intensified. The clouds hit the deck and, as we were driving back to Guillaume after our return ferry trip, the rain was downright awful. The opposite side of the loch had become all but invisible.
This could get tedious.