Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Long Weekend In Argyll - Tarbert, Loch Fyne and Skipness

Tarbert HarbourTarbert Harbour

Tarbert, Loch Fyne

With the weather looking like it was going to keep reasonably dry, we headed south from Lochgilphead to Tarbert on Loch Fyne but with no particular plan in mind.

A quick visit to the tourist information office soon put us onto a couple of possibilities for shortish walks so we headed for the steps to the ruined castle that dominates the skyline on the north side of the town. It's only a short climb up to the castle and, although there's not much left other than the ruined tower, you can clearly see the outlines of the walls and buildings.

Tarbert CastleThe castle is thought to have been built in the 13th century by Alexander II but may well have had much earlier roots. It is more famously associated with Robert the Bruce, who is supposed to have had it repaired and extended in 1325.

There are a couple of walk options from the castle and we followed the path up the hillside in a three or four mile round trip to Cnoc nan Caorach and Corranbuie. There's a cairn up there that we were told was built by a man who carried each stone up from the village day by day but if he did he was mad - there's a quarry full of very similar looking stones about 50 yards away from it. Anyway, it's not a bad walk to pass a few hours and there are some nice views over East Loch Tarbert and beyond.


We picked up some food for lunch in Tarbert and headed down to Skipness, which has an impressive ruined castle and looks out over the Kilbrannan Sound to the isle of Arran. We had lunch on an anonymous section of beach, with a bench provided by some good souls, but the weather a bit miserable and the view of Arran wasn't that great.
Skipness CastleSkipness Castle

The castle was built in the 13th century by the MacSweens as a defence against the marauding Vikings, then passed through the Macdonalds and Forresters until the Campbells got it in 1499. It's been abandoned since the 1700s but it's still a pretty impressive place and well worth a visit as they've restored a good deal of the 16th century tower and the views from the roof of that are pretty good.

Kilbrannan ChapelKilbrannan Chapel

Between the castle and the sea stands the ruined Kilbrannan Chapel, built in the 13th century as a tribute to st. Brendan. It has some well preserved and decorated burial slabs if you like that kind of thing.

Eating Out

Back in Lochgilphead for the evening, the rain was pelting it down so we headed along the front to the Taj Mahal for a curry and it was pretty reasonable. It's a pretty small place and doesn't have a drinks license but the food was good - no complaints at all.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Long Weekend In Argyll - Crarae Garden, Lochgilphead and Crinan

With the prospect of a Monday off of work, we got up sharp on Saturday morning and started hunting for somewhere to stay for a few days over in the Tarbert area. Unfortunately we'd left it a bit late and couldn't find anywhere suitable but we found a B&B in Lochgilphead called The Corran, which turned out not bad at all. It's run by a couple of friendly antipodeans that saw the place for sale while holidaying here and stayed.

Crarae Garden

Anyway, on the way up there, or over there as it's hardly north of Glasgow - just a long way round, we stopped off for a couple of hours at Crarae Garden. Crarae is a very nice hillside garden on the side of Loch Fyne, belonging to the National Trust for Scotland. It's full of exotic trees and shrubs and in Spring, there are loads of rhododendrons, azalias and camellias in bloom.

it's a wee bit more of a rugged garden, being on the hillside, but if you climb up to the top of the garden, it also has some great views out over the trees to the loch beyond. A nice place to pass some time on a pleasant afternoon! The only downside - no tearoom.


We got into Lochgilphead about five-ish, found the B&B easily enough (thank you Multimap), got settled in and relaxed for a while. So, about six, we headed into town looking for somewhere to eat and just to scope the place out a bit. The local yobs were out though, being noisy and generally yobbish so not a great first impression. We'd been here before a few years ago on the way down to camping in Tayinloan but all we did then was buy something from the chippy and ate it sitting in front of the shore.

Eating Out

We tramped around looking for somewhere to eat but there really aren't a lot of options. There's an Indian restaurant, a vegetarian place, a couple of pubs and a Chinese take-away and The Snug, the Argyll Hotel bar, which is where we ended up. The menu looked way better than the average pub fare and, on the whole we weren't disappointed, although more on that later.

We shared starters of potato wedges and garlic mayonnaise and pate with toast. Lorna had the crispy beer-battered fresh haddock and I had the grilled cajun chicken. the food was pretty good and we scoffed the lot but just as Lorna was clearing her plate she spotted a hair that had been under the last of the fish - not a great way to end a meal.


After dinner, we headed off to Crinan to see what it was like and for some views out over the sea and to maybe catch the sunset. Crinan, formally known as Port Righ, is at the western end of the Crinan Canal, the 300 year old waterway running across Kintyre from Ardrishaig in the east.

The Vital Spark

The canal is pretty busy and there were loads of boats in the basin and side locks in Crinan. However, we were suprised to find the Vital Spark languishing at the back of the basin. The Vital Spark is probably the Clyde's most famous wee puffer after starring in the BBC TV series The Tales Of Para Handy, which were an adaptation of the stories of the Vital Spark by Neil Munro. Sad to to see the boat rusting away, uncared for.

The sun was going down and looking like it'd produce a decent sunset over the islands but disaster struck when the camera battery ran out of power. I did manage to get one decent shot in though as a wee boat was turning around and the sun caught it nicely on the side.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tanequil - by Terry Brooks

Having just finished Jarka Ruus, I was eager to get into this, the second volume in the High Druid Of Shannara series, the fourth Shannara series from Terry Brooks. Here's a brief summary…

Banished to the harsh mirror-world of the Forbidding, Grianne Ohmsford's only hope for rescue is her nephew Penderrin. But Pen and his family are in danger as well. The teacherous druid who took Grianne's place seeks to ensure that neither Pen's or Bek's magic will help her return.

To breach the Forbidding and bring Grianne back to the natural world, Pen has to journey into the dreaded region of Inkrim to find the fabled Tanequil and the darkwand that only it can provide. However, no one but Grianne is aware that her entry into the Forbidding allowed something dark to escape and she knows that this creature may be only the vanguard of a greater, more devastating invasion...

The tale continues with Pen searching for the means to enter the Forbidding and save his sister. Enlisting the help of the rock trolls, they head into the Inkrim, a dark and dangerous region, looking for the city of Stridegate where they hope to find the fabled Tanequil. Meanwhile, Grianne struggles to survive in the nightmare land of the Forbidding, a land where all the evil creatures of the world were once banished to.

I enjoyed this book immensely and it was a great follow up to Jarka Ruus. It just gets darker and darker and, while the Druids are still chasing Pen and his band while he searches for the Tanequil, the storyline set in the Forbidding is excellent. The political intrigue continues on both planes as Shadea a'Ru consolidates her power base, Sen Dunsidan finds a new means to win his war on the Prekkendoran and even demon lords of the Forbidding aren't immune to rivalry. I'm off to find the third book, Straken.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction.
ISBN: 0-7434-1498-5
My Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Firefly - The Complete Series

Finally finished watching all 14 episodes of Joss Whedon's Firefly - The Complete Series. Joss Whedon is the man behind the amazingly successful Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel series on TV and this was his first foray into the realm of science-fiction.

The series follows the adventures of the captain and crew of the Firefly class spaceship Serenity. Mostly outcasts, on the run or searching for something more esoteric, the group operate on the fringes of Alliance controlled space as mercenaries, smugglers and, if needs must or the opportunity arises, downright thieves and brigands.

Having just taken aboard a couple of fugitives from the Alliance, a courtesan and a preacher, the rest of the crew now find that they are now living in "interesting times".

Basically, it's a Western set in space. The settled frontier worlds are far from the civilized centre of things and life is much harder. People have to make do with what is available and that usually means that things are less science-fiction and more homespun. Clothing is at a standard of the old west, home furnishings are still made of wood and the weapon of choice is the handgun. That's not to say that there aren't any more up-to-date gadgets or weapons, they're just not the main focus of the stories.

It's unfortunate that there were only ever 14 episodes of this entertaining series but, as has happened so many times before, its run was cut short by penny pinching studio bosses who couldn't see farther than their pile of dollar bills. Firefly, like Buffy and Angel, is a class piece of work - excellent story-writing and scripts, well developed characters and a cast of pretty decent actors. Things were starting to come together quite well too - relationships were forming or failing, storylines were picking up from earlier episodes and the major story arc with River was starting to pan out. Luckily fan pressure and the excellent DVD sales won out and helped Whedon continue the story onto the big screen in the movie Serenity. Here's hoping that the success of that venture will spawn a sequel or even a comeback for the series.

It may be unusual and at cross-purposes with the classic view of futuristic progress in space travel and exploration but forget all that and just enjoy the ride! Highly recommended!

Genre: Drama, Science-Fiction, Western
My Rating: 9/10

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happiness: £1

My daughter Jacqueline was fed up having to make up tapes to play in my old fashioned car cassette player so she bought one of those little adapters that plug into the cassette slot and the results are pretty amazing. She's got an iPod mini and it sounded great fed through this adapter. You plug one end into the iPod earphone socket and shove the "cassette" end into the slot.

I'd looked at them before and was even considering getting a decent MP3-CD player for the car but just hadn't gotten round to it and the price of iPod/MP3 player compatible models is pretty high. Anyway, this little gadget only cost £1 from Poundland, one of those "everything for a pound" places - an amazing bargain, especially as Apple want almost £18 for the cheapest one they sell.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Wagamama, 97 West George Street, Glasgow

We fancied a few drinks and then something to eat after work so, after bumping into a couple of the lads in the Sir John Moore, we were recommended to try out Wagamama, a Japanese noodle bar.

It was pretty busy and the seating is in series of long benches so you could end up being seated next to anyone. Anyway, we got in and seated without much bother and the staff were friendly enough. It's the first time we'd been in a Japanese restaurant so we were feeling a bit experimental. We got a couple of side dishes of Yasai Gyoza and Negima Yakitori along with Chicken Itameru and Ginger Chicken Udon. All a bit heavy on the chicken I know but we're not seafood fans. Drinks were a couple of bottles of Asahi Super Dry, which was okay but a wee bit bland.

The food was excellent and pretty varied (if you don't mention the chicken). The side dishes were tasty and the Ginger Chicken Udon was very nice indeed. All of the above was only about £30 so not too pricy either - I suspect we'll be back sometime to try out something else!

Cuisine: Japanese
My Rating: 7/10

Jarka Ruus - by Terry Brooks

This is the first volume in the High Druid Of Shannara series, the fourth Shannara series from Terry Brooks. Here's a brief summary…

Twenty years have passed since the events told in the Voyage Of The Jerle Shannara trilogy. Grianne Ohmsford has renounced her former life as the evil Ilse Witch and is now the head of a new Druid Council. But there are those who cannot easily forgive Grianne's past actions, and when her enemies cause her to disappear, only a few loyal friends can help her.

The dwarf Tagwen; Grianne's nephew, Pen Ohmsford; and the Elf Prince, Ahren Elessedil, begin a desperate journey to find and rescue Grianne but their quest is perilous, for the darkest of magics have been used to spirit Grianne away and her enemies will stop at nothing to keep her from being returned to power.

Pen Ohmsford is descended from the line of Jerle Shannara, the first of the Elven Kings, but his own magic seems small and inadequate when measured against that of his aunt's enemies. And there is another danger. An ancient and deadly power has found its way into the world. and if things are not put to rights, the danger to the Four Kingdoms will be immeasurable…

I've read all of the Shannara books so far and this is yet another good one. I have to say that I didn't quite get so enthused with the Sword Of Shannara series but both the Scions Of Shannara and the Voyage Of The Jerle Shannara series were extremely addictive reading. It's set in a world where magic is a way of life and the Druids are the guardians of the land but it's also a world where a once powerful technology has been reduced to only a few, still working remnants, hidden or lost in the remoter areas. It all meshes very nicely together and the plots are very well written.

Sure, again we have a young member of the Ohmsford family setting out on a dangerous quest to inevitably save the world and there are some parallels with the earlier series but there's enough of a different plot going on here to keep the interest going. I don't want to give away too much but we're introduced to a range of new characters and species, political machinations are rife with both the Druid Council and Federation and Free-Born war still raging.

I've already started reading the next volume, Tanequil, and it's getting even better.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction.
ISBN: 0-7434-1497-7
My Rating: 8/10

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mugdock Country Park

Since the weather was still nice, regardless of the forecast of rain, we headed out towards a garden centre, then Lorna remembered seeing one on the way to Aberfoyle. We've driven past it so many times and I'd remembered it from my youth as we sometimes used to fish in Mugdock Loch. We never caught anything as far as I can remember though! So we headed off to Mugdock Country Park to see what it had to offer for an hour or two.

The first surprise was that was no entry charge. There's a box for donations, and we popped some cash in, but with all there is on offer for kids it seemed unusual. I mean there's two castles, orienteering, archery, educational displays, woodland walks, a pond, a loch and a pretty busy event calendar. Oh, and there's a tearoom so there's scones as well.

The main castle, Mugdock Castle is a ruin dating back to 1372 and was the ancient seat of Clan Graham. There's also a second ruin called Craigend Castle, which is actually a 19th century mansion house built in the Regency Gothic style. You can wander freely through the Mugdock Castle ruins and you can even get into the tower on weekends but Craigend Castle is fenced off as it looks ready to topple anytime and is now only home to a murder of crows.

Craigend Castle

Anyway, we had a decent wander round the grounds and the loch and then a nice tea and a scone so it passed a few hours quite pleasantly and we'll probably go back to investigate some more.

King's Lodge, 91 Union Street, Glasgow

Went out for a buffet lunch to the King's Lodge Chinese buffet restaurant in Union Street and was pretty impressed with the volume and quality of the food on offer.

It's a pretty high turnover place and there was a constant stream of people waiting for tables so the waiting staff are pretty quick on their toes - taking away plates, asking if you need more drink, etc. As for the food, there was a great selection of tasty looking dishes available and not just a few as I've seen in other buffet places. Another plus point is that it seems low in MSG use as that stuff does my head in the next day.

Well recommended for a lunch outing and I think we're going back later this week.

Cuisine: Chinese
My Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Finally got to see this follow up to the excellent Ice Age. We'd been off on a break in Oban when it was released and then I got a stinker of a cold last weekend but Orange Wednesdays won out in the end.

Sid, Manny and Diego are having an easy life in a pleasant valley, surrounded by lots of familiar ice, but the Ice Age is coming to an end and their idyllic way of life in the valley is threatened. So the three heroes must again unite to lead all the animals to safety before the oncoming deluge of meltwater destroys their home.

As sequels go this is one of the good ones. If anything it might well be better than the original. John Leguizamo is brilliant again as Sid the Sloth and we were in stitches through most of the movie. Ray Romano and Dennis Leary return as Manny and Diego and both are excellent again. However, there are a couple of new characters this time - Ellie (Queen Latifah), a mammoth that thinks she's a possum and her brother possums Crash and Eddie, played by Sean William Scott and Josh Peck.

Of course it wouldn't be the same without Scrat, the saber-tooth squirrel, and he's back in a much larger role here. Absolutely hilarious from start to finish!

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
My Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Short Break In Oban - Ganavan To Dunstaffnage

Oban Bay

This was our last day in Oban so, once we'd had breakfast, paid the bill and checked out, we headed back up to McCaig's Tower to get some decent shots out over the firth since the weather was still pretty good. What really made it better looking was the fact that the sea was glassy calm!

Island Views

Ganavan To Dunstaffnage

Then, it was once again down into town for the makings of a pack lunch and off for another walk. Just a short one this time so we headed up to Ganavan, planning to walk around the coast to Dunstaffnage Castle. It's about a four mile round trip so nothing too strenuous, especially with a couple of hours worth of driving ahead.

Ganavan has a lovely sandy beach and I remember we spent an afternoon on it a few years ago one warm September day. We headed off along the beach towards the cliffs and onto the pretty rough path leading around the base of the cliffs. It has to be said that the path is mostly composed of broken off rubble from the cliffs and is pretty rough so sturdy boots are a good idea. I also have to mention that there is a tricky step to negotiate on the cliff edge that you might find a show-stopper if you're not very sure-footed or confident above drops into the sea. I fancied just leaping over the gap but Lorna managed to find a more sensible route so we made it over safely. Mind you if anyone had slipped, then they'd have been in the sea with possibly a broken bone or two as well.

After that the path leads on towards Dunstaffnage without any further problems. You come across the ruined Chapel before the Castle, which is also sort of ruined with the addition of a small tourist shop and ticket stall. The castle itself is a ruin as well and we'd been in before so didn't fancy paying to see it again so we sat down in the grounds and had lunch on the grass.

Dunstaffnage Castle

The return trip involved walking back as far as the cliffs and then following the faint path over Ganavan Hill, which was a much more pleasant way to go. The views were better and the Gorse bushes were in full bloom so the smell on the wind was excellent. Then it was back down onto Ganavan beach for another wee rest on the sand before heading back into Oban for some last minute shopping. Managed to pick up a Stornoway Black Pudding, as we both love the stuff, an Isle of Mull Truckle of cheese for my mum and dad and a jar of mint boilings for Lorna's dad.

Then, sadly it was time to head home to Glasgow. There were some really good views of Ben Cruachan, Ben Lui and Ben Lomond, all of them covered in snow, on the way back. Pity I didn't manage to get any photos of them.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Short Break In Oban - Kerrera


Another good, hearty breakfast and a quick trip down town to buy something for lunch and off we set for the 10:30 ferry to the little island of Kerrera. We've been to Kerrera before done this same walk but the weather was nice and our legs didn't fancy another climb after doing Beinn Lora yesterday so it seemed a pleasant way to spend the day.

Not The Ferry!

The ferry to Kerrera is about a mile or so south of Oban on the Gallanach road and there's plenty of parking there although it can get very busy as Kerrera is popular with cyclists and walkers. It was still on the winter timetable so we had to get there on time or the next one wasn't until 12:30. In summer you can just turn up, flip the board to let the ferryman know you want to cross, and if he's there and thinks there's enough people to warrant a trip, he'll come get you. The fare was only £3.50 each for the return trip so it's a cheap day out.

The circular walk round the southern part of the island is is about six to seven miles long and can be a pretty pleasant stroll if the weather is nice. We followed the path south, doing the walk clockwise. It follows the shore along Horseshoe Bay then cuts inland and over to the south side of the island just after Little Horseshoe Bay. Once over the headland there's a detour down to Gylen Castle, which is well worth taking for the views of the dramatically poised castle, the rocky outcroppings on the shore and the views over to Mull. The castle is undergoing restoration but it's still pretty impressive looking, sitting atop its rocky headland. We were allowed in to look around as the main floor has been flagged over now. It's still roofless but it must've been a decent home at one point, with at least three floors we could see plus the basement for storage.

Gylen Castle

We had lunch on the rocky beach the trekked back up to the main path via a bit of a circuitous route to avoid crossing a stream. We had been looking forward to tea and a scone at the Tea Garden but were met with a sign saying simply "Shut!". Yet another place that doesn't open until Easter, which is a pity. I remember that the scones were pretty good the last time we were here and I'm sure there were enough walkers on the island to justify them opening early, especially as the weather was so good.

So, our passion for scones unrequited, we plodded on back along the path, which wends ever north and higher as it crosses back over the top of the island towards the ferry point. There are some good views to be had from the high points and Ben Cruachan was still well covered in snow and looked amazing, standing high above the surrounding landscape. Still, time was pressing and we marched on to get back to the ferry in plenty of time for the 4 o'clock sailing.

Back in Oban, we had a walk up to McCaig's Tower to try and get some shots of the sunset but it wasn't that great and the huge yellow lights they have illuminating the tower got in the way of a decent view. Got a couple of shots but decided to come back tomorrow morning for more.

Eating Out

For food, we thought we'd try Shenanigans Tex-Mex restaurant down on the waterfront complex but yet again we were confronted by a closed door. To be honest, the whole area down there looked pretty dilapidated and the supposedly upmarket Waterfront Restaurant was also closed down. Anyway, we ended up in the unimaginatively named China, the town's only Chinese restaurant. The food was pretty good but the service was brusque and we felt pressured to finish up and leave. Maybe that's just fast and efficient service but it didn't help have a relaxing meal.

Home tomorrow...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Short Break In Oban - Beinn Lora and Tralee Beach

Beinn Lora

After a good breakfast we decided to head up to Benderloch, which is about seven miles north of Oban, and walk up to the summit of Beinn Lora. It's not that high (308m, 1010') but we haven't been doing much hill walking lately so it seemed an easier option and a means to break us in a bit. There's plenty of parking available in Benderloch and even a Forestry car park at the start of the walk.

Mull and Rubha Garbh-àird

It's only a three and a half mile walk up and down but it involves a fairly steep ascent. Most of the walk is on good forest path, well signed with blue waymarkers and surrounded by tall conifers. However, it's not all gloomy forest walking as there are several good viewpoints on the way up, some with welcoming benches for a wee rest as it is a steep walk. Once out of the forest, there's an option to take a detour off to the Eagle's Eyrie viewpoint. It's an easy stroll over to the far side of the hill and is well worth the effort as it has some good views of Tralee Beach with the island of Lismore behind and you can also see over Loch Creran to Loch Linnhe. An added bonus was a couple of buzzards circling and diving overhead in the clear blue sky and calling to each other.

Loch Creran and Loch Linnhe

Once back on the main track it heads round what, on the maps, looks like a wee lochan but it's been drained and is just a boggy looking depression now. The track heads back into the forest and after a while you're rewarded with a little picnic area at the end. A kissing gate leads through the deer fence and onto the open and somewhat boggy moorland leading up to the summit of the hill for those wishing to enjoys the real views. The views from the top are worth the effort and you should be able to see Dunstaffnage Bay, the Connel Bridge and the immense bulk of Ben Cruachan.

Dunstaffnage Bay

We had lunch back at the picnic area, well it was a bit windy on the summit and the ground was very soggy so a table and bench was pretty welcome. If you're thinking of doing this one in trainers, forget it! The return route is pretty much the same as going up but you can take a different path down, still following the blue waymarkers, for a short part of the way.

Tralee Beach

There was plenty of time left so, once back in Benderloch, we walked down onto Tralee Beach and had a pleasant stroll along to the far end of it and back. The beach itself is mostly pebbles and cobbles with the real sand up at the back. Had a wee lie down on the sand for a bit but again it was a bit too breezy for comfort so we didn't hang around too long.

Loch Etive and Ben Cruachan

Eating Out

Back in Oban and cleaned up I took Lorna out for her birthday tea. I'd fancied trying Coast as the menu looked pretty good but she didn't fancy anything too heavy after the walk so we booked a table at Piazza down on the north pier. It's a pizza and pasta restaurant and the menu looked pretty good. Lorna had Mozzarella Bruschetta followed by Spaghetti Meatballs and I had Minestrone Soup followed by Rigattone Paesano and, along with a decent bottle of red wine, it was all very enjoyable. Service was good and the staff were friendly so, aside from a table full of caravaners and their hyperactive kids charging around, it was a good place to eat.

Time to head to a pub again so we aimed for the Lorne Bar. We'd been there before and it's a pretty lively place, often with live music, and it's pretty popular with the locals. Pity though as it was only a DJ this time and they fired up some horrible flashing, rotating disco lights that seemed to be aimed at my eyes and I had to change seats to be able to see without blinking every five seconds. Maybe I'm just getting too old!

Kerrera tomorrow...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Short Break In Oban - Settling In


We needed a break after the frantic chaos with our work's relocation so a long weekend was in order. The weather forecast wasn't looking that great but we thought we might as well take the break anyway. Had a sniff around the net for a decent B&B in Oban on the Saturday morning, called up the Glenroy Guest House to book directly and avoid any agent fees and off we set.

Oban is a busy town as it is the main car ferry point for travel to and from Mull, Coll, Tiree, Barra, South Uist, Colonsay, Lismore and Islay so booking first seemed a good idea. The drive up took about two hours so we got there in plenty of time to get settled in, have a wander about town and then find somewhere to eat. The B&B was easy to find, on the way up to McCaig's Tower, and the room was nice with a great view over the harbour.

Dusk Over Kerrera

Eating Out

We'd eaten in The Gathering before and it was pretty good so we went along there, only to find that it doesn't open until Easter. Anyway, O'Donnell's Irish Pub upstairs had a reasonable looking bar menu and we couldn't be bothered looking any further so we tried that. Unfortunately, the Steak'n'Guinness pie was off so I opted for the Irish Stew and a pint of Guinness - seemed close enough to me. Frankly it could have been better and it seemed a bit overpriced for a pub meal. Maybe it was just the time of year but that, on top of the complete lack of ambience, probably means we'd avoid the place in future.

Sunset Over Oban Bay

Fed, we wandered down to the harbour looking for a pub to spend the rest of the evening in. Took a few snaps of the sun going down from the front and went into the Oban Inn, which is right down on the harbour front. It has a downstairs bar and a lounge upstairs but the traditional old-style bar looked lively enough so it was a few more pints of Guinness for me and a pleasant evening was had until bedtime. Dang, forgot about that climb back up the hill to the B&B!

Heading In For The Night

Tomorrow, we go walking...