Subject: Isle of Mull travel report
Hi Ziners:

My wife Shellie and 5-year-old son Charlie and I have just returned from Scotland, where we spent five days on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides off Scotland's west coast.

We rented a self-catering cottage on a farm that overlooks the sea at Treshnish Point, the most westerly part of the island. It's almost impossible to describe how beautiful a setting it was, with low mountains seeming to sprout from the sea, and the Isle of Coll in the distance. The weather cooperated on two evenings letting us enjoy the sunset (at about 9:15 p.m.!). Shellie says the coast reminded her of Big Sur in California. I agree.

The cottage is located in an isolated spot on the island, which itself has only a few hundred residents. My mobile phone didn't work. There was no TV; a radio in the cottage didnít work. So we certainly ``got away from it all.'' (We even forgot that the UK's election was held on May 5 until the next day when we went into the main town of Tobermory and bought a newspaper.)

It is pretty wild country, which was brought home to us when we took a walk up the hill from our cottage one evening. Suddenly, a hundred yards up the hill a herd of deer, perhaps eight or 10, appeared on a ridge. It was a magnificent sight. In addition, there was a herd of highland cattle in a pasture below; the bull let out a couple of moos and the cows all trotted up the hill toward the bull to be directed by the farmer (who rents out the cottages) into a feed lot.

The next day we went into Tobermory to take a boat cruise in the water that separates Mull from the mainland. During the cruise we spotted harbor porpoises, seals, puffins and a rare, shy otter. Charlie was just ecstatic throughout the cruise, as were Shellie and I. Charlie even got a chance to steer our boat.

The only thing that went wrong during our stay happened on the last full day there: Charlie and I donned our Wellingtons and explored some of the land around our cabin. We came across a very muddy part, but since we were wearing our Wellies we walked into it anyway. Big mistake! I got caught in the mud and when I tried to pull my foot out I fell flat on my derriere. As I struggled, I fell forward. My jeans and coat were covered in mud. I probably used every curse word I know, and I had to apologize to my son! I finally extricated myself and went back to the cottage where I cleaned myself up, changed clothes and started laughing about the episode. It was too absurd to be angry about.

I'll always remember that episode, but most of all I'll remember the beautiful scenery, the sun reflecting off the sea, the sunsets, the deer and the porpoises, the splendid isolation, all of which made this one of our best vacations.

For more information on our cottage, see: http://www.treshnish.co.uk/

For more information on the boat trip see: http://www.sealifesurveys.com/

Bons voyages! Evan in Paris