We cruised up through the islands and arrived in Tobermory harbour next morning. There are hundreds of islands off this West coast, all shapes and sizes. Some are little more than outcrops of rocks, others supporting several communities  some mountainous, some flat. Most support a wide variety of wild life, birds, sea creatures and land creatures, and the people living there seem to have achieved a perfect balance with them. . The gales and high seas are notorious, but somehow both humans and animals cope with it and all those I met seem very contented with their lives, hard though it is at times.

Tobermory is the main town on Mull, one of the larger islands, which is separated from the mainland by the Firth of Lorne. The waterfront is well known to the childrens programme “Ballymory”

Tobermory seafront

Tobermory seafront

We had not booked any tours so we took the tender to the pier,

It was very hot so we took our time and ambled along the colourful seafront, past the distillery and chocolate factory(!).

There was a Nepalese Fairtade exhibition in the hall by the pier so we went in and admired the array of goods for sale, bought a few things (including a couple of little elephants for my growing collection) and then wandered along, diving in and out of the shops.

Tobermory Harbour

Tobermory Harbour

Fishing boat Tobermory

Fishing boat Tobermory

We were very thankful for the iced drinks provided by the ship as we waited to board the tender back to Balmoral and even more thankful for the cool air conditioning once we were back on board.

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