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The Mantis

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About The Mantis

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    Deepest Darkest Midlothian
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    Inverness Caley Thistle

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  1. Forgot about that. Saw that last time we were up, need to hear what the craic is.
  2. Cheers for all that. I can recommend the Grand Platter at Oban Seafood Shack for sharing with the missus. Only wish I’d taken a photo before we started scoffing it. Bruar’s for Brexity Daily Mail readers. I much prefer Ballinluig to Ralia but I have 2 grown-up kids who both stop at Ralia. Tbf, it lets their own toddlers run about. Pie shop at Lochinver - a wee bit pricy but wonderful selection of pies, sweet and savoury. Real Food Cafe at Tyndrum - unfortunately have swallowed their own hype. And yet the scran across the road at the Green Welly is pretty awful. Actually intended watching the 2016 cup final in Glenuig then discovered about 2.40 that there was no telly 😂 Dashed along to Acharacle to watch history being made. Similarly, a group of us were staying in the motel at Aberfoyle (amazing value for 3 nights dbb). Some went fishing, the rest of us cycled to Inversnaid to watch the final, but no tv there either. Think it was 2002, the year Lovenkranz won it for Rangers. The motel was taken over by a load of line dancers, which was...interesting. But at least they fed us in a side room.
  3. I’m off to Islay for a weekend in September so I hope the business at the Rest is sorted. It’s already been postponed from April. Only used Western a couple of times but they don’t have anything longer than half an hour? Can’t see any difference between them and the wee CalMac boats. You’re probably right when it comes to the large boats, but they have to sell the dream to the tourists eh?
  4. Given all the staycations going on this year and the fact that the Islands topic was getting a bit sidetracked, here's a new topic. I'll start with a couple of pics from a week in Ullapool. The Ceilidh Place is about the best hotel but very pricy. The Arch Inn is not bad and the Ferry Boat Inn is basic but friendly. Most of the others are tour bus type hotels, cheap and cheerful. Any other recommendations welcome. Let's see/hear your best from Assynt, Coigach, Argyll, Lochabernomore, etc.
  5. I suppose we're getting off the topic of islands, maybe somebody can start a Wester Ross/Assynt thread... Here's a couple from a week I spent in Ullapool in 2016. The first one's just an iPhone pic. Edit - moved to new topic
  6. Search Facebook for more details but I got the impression it was just snacks and sandwiches. There’s really little difference from normal - on the larger boats you have to leave the car deck before sailing and they secure it. On the smaller open decked boats you normally have the option of leaving your car or not, so that option’s been removed. In my experience most people just sat in their cars anyway. ETA - Just grabbed a few snaps of two Goldies flying above the car. This is really the first day it’s looked likely for eagles all week.
  7. There are plenty people who would tell you half an hour is long enough 😂 I never get long enough there as I stay 35 miles away. The arts centre An Lanntair is right near the ferry but closed till the 15th. Can only hope it’s a nice day if you’re spending 5 hours on the boat... if you’re interested in the hills you can sit on deck with a beer and identify them all. There’s a pod of dolphins in the Minch which often show up. The Niseachs will look after you well. I saw Pele’s ICT play there once.
  8. We’ve been in Lewis all week and coming home tomorrow. The Ballinluig Motorgrill was operating more or less normally which is our routine stop for a fry-up on the way up the road. The ferry was not doing any food or drink at all but we went to the Seafood Shack at Ullapool which was excellent. Have to wear masks on the boat unless you’re out on deck. Apparently CalMac are starting a limited catering service on the main ferries starting tomorrow. The Harris Distillery is closed. Abhainn Dearg in Uig seems to be open though. We had 2 magnificent stags hanging around the next croft and I also saw and photographed a corncrake for the first time. No pics till later so I’ll GTF till then.
  9. Just reminded me, I was up the Braid Hills the other night, and was looking down on East Peffermill, Edinburgh Uni. I know, LL forum for this pish...
  10. Great stuff. Look at going over to Holy Island from Lamlash if it’s running. You can visit the Buddhist retreat or give it a miss and go up the hill. Also a walk up into Glen Rosa just for photos. A day on the actual ridge though tends to be a bit like Skye - you come down in the dark 😂 Lochranza can be decent for red deer around where the castle is. The road from Brodick to Lochranza goes over the Bogullie (sp) at over 600 feet. It’s the only time I’ve reached 40 mph on a bike and that was pre-helmet days so I was bricking it . The cheese place is good but I’ve never made it to the brewery.
  11. You never said if you were taking a car over or going as a foot passenger, although you did mention the distillery which is away up at Lochranza. The Arran buses are decent though. It’s a great place anyway, whatever. Must have been a dozen times over the years. I hope you got booked on the ferry. We’re off to Lewis next Friday. Apparently they’re only taking 133 passengers so it’ll be like rattling around on a huge boat in the middle of January.
  12. No, you compared Wick’s longest trip to Hawick’s shortest.
  13. You can see most of these within a mile or two of your hoose though 😂 Love the Lakes though, although it's heaving even in winter nowadays. The western bits are quieter.
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