Hurrah! At the end of August we set off in he Scooby Van for our holidays. This year saw the fulfilment of a life long ambition as we travelled up to the Western Isles.
The first day we hightailed it up to Oban which is a six hour drive with a good run, and stayed overnight at the campsite we used on our Skye trip a couple of years ago. It’s set in a huge old walled garden by a forest. Unfortunately when we arrived it became obvious that the weather had been atrocious, the grass was soaking and the edge of the pitch was muddy and wet. This meant that the dogs almost immediately set about covering the van floor and anything or anyone else they could find in pawmarks. Being tired, hungry and irritable anyway, this cast a real gloom on the proceedings which was added to by a fuse blowing in the van.
It was lovely to revisit Sutherland’s Grove though and we were visited by a pair of hooded crows.
The following morning we went down into Oban as we were taking the ferry over to Barra in the afternoon. We parked up and immediately headed to the harbour to revisit the Seafood Shack. Unfortunately it began to rain quite heavily and so we sought shelter at Wetherspoons for a while where we could sit outside under the awning with the dogs. When it eased off a bit we made dash for the stall. Mr Stoatie tried the scallops which were cooked to order and he said were the best he’d ever tasted. We also had a small seafood platter, served in a scallop shell, and bought crab sandwiches to eat the ferry trip. They were doing a roaring trade and at one point had an entire coach party queuing.
We then killed some time by walking around the town. This is looking across to the ferry terminal. We found a fish and chip shop along here and had a portion between us, along with a side of deep fried haggis.
Looking back across to the town from the terminal. The weather was starting to pick up a bit.
A picture taken whilst waiting in the queue to load onto the ferry
I was a bit worried about the number of ferry journeys we were planning to do on this trip. Tilly had really hated the crossing to Skye last time which was only a 25min trip. The Oban to Barra route takes four and a half hours. In the end we sat on the open deck for an hour which she tolerated but then the biting wind got too cold. The ferry has two special dog areas inside which was good but there were far too many dogs to accommodate everybody. We squeezed in next to two huge Labradors, the yellow one had a lovely disposition but the black one was a bit aggressive. If he and Charlie started staring at each other they would start to growl, and as this usually ends up with the dogs getting louder and louder until you have a full blown fight, we had to work hard to keep them facing in different directions, or to block their view with rucksacks and bags. Quite stressful really! There were no windows either which was a shame.
An interesting lighthouse between Oban and Barra.
We arrived at Castlebay, the main town in Barra as it was starting to go dark. Fortunately we’d booked a campsite previously and just had a short drive to get there.
Coming in to the ferry terminal.