We hadn't planned a holiday for this summer for a variety of reasons. But this nagging desire to step away from reality, for just a little while was one that Dru and I couldn't ignore forever. So one weekend he says, "lets go and look at motor homes. We need a break!" So without huge expectations we went over to a local Motorhome "hirer" in Wideopen, but speculated that he probably, so late in the day, would not have anything available to hire in the 10 days where we were both free to get away.
But he did. But it was huge. But he kept offering sweetners for us to hire it. Like an extra day free. And unlimited mileage. And then the same cost as a smaller one. Dru was hooked in and decided there and then that our dream to go on a Scottish road trip was going to come true. So two weeks later we collected the monster bus, filled it up with diesel, food, fresh water and wine, and headed towards the border!
I had always wanted to do this. Perhaps not in a motorhome so huge, but the sense of freedom hit me as we went further north. A little known fact about this particular motorhome.... Billy Ocean used it as his tour bus! So what else could we do but play Caribbean Queen, When the Going Gets Tough, and Get out of My Dreams (and into my car toot toot). So with the compass set North and no destinations booked, our dreams of watching the sunset over the Hebrides got closer with every mile we rattled (and these things rattle).
It was a bit of a nerve-wracking tight squeeze negotiating the tight squeezes and bends around Loch Lomond, and with limited options for parking a bus, we journeyed fairly quickly to the bit where I really feel .... oh yes .... Scotland. The Glencoe Pass. The sun was beginning to go all evening-y and our tummies were definitely letting us know it was supper time, but all the overnight parking spots we full. So we didn't stop to take in the scenery or create a gourmet camp meal in our van. We pushed onto Fort William, and I had in mind a picnic spot over looking to Loch where we could stop. We had stopped there on previous trips and from what I remembered it had plenty of space for parking and turning. But oh no! The forestry commission had definitely shrunk it AND put a height barrier on the entrance. So this was the first of the reverse many point turns back onto a main road Dru had to do (he was expert at it by day 3). We finally stopped driving for the night at the town harbour municipal parking. It said no overnight parking, but as there was about 15 motorhomes there, which had all clearly, pitched up for the night, we swung the beast in and finally topped moving. I suggested to Dru that we open the wine quick and drink the lot, should anyone come and tell us to move, we would not have been in fit state too. This became our master plan for many of our nights! So our first night was in a less than salubrious spot, but the wine meant we slept relatively well, despite the local youth enjoying their MaccyDs extremely loudly for what seemed much of the night in the said local hangout zone.
Fortunately we woke up early to a lovely sight of a mirror like loch, and a plan to head to Skye to catch the ferry to the Isle of Harris.
Apparently Skye this days is overrun by tourists, and coach parties. It is certainly a very pretty place. And every place we thought we might go and hang out was blighted by full carparks, and motorhomes who got there before us. We had no choice but to find a campsite where we could stop until our ferry in the morning. So we headed to the port village of Uig and thankfully there was a place for us to park up and hook up at the only campsite (the owners were from Rotherham who made the move 18 years ago).
So finally on Tuesday we boarded a very from Uig to Tarbet on the Isle of Harris. Beautiful blue skies followed our crossing, and we arrived in Harris with the warm air of the gulf stream and the sound of seagulls in the harbour.
Now I could go on forever about our trip, but I will let the pictures do the talking. We had warm balmy weather, mixed with black cloud bursts. We mixed things up with campsite options and chancing it to park where we could. The Hebrides were a bucket list destination for me and it was pure bliss. Being beach mad I think I landed in heaven. And once we had settled into the pace of walking, reading, sleeping, eating and drinking well, this proved to be the perfect holiday for us! Moving the bus around got easier, and were helped on the way by recommendations from the people we met.
Tuesday stop off: Hogabost beach Camping (no chemical disposal, or hook up and awful showers... so a bit steep for £10 per night), but beautiful setting.
Wednesday through to Friday. Luskentyre Beach. Free parking by Cemetery. A municipal loo (which was blocked) and fresh water tap.
Friday through to Sunday: Isle of Lewis, Uig Camas Bay. Overnight beach parking £2pppn. Clean loos, hot showers.... fantastic!
Sunday morning: Callanish Stone Circle. 5000 years old to boot!
Sunday Evening we returned to the mainland. I can highly recommend stopping off in Ullapool. It feels very cosmopolitan, and heard all languages being spoken. There are some great places to dine and listen to live music. So it didn't take much persuading to stop there for a couple of nights and enjoy the local hospitality.
And it gave me chance to take Dru for a coastal route walk to Rhue Lighthouse. Well it was more like a scramble as it was not really a footpath route. Hey ho. He only landed on his bum once!
I'll let you, the readers, decide whether you think that Welly enjoyed the holiday!