2015 Narrative


To Inverness



The Yorkies love the freedom of the beach and Achnahaird was perfect, even if, in May, a little windy and cold!


It is a joy to see  Maya transform into such an energetic bundle of flying legs and flapping ears :-)

Here she is circling us at speed, waiting for her frisbee to be thrown.

Magan, on the other hand, likes to explore in her own time, checking out bundles of seaweed, but she is in her element among the stones and rock pools. The trouble is that she is perfectly camouflaged unless she is wearing her red jumper.


These photos were taken on May 1st when the sun was shining and comfortably warm when sheltered from the wind.

As I write this, two days later, there has been a gale blowing relentlessly since late last evening; Bixie is rocking around as if it was a boat in a rough sea. This is not a day for beaches nor driving, though one or two of the motorhomes here have left this morning. I’m not  sure that travelling on single track roads in this weather would be a pleasant experience in a large vehicle. 

We cannot connect to the internet because the wind is too strong to allow us to raise the satellite dish ~ we’d probably take off! The site wi-fi, available at the shower block, allowed me to download The Sunday Times on to my iPad. 

The weather forecast expects this to continue until tomorrow morning. I hope it has settled down before we prepare to leave for Inverness.


Our meal in Am Fuaran Bar on Friday evening was good. Unfortunately the scallops had not yet been landed and delivered to the hotel (proves that the local seafood is fresh) but Margaret enjoyed her langoustines, while I had an excellent, though not generous, aberdeen angus steak.

Our deserts were wonderful!

We both thought that the meal was a bit expensive though.

This restaurant does not offer a large menu but there is sufficient choice to satisfy most people, including vegetarians, I think.


This is a campsite we would come back to. I do not usually feel inspired to write about toilet blocks and campsite facilities but at Port a Bhaígh  they are modern and heated, with large walk in showers. Even the chemical waste points - two of them - are new and modern - the best I have ever come across.

Our campsite satisfaction score was 8.4/10.


Gairloch to Altandhu, near Achiltibuie

The journey from Gairloch to Althandhu was not without incident.

Every minute of the drive was spectacular; around every corner another breathtaking view!

We stopped in a lay-by on the A832 to enjoy looking down on Loch Ewe (just past Poolewe).


Loch Ewe


The Bixie Train just before being grounded!!

Exiting this lay-by with a right turn back on to the road to Ullapool we ground to a halt, literally, with a crunch!! Motorhome stuck, blocking the road completely ~ causing a tailback on both sides. The road had been quiet until this moment, of course.

Quick examination revealed that Bixie’s rear  and  trailer’s front had both grounded in a dip between lay-by and road! One pointing down, the other up. Help!!!

Trying to reverse achieved nothing; a kind and patient motorist came over to offer assistance; with his advice we managed to slowly drive out of the dip and on to the road… but not without more grinding and crunching!

No obvious damage observed so we moved on as I waved my apologies with embarrassment to the waiting queue of drivers and passengers.

Other photos of the journey are posted in the photo album for Altandhu.

The LPG tanks were needing topping up and I had established that Loch Broom Garage in Ullapool had an autogas pump. However, it turned out that this was not a petrol station as such; the LPG pump was enclosed at the side of their cluttered yard with cars and other obstacles everywhere.

We had to detach the trailer (with car) at the side of the road, then return with Bixie to manouevre to the pump. LPG hoses have a maximum legal length and getting close enough to connect was a real challenge.

Onward and upward (hills and mountains) towards Altandhu. The last 15 miles were exclusively on single track roads - nice! I began to feel like it was rush hour judging by the number of vehicles we met coming the other way!

Not all passing places were big enough for the 12 metre length of the Bixie train but made it we did.

And was it worth it when we arrived? It was! The campsite is wonderfully set on the shoreline, and the weather has been lovely and warm. 

We are going to enjoy our four days here at Port a Bhaígh campsite. The facilities are wonderful, new, clean. The site is run from the hotel across the road and they have a restaurant with local seafood - looking forward to enjoying a meal there :-)


View from our pitch


Margaret’s Diary : Gairloch


Well, the first part of Big Adventure No 3 is nearing its end. Here we are in Gairloch where the weather this afternoon is wet and miserable. Just the one time when we played hookey on doing Bixie's maintenance this morning and went to the Tuesday Market in Poolewe instead. The wind is so strong we can hardly open Bixie's door, and even if we did we would be soaked through in moments . The market was good though, lovely people and good stalls. We were told of its existence yesterday by a lady in the local McColl's car park, we had just returned to our car when she came along and indicated for me to roll down the car window. She had spotted Maya and wanted to tell us how to access the beach as it's not easy to work out. We had actually spent ages earlier and had found it, but by the time we did it seemed Gairloch's entire dog population had as well. She also told us about the local Garden Shop, where I was able to buy a scarf, hat, and gloves - hadn't included them when I packed Bixie - who would have guessed the weather was going to turn out this way 😦. So now, having donned said scarf, hat and gloves, we followed her directions to Redpoint beach where 'What We Did on Our Holiday' was filmed. The road was, of course, single track, 9 miles of it, before coming to a car parking area, a mile or so over fields and dunes, we got our first sight of one magnificent beach and, by that time, the sun obliged by showing its face. We spent an exhilarating hour there, no doubt photos will follow.


HL has managed to get the heating working sometimes, so that is a huge plus. When it works, though it has to be at maximum heat, so it's either a feast or a famine where keeping warm is concerned. We are hoping to have a Chinese takeaway tonight but we still have to find out if it is open during the week or only at weekends 😬😬. No information anywhere on this one. There are two McColl shops, one at each end of the village, so no price competition. Yesterday we were just turning out of the campsite when we saw, to our total astonishment, a Tesco home delivery van, so it was follow that van up and down the roller coaster hills we have come to expect. Think he tried to shake us off a couple of times, but eventually stopped about 5 miles on, so I was able to ask him where the nearest Tesco is - don't know what he was thinking, but he looked at me quite suspiciously as I approached. However, turns out it is in Ullapool, nearly 60 miles away, and they do home deliveries from there. Apparently drivers have to return to base at lunch time, so that eats over 2 hours off their delivery slots each day, we found this out today from that very helpful lady we met in the car park yesterday, who was at the Market this morning.

Had a look around Poolewe while we were there - this was where my Mum's grandfather hailed from. Did find a gravestone for a Kenneth Urquhart who died aged either 59 or 69 in 1887, but no sign of anything about a wife, so who knows. Many of the gravestones were so weathered they were impossible to read.




The Sunnyside Croft Touring & Camping Site  in Arisaig is a fabulous place to pitch up and stay for a few days.

We arrived in glorious sunshine.

The facilities are modern and the views are spectacular. Free wi-fi across the site is better than our own satellite internet service. Guess what? We used theirs!


 Bixie looks great with the hills as a backdrop.



From Killegruer Caravan Site to North Ledaig, Oban

HL's Report 21st April 2015 :

Killegruer Caravan Site, run by Anne Littleson, is a fabulous site, enjoyed by many who have been returning for years. You cannot say better than that, I guess. We certainly will go back sometime.

But our four days here are over (20th April) and we head north to Oban; to North Ledaig in fact. The Caravan Club’s North Ledaig site. 

The trip along the A83 to Lochgilphead, then A816 to Oban was a bumpy ride - 82 miles of undulating and twisty road; but we made good time.

The weather yesterday was wonderful, lovely warm sunshine, and we saw the site and view across the bay to Mull in all its glory.

LPG Supply problems:

One of the challenges we found when planning this trip is the scarcity of filling stations with autogas (LPG) pumps. Everywhere we have been - Scotland, England and France have a high population of autogas sources so we are surprised that there are few places to top up our LPG system on the west coast of Scotland. Imagine our pleasant surprise then that we found  one source in Oban  and another just 2 miles from the North Ledaig campsite - at Tralee Bay Holidays

 Friendly & Helpful:

The staff at North Ledaig were lovely; friendly, helpful and very laid back. The contrast between this site and most Caravan Club Sites is very marked - elsewhere the strict adherence to the rules is sometimes oppressive but here they managed with ease to make us feel welcome and that nothing was too much trouble. If only every Caravan Club site was like this one….

Today has been a day to relax and unwind, though the sky was overcast. 

We have been to Oban before but not in Bixie. This time the weather was perfect and the outlook bright. The view from the pitch over to Mull was breathtaking!

We will come back to North Ledaig for a longer stay in the future, but for now, this is really a two-day stopover.


Margaret’s Diary : Glenbarr, Kintyre

 18th April 2015: 

Ah well, Day 5 of Big Adventure No. 3 has been rather good. Beautiful weather, wakened to sunshine, sea and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach below. We haven't put Bixie's blinds up, guess no-one can see this far from Northern Ireland, Islay, Jura or Gigha. Found the local shop 2 miles away - love it ! It has been run by the same guy for over 40 years and it sells most things in quite small square footage. Even has a microwave to heat up any snacks you buy. Despite having gone for only newspapers and eggs, we left with about £20 of goodies (^_^). After breakfast, did some basic maintenance on Bixie and then headed to the Mull of Kintyre. Ended up on a road which challenged the D558 in the South of France for being one not to do again! Miles of single track, really single track with small Passing Places, most of the road full of pot-holes, but the views, if you could look down from the height, that is, were beautiful. We arrived at the parking area and noted how far away the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse was and decided maybe it was too much for my poor old knees and HL's back so we went about 100 metres down the track road to meet a spectacular view of a deep turquoise ocean, we were looking over to Northern Ireland. 


 Sean, on the pitch next door to us, said that on a clear day you could almost see the sun shining off the car windscreens in Ireland - it really felt that close today ! HL got some photos and we headed back towards Southend (not on sea), only slightly held back by a ewe and her two lambs who decided an early afternoon stroll on the road was in order. Found a lovely Tea room in Muneroy. It was built in the late 40's in art deco style and still has the original fireplace and domed ceilings today. Nice lunch there. Had a look at Machrihanish - very pretty - and headed for Campbeltown. My uncle and his family stayed there (some of them still do) and it is clear why this town held such an attraction for them. It is such a friendly place, of course Magan and Maya drew a lot of attention, the girls in the National Trust shop even insisting that they come in.

Back to Bixie and a wee while sitting out on the Lafumas. I'm reading Trust in Me by Sophie McKenzie at the minute and it is almost unputdownable. I've already read her book Close My Eyes which was so good. Time for dinner now and Britain's Got Talent before the sea air knocks us out.

This area is amazing, the site lacks quite a lot in facilities, no laundry, for instance, but it is run by a lady whose only wish is that you have a great time here. She turned up yesterday evening with 6 fresh eggs from her pullets who have just started laying, and wouldn't take any money for them. Love the sign in the Toilets/Shower area which says - If you are smoking in here then you'd better be on fire - (^_^). There is a wee hut nearby which has vegetables, flowers and eggs, you just help yourself and put the money in the Honesty Box. To cap it all, Palm Trees abound in this area - love it !



The Adventure Begins ~ 1st Stage : Scotland

(External Links are embedded in BLUE underlined text. Hover the mouse over these and click the link.)

There are a number of family events and old , dear friend celebrations between April and May that would mean our intended trip to Croatia this year would have had to be curtailed; better to postpone until next year and get the most from the trip.

And, Scotland is in Europe!

Our plans this year then are to include a tour of the West Coast of Scotland in April and move over to the east to be in Inverness for an 80th birthday party on 4th May.

HL 16th April 2015:

We left Livingston on Tuesday 14th, heading for Inveraray in Argyll.

Click the Map to enlarge; our route to Inveraray

The Argyll Caravan Park is a few miles south west of Inveraray but was a lovely place to begin our trip.

Sitting on the shores of Loch Fyne  this holiday park is, like most, predominantly for static caravans but there is a large tourer area with reasonable facilities, including on-pitch fresh water.

Local attractions include Inverary Castle and Inveraray Jail. Two years ago we had visited Jedburgh Jail so we felt we knew enough about old jails to feel the need to fork out £9.50 entrance fee this time around.

There was an old (hilarious) BBC comedy series called the 'Vital Spark’ (1959-1974) starring Duncan Macrae, Roddy Macmillan and John Grieve about the adventures of a clyde puffer about which we were reminded at the harbour ~


The Vital Spark; perhaps not the one featured in BBC's ‘The Vital Spark'

Our heating system gave us the runaround again! Not sure what the problem was; we had hot water (scalding, in fact). Overnight we were cold because the heating failed to react to falling temperatures! At 3:00am I got up and reset the system and pushed the thermostat up as high as it would go. Then it started.. but by morning we were getting a bit too hot!!

We had a fabulous lunch on Wednesday in the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar

Monk Fish for Margaret, succulent scallops and black pudding for yours truly, followed by a shared rhubarb crumble and ice cream. This is a place you should try to get at least once  if at all you are in Scotland.

Today, we moved on to Kintyre to pitch up at the Killegruer Camping Site; our pitch is next to the beach, making Magan and Maya ecstatic!

Our route to Killegruer Campsite (click the map to enlarge)

The weather on arrival is wonderful!

More to come…...

© Homer Lindsay 2013, 2014, 2015