BEST OF HEBRIDEAN ADVENTURE AND COST

Last post from Hetty’s crew on The Scottish adventure

BEST BEACHES

Hushinish

LUSKINTYRE

VATERSAY

BEST FOOD

THE HARBOUR BISTRO SCALPAY

BEST SURPRISE

ON THE ROAD TO HUSHINISH

WORST HAPPENING

POOR HETTY

BEST SUNSETS

ARGOIL BEACH SKYE BRIDGE

BEST PHOTOGRAPHY

To the costs of Hetty’s mini adventure ..Very similar to last year in Europe ..Only £1-80 per day more ..Fuel was at the most £1-34 per lt against €0.99 per lt in Sicily

Just one night payed for campsite on South Uist when we ran out of gas for the cooking and heating …£19 ..Well worth it to be plugged in to the Leccy for warmth ..Two nights on an aire at Argoil Beach..£2 per person per night in an honesty box on the door step of a croft ..Two nights on a carpark in Whitby at £8 per night ..The rest of our over night stops were of the wild camping variety ..FREE

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HETTY’S CREW ON THE LAST LEG

Sub Heading : The Driver out walks The Cook

Sub sub Heading : From Scarborough via Filey …Flamborough Head …Bridlington.. Withernsea to Spurn Point

The Driver wanted to go to His old holiday haunt of Bridlington where he used to spend childhood holiday ..

It’s rained and rained as we drove the coast road to Filey Then on to Flamborough Head light house…It rained ..

Off to Bridlington where we had a walk in the rain The Cook isn’t impressed

Ever been to Spurn Point said The Cook so off Hetty went .. but it’s getting dark and we like to get her parked up in the daylight

A sea front was found at Withernsea ..A serious caravan park area We don’t do Caravan sites and the residents of this quiet wet seaside place didn’t come to move us on ..

Morning and off to Spurn Point ..The weather is Gorgeous … Blue sky and very warm …This area is in the Humber estuary at the very tip of the north shore ..A Ornithologists delight … A walk The Driver said … All booted up and ready to go ..Halfway The Cook said “Lets turn a round now and go back ” The Driver said “We are going to the end” by the time we had got to the lighthouse The Cooks feet were suffering but she had to walk 5k back to Hetty

Blistered feet are not funny but The Cook pretended she was one of the Ladies from Tenko and was having to walk across where ever the Tenko ladies walked…Singapore We thought ..No option .. as there wasn’t any option but to walk back to Hetty … Poor feet

Even The Driver thought we’d over done our selves this time ..

The weather was gorgeous as we headed over the Humber Bridge to a pub we know just west of the bridge

An over night sleep in The Hope and Anchor car park at South Frimby … The food was fabulous but mega money .. But end of trip treat and it was a treat

HETTY HEADS FOR SCARBOROUGH

It’s rained and rained ..not drizzle but chucking it down as we found our carpark at the village hall in Robin Hoods Bay

Wrap up The Driver advised .. as we walked down and down … again so steep even steeper than Staithes .. stopped raining but over cast and very cold ..

The tide was in as we came to the beach and we couldn’t go further .. What do you do in a very wet Robin Hoods Bay ..You go and buy a piece of German apple pie from the village Christmas Craft fair and take it back to Hetty .. then heat up some custard …

Off to Scarborough as the day improved but became colder … Found our pre-organised sleepy spot ..Free again at the Sea Life Center carpark ..A little bit of a sea fret as we parked up .. and it went very cold … A near full moon over the water

Awakened to a frost but such a gorgeous day .. A 5 mile walk into Scarborough …Up to the Castle on the North bay and down to the church to find Anne Brontes grave ..sun still shining…A walk on the front of the South shore ..On to the pier ..

I was taking a visit to my past … As a child we came here ..Staying up at Blenheim Terrace on the North headland and wandering with my brother up to the castle and down to the south harbour …I think we even went on a trip out to sea on a pleasure craft …The town has changed ..The swimming pool has gone and the Corner cafe but other than that looks very much the same …and the sun shone on and on …

A stop off in the very old child and dog free pub on the south shore .. just walked and walked again …feet not very happy … Had a lovely afternoon tea..walked some more till we found a bus to take us back to Hetty ..

HETTY IS IN SUNNY WHITBY

A PICTORIAL VIEW OF HETTYS VISIT TO WHITBY

Hetty parked up amongst her chums at £8 per day ..she didn’t know any of them but The Driver soon made friends … The cook stroked a dog !!! Can you spot Hetty ?

The Driver went to watch the crane launch of a new fishing boat

The cook wasn’t so interested but seemed to nod at the correct intervals

Crab fishing … Why oh Why would one hang over a rail with a piece of string …. answers on a post card ..

Last nights hostelry .. What fine food and music was provided …View from the steps to the Abbey …

Dracula is said to be here !!!!

Trips out to sea in the old life boat .. £3 each and children under 5 free … A bit of surfing the rollers on the way back ..

The walk continued via lots of tat shops up the other headland .. and the SUN comes out … Yaaaa!!!

Just lovely with sunshine

Our walk ended up at the Magpie cafe .. but …The bad news … it burned down last May ..The good news they are doing take away in the surviving bit … again the best ever … sitting on the harbour wall….

A little tired now .. feet hurting a bit .. I think a quiet night is in order …

Tomorrow Robin Hoods Bay

HETTY IS IN STAITHES

What a treat to arrive in the picturesque tourist occupied fishing village of Staithes to find a”Welcome Campervan” Stay in the carpark .. £5 .. can’t beat it ..Thanx Staithes for making it possible to stay without sneaking around in the dark to park on street

Down into Staithes and I mean DOWN .. Steep is an understatement ..The knees were a tad wobbly as we sauntered down the narrow alleys to the harbour ..

Blue sky’s ..Just perfect for a winter walk ..wrapped up against the North East fresh breeze…High tide today with the North Sea rollers trying to climb the harbour defences ..

A Seal pup had come ashore on the beach wanting to play with the dogs being walked … We hoped the pup would be ok ..A fisherman said it happened regularly and the pup will eventually go back into the water to find it’s gang

We had a look in the pub with the thought of a pint and lunch but even though it was Thursday the pub was full to the gunnels with tourists lunching …We gave it up as a bad job not a table to be had and wombled on back up the hill to the pub on the main drag .. not as pretty but seats available …Pint partaken of for sustenance to get us back up the hill..The Driver says it’s a 1/20 I say it very straight up !!! With my weight loss I managed it with only one stop to take a breath … Before Slimming World I wouldn’t even have attempted it … puff pant .. The Driver is quietly impressed …

Good nights sleep after Macaroni cheese a bottle of Cave … cheap n cheerful then a few games of Rummikub… The TV is redundant but then what is there to watch without Sky …

Tomorrow Whitby

HETTY CONTINUES HER ROAD TRIP SOUTH

After a beach walks with castle views from dunes climbed we decided Bamburgh hadn’t changed in all the years we’ve been visiting .. New builds seem not to have happened and the old refurbished tastefully ..a few tea rooms a couple of pubs a butchers and a farm shop …and that’s it ..lots of people on the beach ..and still a lovely place to visit

A coastal drive to Seahouses to find we couldn’t get to the tap on the fish quay for all the coach loads of OAP’s wandering aimlessly scoffing their fish n chips…Off to lovely Amble .. on arrival found the place had perked up since The Driver lived and worked here around 6 years ago ..New loft apartments on the marina ..The Main Streets shops busy but the laundrette had closed and was now a tea shop .. Asked about and found one in the back streets .. service wash for £10 all washed dried and folded .. perfect ..Fish n Chip partaken of for lunch ..Not from the tourist chippy but the back street one the locals frequent but we still needed water ..The tank was nigh on empty .. The laundry chap offered to take our container home and fill up for us if we couldn’t find a tap .. how nice is that ..John put a plea for a water tap in the area on a Facebook Motorhome group and yes we had one at Druridge bay country park ..filled and emptied loo then off to find a sleepy spot .. New Biggin was our next port of call ..A carpark in the dunes .. The Driver didn’t feel comfortable with sleeping there I thought it was probably a dogging spot .. Ekkkk!!! Off again to a place we knew was ok .. Old Hartley just south of Seaton Sluice facing St Mary’s Lighthouse and next to the official Camp site .. supper of noodle or soup .. a few games of Rummikub as the nights are long now and need to fill the time from tea at 5-30 to bed at 10pm .. Off to Staithes next ..

HETTY RETURNS TO ENGLAND

 

By John ..edited by Susan

Hetty followed the golf course road on the way from North Berwick to Berwick on Tweed . There must have been hundreds and one specially dedicated to children.

We called into Eyemouth for lunch on the quay and watched the Eider ducks and seals coming into the narrow harbour entrance in the strong swell ….joining us having lunch ….we had soup and don’t know what the seals had but there looked to be lots of it..

On to Berwick a favourite of ours and to a sleepy spot by the walls which was convenient for access to the fortified town . Originally founded during wars with Scotland and further fortified in 1558 with artillery emplacements.

 

 

Having strolled down to the harbour quay and around the town Susans feet started to hurt ..socks n hiking boots not suitable… Returning to Hetty we decided to move on ..Sometimes a sleepy spot doesn’t feel right ..This one didn’t ..

We had a look at Spittal on the other side of the estuary from Berwick to try a sleepy spot here …lovely views on a hill but very near the main railway line so we continued south to Bamburgh ..Looking for a sleepy spot on the Wynding but the recommended position had been fenced into small bays hardly long enough for Hetty and labelled no overnight…no cooking or sleeping . These sleepy spots come from an online site we are members of but are NOT updated often enough …

We had been given a fallback position by home chums who frequent this area …An on street spot where we would not cause offence to residents …There aren’t any …Having successfully parked Hetty we hit a pub The Castle on Front Street for a bit of wifi and alcohol .IMG_2752

All in all a nice way to continue the road south.

HETTY GOES TO CHAPEL AND THEN THE PUB

THE CHAPEL

Today’s outing is somewhere we wanted to go for a long time … Roslyn Chapel .. as mentioned in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and filmed with Tom Hanks tracking down the Grail .. or did he … I need to watch the film again ..The interest after the film was made resulted in major tourism to the Chapel allowing the family the ability to finance the complete renovation

A very knowledgeable guide made the story even more interesting as he was a great orator…pointing out lots of interesting facts in the carvings and an introduction to the Chapel cat named William after William The Earl of Rosslyn who built the church back in 1446.. The Chapel has been in the same family for around 6 centuries

ROSSLYN CHAPEL HISTORY

THE PUB

A parking spot has been found at the end of the prom in North Berwick level and out of the wind ..A walk He said and off to town .. 2 miles at a brisk trot .. The tiny town is lovely .. rich mans Des Res on the prom .. very nice too … The town ..lots of cottages in pretty colours ..Shops open and prosperous by the look of em … The pub ..”The Ship” beckoned on our return to the town square .. A very pub like pub ..a quality boozer.. we felt very comfy in there .. Pints for us and wifi .. A yomp back to Hetty…. Supper and bed ..Tomorrow is Berwick on Tweed and Bamburgh ..

HETTY VISITS THE KELPIES

Just amazing .. only photos to show ..

I don’t know how ..when .. or any of the history of these fantastic Art Installations..

It’s very cold as we had a walk to the Kelpies so just took photos

Day time view

Totally blown away with the beauty of these creations …

Parked up in the carpark .. A free sleepy spot

HETTY VISITS THE FALKIRK WHEEL AND FINDS A FRIEND

On arrival at the top carpark at The Falkirk Wheel we came across a crowd of MH ers .. On a gather from Wildcampers ..A group of people who add to this very interesting and useful on line site making Wildcamping so much easier for us .. John has been a member for years but we’ve never met anyone before .. It’s a long weekend meet up and The Lairds MH is of the same age if not the same layout as our Hetty …

A walk to the The Falkirk Wheel after a lovely chat with such nice people ..John explained the concept of the Wheel but I didn’t get it until I saw it working ..Boat or Barge at the top .. ok … wants to get to the canal at the lower level .. ok … Are you still with me .. The Wheel then turns and the boat stays upright and is lowered to the next level of water … sighs .. yes I know so here are photos ..

First boat at the top

Next … Boat half way down

And at the bottom

It’s very impressive

Next stop The Kelpies …

HETTY GOES TO THE JUNCTION

CRIANLARICH …. A RAILWAY JUNCTION

By John

Heading south from Fort William after a small Lidl shop we selected a sleepy spot high on Glen Coe on arrival it was blowing old boots The Driver decided to go a little further

The Navigator suggested the sleepy spot at Loch Lomond we used on the way north …Continuing on but found it will take us off route to Stirling…Using our old Yachting saying “For Gods sake turn left”we did and we found sleepy spot …a nice level car park at the old railway station (closed and demolished by Beecham).

After an excellent sleep The Driver decided we needed a stroll to investigate the abandonment of the old railway and view the remaining line.

Originally CRIANLARICH was a major  junction of drovers roads and became served by two different railway companies …One east west and One north south which goes over Rannoch Moor . The East bound from here was the one to be killed off by Beecham ..Leaving a car park behind where we spent the night ..

WHAT HETTY DID NEXT !!

The empty tank for gas doesn’t worry us as we know we can get some on Skye and we have Pot noodles and sandwiches to eat and Rummikub to play but this is cutting our Hebridean adventure a tad short as we caught the 11-50 ferry from Lochmaddy to Uig on Skye

Skye has its good points as well and Hetty was looking forwards to doing a bit of a trip up north … BUT NO!!! There isn’t any propane gas in UIG ..We can’t manage another night in the cold so off to Broadford .. just before the Skye Bridge and yes GAS is restored to Hetty .What to do now is the question and as the Outer Hebrides was so superb I didn’t want to spoil the adventure by backtracking ..We can leave Skye for another time .. Found a great parking spot at Kyleakin GPS coordinates are 57.272707 -5.73021 on the Skye side of the bridge and as the night skies cleared we were given our own light show of the best sunset so far ..

Lochalsh village could have been a parking place as we couldn’t find a THOU SHALT NOT PARK sign by the station but was a little cheeky Hettys front end parked on the kerb so back across the bridge and a very safe quiet carpark over looking the bridge

HETTY IS RUNNING ON EMPTY

FERRIES …CAUSEWAYS AND WIND!

BRACE YR SELF SHEILA!!!!!

 

When you take a ferry you always worry about wind (not the baked bean or Brussels sprout kind)

So far all our ferry journeys have not been worrying ….They have not brought out the chains to tie hetty down but we always look with trepidation at how the ferry bobs around on the way into harbour.

However when ashore our main concern has been finding somewhere out of the strong winds we have encountered …

Ophelia was not really a problem as it turned right at Glasgow …

Brian was a little stronger…

However the winds without names have been the ones to try and hide from.

We check the forecast and try to find a sleepy spot behind a big hill or building when winds are strong,which has been quite often.

It’s gusting 39mph + as I write this blog parked between two shipping containers on a harbour wall on Barra GPS coordinates 57.041808 -7.421222 We shared the gap with a German Motorhome.

Luckily the Hebreideans have built causeways to join some of the islands putting ferrymen to pasture but making drivers lives much easier. These are fairly substantial structures and if you can stop at the bridge in the middle you see a fair maelstrom whipping under them.

At present we are on Barra having been over the causeway to Vatersay and not finding any shelter to park Hetty for sleeping.

We saw lorry straps being used to tie down sheds and small structures!

The large expanses of white fine sandy beaches and Mediterranean blue seas need to be seen to be appreciated . However at this time of year you need to wear 2 layers of thermals to go for a walk on them.

You also risk being exfoliated by the blowing sand on exposed flesh when walking above the high tide line on Vatersay Beach where we saw two lovely art installations designed not to be blown away.

Back to Barra to awaiting the much talked about airport landing which is on the beach after the tide goes out ..

Whilst waiting we decided to put the heating on .. Muttering coming from The Driver … seems we’ve run out of gas .. which heats Hetty and is our hot water and cooking source … This has never happened before .. and it may be because I decided not to nag about such things on this trip .. NB : To self … Nag .. Ask if the gas needs filling and have we enough diesel in the tank to get to the next service station

Now we’re at the ferry to go back to South Uist having failed to get on the last one as it was fully booked Had to wait two hours ..An hours crossing …Then we have to get to Skye …why you ask?….Because there isn’t any propane gas filling stations other than Stornaway and we’ve finished these islands now … and ITS cold .. we need our heating on …

Off the ferry on South Uist and after a mile or two with a sunset over Barra we stumbled across a campsite ⛺️… It was open Kirkbride Cafe and campsite GPS coordinates 57.103571 -7.356423  £19 all in .. No wyfi but hot showers and a camping kitchen to use .. I think it will be a Mug Shot noodle apiece and a ham and tomato sandwich .. perfectly acceptable under the circumstances .. Oh and a glass of wine or even two ….

DELAYED POSTS ..NO INTERNET .. NOW IN FORT WILLIAM

ROUNDHOUSES AND CODDIWOMPLING on Benbeculla..

By John

We togged and booted for a nice walk but prepared for a Hebridean cloudburst.ie Susan looks like a Michelin woman. Off we strolled onto the mochair following a track not quite suitable for Hetty but with possibilities for wild camping in the dunes . On reaching the beach which was covered with broken kelp stalks washed up following recent storms. Turning for home we found the round houses remains which dated from the very early Bronze Age when the hunter gatherers first started to form settlements and become farmers.

We then continued on via the cemetery which was Catholic very well maintained grass cut and lots of the graves colourfully bedecked with flowers though all where plastic. We also found 3 grave stones outside the cemetery walls all from the same family and pondered the reason for this?

As soon as we arrived at Hetty the heavens opened we quickly gathered in the washing and set off for our sleepy spot at Eriskay where the wild ponies graze in yet another grave yard

HETTY GOES TO THE REPAIR MAN

Holi Moli and buckets of blood Hetty goes to Hospital

The Cook view of the day

Hetty won’t start .. smoke and smells ..

Emergency… Panic .. What did I do .. I opened the safe ..grabbed anything I thought relevant for being stranded with a campervan on fire ..IPhone.. IPad ..Macbook.. Put shoes on ..grabbed handbag ..and coat … NOT you will notice make up and moisturiser..Must be grown up at last

We’re on a carpark in the middle of no where in The Outer Hebrides on the island of North Uist

RAC coming ..smoke dissipated .. John think the starter motor is possibly burnt out ..

Very scary but not as scary as last night .. Off to bed at around 11 pm ..Only to be awakened with very strange noises outside … what a rude awakening ..

A Cow rubbing her bum against Hetty’s left hand front wing.. My heart going fifteen to the dozen ..bit my lip as well .. John jumped out of bed and pipped the horn to shooo the cow off ..

It is sometimes a tad scary out on your own in the middle of nowhere .. well that’s adventuring for you …

From The Driver perspective

The RAC arrived (a man in a merc 4wd estate) thinking he just had to jump start us he had been told flat battery , not smoke and smell of burnt wiring OH he said!

After a short discussion we decided a tow to bump start Hetty may be the way to get us to a repair garage. He said have you a tow rope? Luckily I have a jib sheet from my old GP14 dinghy for tieing the spare loo cassette onto the bike rack,this was utilised and worked well and after a struggle with the steering as no power Hetty started very easily with a puff of black smoke, S a bit worried as she refused to ride in Hetty till she started and has never been out of her when starting, she starts like this all the time. We discussed the available garages and he suggested one only 9 miles away so we got underway and phoned ahead . Hetty was shortly on a ramp and we went for coffee, an hour later Hetty was fixed, the problem had been a poor earth connection from the engine to the chassis,the cable was cut a new connection fitted and bolted to a different position and all was well.

We gratefully paid £44 and off on our way happy bunnies.

LUSTROUS LUSKINTYRE

The small cruise boat is still in Tarbert when we woke to another mixed weather day in our tiny hideaway sleepy spot in the center of Tarbert

This wild camping lark is not for the faint hearted as I have said before ..we love it and can usually organise a place either Supa market carpark ..or picnic carpark .. we’ve found some belters But not for Motorhomers who need plug in to Leccy after September.. Campsites are shut .. well all but a couple up here in the frozen North ..and it’s the best time of year the tourist types are gone and the midges hibernating .. and all the lovely colours with Autumn drawing in ..

Back to Tarbert before leaving for more GIN from the Harris Distillery..presents this time as the dreaded C (Christmas) word is creeping up on us .. on entering the store we discovered the Cruise ship had disgorged its aged middle class cargo into the Gin shop.. We bought and got out of there quick sticks ..

Today is LUSKINTYRE Beach day supposedly the most beautiful beach in The Western Isles We can concur with OMG and WOW brigades who post photos on the WWW ….It’s gorgeous …

We parked up at the graveyard carpark .. free over night stay if you fancy it ..Down yet another single track road ..Hope upon hope that another Motorhome wasn’t coming the other way

A walk over the sunny dunes but still wrapped up against the wind armed with camera ..Dogs in the waves Kids running wild ..What a place ..

Two girls were busy digging ..scraping and shaping a massive installation of sand ..A Naked Pregnant Woman ..OK you say why??

A University project.. Rachel from Stornoway had it to do for an arty thing as she was at Aberdeen Uni ..Her friend Diana was there to assist I did suggest they added seaweed for hair and we left em collecting great wad of sea weed

From LUSKINTYRE a lazy drive to Leverburgh to suss out the ferry to Berneray the next island south .. on arrival there was the night time one due but as we hadn’t sorted a sleepy spot as yet because of the dreadful internet connection we opted to sleep on the quayside with the Mobil chippy doing a roaring trade and take the 9am one to see the view through the island on route to Berneray ..

HETTY DOES HER HOUSEWORK

A GO COME BACK DAY

As Tarbert had no laundrette facilities and as we had been about 14 days on the road and much further to go. We decided it was prudent to head back to Stornaway 35 miles back up the road (we were not smelling bad yet but the laundry bag was). We knew we could do a laundrette wash n dry there so off we set for an hours journey.

On arriving we went to the Tourist information office for directions and then located it in a 4 storey complex of Flats…Cafe /Thai restaurant and takeaway …Plus sports facilities …Architect designed with a central courtyard and an internal turret for a staircase. The facilities included 3 washers and 2 dryers and we commandeered 2 washing machines bracing ourselves ..loaded all our clothes and bedding.

It’s surprising that touring in a cold climate creates so much washing ..when in warmer climes shirts and shorts don’t seem to get as smelly and some items can be trampled in the shower and hung out to dry so does not become an issue.

So washing under way and into the cafe with good wifi for a coffee and a millionaires slice for me (S did have a taste though)

An hour later we commandeered both dryers and returned to the cafe to finish our Internet browsing …£7 later all was dry and we returned to Hetty and stored all away.. neat and tidy.

Having changed lots of notes to coins in the expectation of an expensive wash I decided to lighten my pocket by giving Hetty a long overdue wash . A local petrol station had the appropriate facility £7 more later we had clean clothes and a sparkling Hetty.

What now we said.

On checking provisions we were low on Beer ..Wine and decent tonic. Plus some food items needed topping up before we leave the main island .

Having broken into the Harris gin presents last night before our meal we needed to replenish our presents stock Back to Tarbert was essential and this was planned as our overnight stop in a Church of Scotland carpark close to the ferry terminal and distillery for replacements of Good Gin . This proved to be a quiet and interesting evenings sleepy spot as we saw a mini cruise ship drop anchor not far from our hide away…Below a very clean Hetty .

SEA FOOD OVERLOAD

Hetty’s Crew go for a Posh supper

A Bistro on Scarpy Island came to light on a Facebook page X. Marks the sleepy spot

.. View of North Harbour Food looked to die for at NORTH HARBOUR BISTRO SCALPY.We booked and the only time available on a Thursday night was 5pm ..

Tiny place just about 40 covers .. and so well organised .. all the bookings came in in half hour spots .. All food served at the table by the owner and chef .. utterly personal .. Sea food for me ..

Mussels in cream and wine for me and Fish Chowder for John

Main was just a cornucopia of fish and sea food for me Venison Fillet for John You were asked to bring cash and your own booze

All in all I haven’t eaten as well for a long time .. Price £62 .. portion size is great.. Not hungry after .. unlike The White Swan .. our home posh nosh which is my favourite place but please have your tea before going ..

Unfortunately I have been on a fat free diet for 12 months and the cream and butter told a tale at 3am .. Colonic irrigation … By morning I’d survived so all was well … now to buy Gin

HETTY GOES STAG HUNTING

John’s turn to blog

Storm Ophelia Missed Hetty !

After a slightly rough night at Ardroil beach… Awake from 3am until 5am with a wildly rocking and swaying Hetty (even parked in the lea of the toilet block to get out of the wind) After breakfast we prepared to move on. The dustbin men arrived and I went to discuss any news on storm Ophelia and they said it had missed the island . I think that they must have just slept through it we didn’t ..

We decided to take a look at Great Bernera as at its western tip was a nice beach and a replica Iron Age dwelling. This is very much a “Go comeback” (a phrase from our tours of Sri Lanka) Potential for a sleepy spot but it was occupied and would be a bit antisocial to squeeze Hetty in .

We decided to find a phone signal and try to book a restaurant we had been recommended on Scalpy Isle . Booking was successful but not until Thursday .The consensus of opinion was to head towards Tarbert which is on the Harris part of the islands and visit a remote coastal community at Hushinish for a couple of days. After leaving the main Tarbert road we found it was the narrowest humpiest road with passing places you can imagine in its favour was perfect tarmac

Road side visitor

It was 13 miles long with little opportunity to turn round and at half way a whopping great Scottish Castle in very good condition CASTLE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE ..The road winds around its front porch Found out later it’s a hotel with fabulous gardens. On arrival at Hushinish we found the local community have built a purpose built facility for visitors and motorhomers ..It even has a toilet dump Point and water point specially for Motorhome’s at a £3 charge. Plus the bay is absolutely gorgeous with a fabulous view and white sandy beach.

We will be here a while as the weather is much improved and we’ve had these fine beasts to amuse us .. They found Hetty interesting ..

It’s pretty amazing here in Hushinish but too lonely even for me ..

HETTY GOES IN SEARCH OF THE CHESSMEN

HETTY GOES TO THE BEACH TO HIDE FROM OPHELIA

Ok we need to find a sleepy spot out of the up and coming storm .. The parking should be SE and ARDROIL beach seems to fit the bill as it face W with some North in it and we can hide from the gale to come ..With our back to the beach ..and battern down .. Didn’t sleep too well but no gale as such ..The Uig area is famous for The Lewis Chessmen found on the edge of this rolling beach .. lovely golden sand looking out to the waves crashing on to the rocks out to sea

The Lewis Chessmen 93 pieces in all are said to be Viking… Made out of Norse Ivory from the teeth of walrus uncovered back in 1800’s in an underground chamber .. most are now in the British museum

The beach wild and wonderful is also written of in The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May where Whistler lived in a Black house and the plane was found in a dried out Loch in the mountains behind the beach ( Bet you wanna read em now)

We walked up to the house owned by the land owner of the parking area which has bunk house style facilities ..showers .. water all very modern £2 per night per person .. get in there .. There’s no one at home so the money goes in the jar on the front door step .. Trust boxes are quite the thing here ..Then off up and up and up again on our wild walk ..me falling into rabbit holes but no damage done

There’s no one else here ..just us ..walking of the beach ..mile on mile of sand ..I’m well wrapped up against Ophelia .. a bit breezy

for me ..but a sunset to die for .

HETTY GOES TO THE END OF THE WORLD

or at least it felt like it .. moon scape terrain ..tiny communities of 3/4 houses …and a road you wouldn’t want to a drive to the end of the peninsula … just wide enough for Hetty with lots of passing place .. usually on the edge of a cliff .. Ouch ! I don’t like it so back to ARDROIL beach to shelter from the incoming storm ..

Road ..what road ..This is it .. see photo

HETTY GOES TO CALANAIS STONES

Black pudding disappointment for The Driver

HE decided the butcher in Stornoway has great looking Blackpudding .. Ok I say get some so Off HE toddled and came back with enough to sink a battle ship ..Black pudding and poached egg in the morning HE said ..

A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT… Too greasy said the chef of the day .. I loved em .. but my diet was severely compromised Sabataged by a black pudding ..and a new innervation to our campervan kitchen Silicone bun cases from Mr Tesco ..excellent for poached eggs

Back to Stornoway and a stop in the Coop carpark .. No trade as all of these islands go by the church ethic of No work on Sunday ..One hell of an Internet signal which was made use of to FaceTime the kids then off down the road to visit the Calanais standing stones said to be the greatest Neolithic monument on the planet 50 standing stones in a shape of a cross , perched on the edge of a beautiful sea loch ..5000 years old ..very photographic but blowing old boots and pouring but so worth it to see the magnificence of such ancient structures ..

NB: I didn’t touch the stones after reading Dianna Gabaldon OUTLANDER BOOKS worth a read about a girl who did just that and was transported back to the Jacobite rebellion of 1750’s .. I don’t want to risk it ..Well you never know and I’m not cut out for living back in the day …

Amazing views from the Hill

HETTY DOESN’T GO OVER “THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE”

A small shop at Tesco turned into an expensive pastime ..The Drive has a liking for a BOWMORE single malt …and there IT was waving at him from the shelves ..The bill for the shopping is now £35 more than anticipated but The Driver has to have some perks ..

Today’s outing is to The Bridge to Nowhere ..Up and up over the moors with the peat cutting work in progress …still a peat using area .. lovely smell as one drives through the croft strewn hamlets with the modern houses living next to derelict dwellings left to crumble ..I think its sad but John says it’s because to renovate isn’t as viable as building new ..He suggests it’s VAT related as this tax can be reclaimed on new but not a renovations..

I first heard of The Bridge to Nowhere whilst reading Peter Mays “Lewis Trilogy” ..Books by Peter May The last book in this wonderful saga called The Chessmen talks about it in a reminiscing of the 60’s but not the reason it’s a Bridge to Nowhere

or I missed that part …Seemingly Lord Leverhulme bought the island and wanted to build a road to Ness but the returning troop of WW1 wanted Crofts .. Leverhulme took his bat n ball home and the tenant farmers didn’t get crofts for their workers nor a road to the top of the island The bridge still stands ..and the road leads to it but no further ..

A walk on Garry beach over looked by the Bridge and on to our sleepy spot at Traigh Mhor car park ..golden sands ..dog walkers and a lady rabbit shooter .. 6 for the pot by the looks of her haul ..We faced east head to wind for the incoming SSE strong gale ..slept like a log .. 10pm to 8-30am .. Internet and radio nil .. will upload as we again pass Stornaway…

Traffic jam

HETTY GETS INTO TROUBLE

ANOTHER LOO INCIDENT

Port Nis is a perfect wildcamping sleepy spot for a SW gale ..The tiny harbour has a decent size parking area over looking the beach To watch the seals at play..dogs running wild ..Hetty likes it here in the shelter of the harbours walls ..out of the wind

Yet another great nights sleep .. Bed by 9-30pm ..books to read .. music downloaded to Spotify as there isn’t any network for anything ..neither radio ..TV..and definitely a severe lack of internet ..other than main towns .. I am trying to publish blogs by Vodafone as we near Stornoway ..All roads lead back to Stornoway as we criss cross Lewis

Back to the Lavatorial incident.. Public loo .. Notice .. “Motorhomes Do NOT empty chemicals waste here” but as we DONT use chemicals only Lidl clothes washing liquid ..The Driver thought it acceptable to make the most of the facilities as another public loo may not be available for some time .. BIG MISTAKE … He incited the wrath of A Hebridean female cafe owner..She gave me a death stare and John a lecture on the legalities of his actions ..

SUN..SAND AND SEAL

Blew old boots in the night but we were hunkered down in the sand dunes at Eoropie Beach ..Hetty was pointing into the wind so not much buffeting as the gusts came in ..

This mornings adventure is a walk on the beach …A long beach fringed with high Dunes and low cliffs. Seemingly very popular with surfers ..Two turned up pre dusk last night ..No one there this morning .. Then a lady dog walker appeared but that was it Golden sands ..very strong breeze .. The surrounding machair (grass)is the home of lots of rabbits .. They were enjoying the sunshine lolloping around in their dozens ..

Next port of call is the light house at the Butt of Lewis at the very top of the islands ..A place I had identified as a good overnight sleepy spot but the wind was too strong ..

GPS 58.5107610, -6.2544080…

A nice hard standing for future ref

I got out to take a photo and had to hang on to Hetty’s wing mirrors to stop being blown away

5 minutes down the road we found our wild camping place Port Nis

Sheltered from the SW gale ..John is Seal watching on the beach and the sun is shining …

View from Hetty ..Wild camping …loving it ..

INVERNESS TO ULLAPOOL

LOO EMPTYING SAGA

Dawn

7pm

Today we saw it as we had to have a 6am get up dead line to get to Ullapool..Book our ferry to Stornoway for a 10am loading

The drive was again cross country with the sun at our backs throwing its light on the autumnal colours and what drizzle was in the air caused rainbows ..Who needs to go to else where for “The Fall” when it’s here in our backyard

Hetty romped along the narrow windy roads ..over Hill and Glen passing Lochs and Hydro Electric schemes with their dam walled valleys creating more Lochs ..Gorgeous

We have been on the road for 6 days and John has been looking for a cassette ( Loo) emptying point but with our two cassette system in place we don’t worry unduly…TWO LOO SYSTEM you ask ? YES we have a spare cassette and can go about 10 days without going on a camp site to empty ..The full one is strapped to the bike rack but today we had to find a place to empty it because with the bike rack extended the length of Hetty is longer ..Making the ferry crossing more expensive..

A good sleep spot and loo in between Inverness and Ullapool GPS 57.637517, -4.678676

A tourist loo and campervan sleepy spot was found en- route and ablutions completed ..

The ferry arrived as we parked up in the holding area which was full of Tesco ” Shop we will Drop ” lorries assuming there is a distribution center on Lewis to deliver to the outlying communities

A pleasant enough crossing force 5 ish .. but nothing to worry about .. docked and parked up for a wander to the tourist info office and finding a Chess Man and A husband Creche … . Ferry returning to Ullapool

Now parked up in the sand dunes on the west coast trying to shelter from the gale rocking poor Hetty about .. Pre Made curry for supper and hopefully a good snooze.

GPS COORDS for Eoropie Dunes 58.4999, -6.26297

Spot Hetty

FORT WILLIAM TO INVERNESS THE BACK WAY

GPS Coordinates for Lidl Fort William 56.822035 -5.101851

Poured and poured with rain ..12 hours solid of torrential rain ..Cleared after keeping us awake with the pounding on Hetty’s roof half the night and the sun put his hat on …Breakfast for J of croissants courtesy of Mr Lidl as we had made use of his car park for a free over night stop over

Wandered Fort William after a sighting of the steam from the sleeper pulled by the engine called The Lancashire Fusilier

The Main area seems to be just the one street of shops mostly charity and ice cream parlours

We visited 6 of these charity shop coming out with 1 pair walking trousers for J ..1 pair of Water proof trousers for J and a warm hat for me to cover my ears ..

Back to Hetty with our booty and off to Inverness for fuel .. why Inverness you ask .. A bit out of the way .. Tesco is your answer .. cheaper fuel ..

To get there we went off piste ..on a B road ..Up and Up and Up and what a fabulous sun kissed drive

I had a word with Hetty as she has had it easy up till now on M Ways and A roads now an effort was expected of her Up and Up ..Over the hills..single track roads ..with passing places

This road was called General Wades military road linking garrison at Ruthven.. Fort George Fort Augustus and Fort William in the wake of The Jacobite rebellion 1715

We didn’t see more than a dozen cars but did see….

Two red Squirrels

6 Hen Pheasants

1 Eagle

A herd of deer

Mountain top Lochs

And wonderful autumnal colours .. orange bracken … golden trees ..just lovely

Off down into Inverness and Yes .. Rain

It’s ok as we have a full roast dinner planned and Search4sites Sights has come up with a quiet sleepyspot by the marina.. again not a soul to disturb us ..

GPS Coordinates for Inverness Marina 57.494711,-423207

Hettys overnight spot ….

LOW COUD AND A DASH OF SUNSHINE …. LOCH LOMOND TO FORT WILLIAM

On leaving the borders our mission was to fill up with cheap fuel in Glasgow ..A quick shop and off up to Loch Lomond for our over night stop at Firkin Point again found in Search4sites ..A Scotland Tourist carpark and loo .. GPS. 56.1696528,-4.6778557 …Flat ..but had to move from under the trees .. rain.. trees and a camper van don’t mix .. The rain on the trees drips heavily on to the metal roof and keep one awake grrrrr …

An old oak just behind Hetty

I decided to exceed my normal campervan cooking repertoire and dish up Liver n Onions ..Mash and Veg .. The consensus of opinion was delicious ..So many pans the washer upper complained ..It will be a while before I cook that again

Morning walk along the banks of Lomond with Ben Lomond across the Loch..The clouds trying to clear the peak ..In fact a little sunshine appeared ..

Classic Hymers seem to find each other and one turned up but sadly sounded like a formula 1 as his exhaust had fallen off on the Erskine Bridge and he was parking in this carpark awaiting a replacement . Hetty with new friend

The weather was kind to us as we wandered up through the glens …Autumn colour still on the trees ..

No rain and bits of sun until we reached Glen Coe ..Lunched in the carpark half way down and the rain came down .. Still glorious and stunning as it changed into somber colours as we passed the cairn commemorating The Glen Coe Massacre

GLEN COE

We’re now in Fort William ..In Lidl Carpark ..We asked at the store and were given permission to over night before going on to Ullapool to take the ferry to Stornaway on Lewis Thursday

morning ..

THE SAGA OF HETTY’S BOILER

Blogged by John Sharman
Several months ago Susan turned on the hot water boiler for washing up only to find a lack of hot water even though it had been on an hour

“Bollocks” I said. Then on with the kettle.
On investigation the lights on the control did not go into fail so out with the Printed Circuit Board (pcb)..The fuse was ok so reassembled the boiler and the bits to get access.
Start the boiler ..Still no hot water…Out with the pcb again and sent it off for repair. On its return reassemble the boiler still no hot water. So just to check a new pcb was purchased and installed Miracles.. we have hot water.
A little while later no hot water …Off to our friendly Motorhome repairer to get both pcb’s checked in another caravans boiler and both ok. Out with the boiler for a full inspection and checkup ..No visible fault could be found and it was suspected that it was a wiring loom fault ..BUT it was an obsolete part and could not be replaced IMG_2836                                                                Dead boiler !!!
The decision was then to buy a second hand boiler or a new one. £500 plus later a new boiler arrived and installed with fancy new controls and new bright white plastic bits outside( the old ones where a bit cracked and unsightly) On reassembly all ok and every one happy but the cheque book.
We then commenced our delayed planned journey to the Outer Hebrides via Fleetwood for a sailing event. All ok until we woke up after a nice night in a pub at Beattock Summit to wet carpets “Bollocks again”
I dismantled the access to the boiler for the umpteenth time (it’s not an easy thing to do) Removed all the back of the heater blower and found a drip on the hot water outlet on the boiler which is probably worse when hot. We ran off the hot and I dismantled the joint pushed the pipe about 1/2 an inch further than you thought it could go and retightened the clamp . On with the pump and no leak so reassemble all the bits (I will probably be able to do it with my eyes closed next time) .
14 hours later lots of washing up done (my hands are spotlessly clean )My toes are dry I’m a happy boy and will probably have a 🥃 single malt as my treat

HETTY GOES TO SCOTLAND

VIA FLEETWOOD

At last an off .. Our Autumn travel plans have had to be put back a month and the original destination changed from the French coast and Spain to the Outer Hebrides ..The Western Isles Scotland.. Lots of reasons

1. Hot water boiler in Hetty knackered and a £500+ expense to have a brand new one fitted (Sadly as I write this blog John is on his hands and knees fixing the NEW boiler’s leak !!!)

2.Family ..and cat sitters ..Our trip was in the family diary for first week in September for two months but Family decided to take a holiday in USA ..Family are our cat sitters …sighs (Never have another pet one can not take away in a camper van ) .. New departure date was 2nd October.. No … Nana and GD were needed to pick Ruby (Granddaughter) up after nursery as the other Nana was away as well ..

3. 7th October prep for the off to Scotland and Northern lights with luck …NO… The Northern District RCLaser Championship He says ..sighs .. OK I say ..Packed and off to Fleetwood to sail our Radio Controlled Yachts ..YES and do not scoff ..me as well ..IMG_2748

It rained and rained on the M6 and M55 then a break in the clouds and the sun made an appearance in time for our supper at The Mount Pub over looking beach on a falling tide

Fleetwood is accommodating of Camper-vans as restrictions to park on the prom are nil ..No cost.. just park up and overnight making it one of the most used towns on the north west coast ..Lovely beaches and Fleetwood Market hall is a look back to the 1950’s ..well worth a visit ..

16 Skippers competed for the Northern Championship Cup .. John was 3rd and I wasn’t last .. Well in most of the races I was about 13th but that’s good for me ..IMG_2770.JPG

5pm Sunday 08/10/17 we are off to Scotland ..Autumn colours and sunshine.

Headed for Beattoch ..just over the border and a Pub stopover The Old Stables Inn found in Search4sites ..A web page for finding a sleepy spot en-route ..The pubs allow overnight parking in their car parks as long as you use the pub although we have come across one at Ribblehead where you can park and use the pub or not ..as the landlady said ..

The Old Stables Inn is quiet and flat for parking ..The food is pub grub .. My only complaint is our clothes now stink of cooking fat ..Chip frying .. My Bete Noir ..I hate smells permeating my clothes and hair ..cigarette smoke(xsmoker) has been put to rest now we need to ban chip frying in oil ..(I feel campaign coming on)

John seems to have fix the leaking boiler and the wet carpet is drying on the bike rack ..He’s an amazing fixer of anything broken ..

Off further North and just to decide which port to sail from whether it be Oban to Castlebay Ullapool to Stonaway or on to Skye and sail from Uig to Tarbert