The day at Oban Caravan Site dawned very grey and misty. Well! I am not exactly sure what the 'dawn' was like having been so late the night before.
I popped down to the office once it opened to tell them of my late night arrival and pay, and when they asked how many nights I had to say it would depend on the internet connection, which was not looking good, with only one of the phones making a half hearted attempt at an occasional connection.
The site had wifi, but though I had tried several times I could not make that work either. Eventually it turned out that it was currently out of commission, so even though the mist had cleared to show the site had some beautiful views I really couldn't stay with no way to contact the outside world, so decided to head back into Oban as I was determined to make some phone calls, and hoped for even just a little internet.
Having crossed over from the Outer Hebrides I had some vague notion that I would be able to get back on line, and the reason for so desperately wanting some connection was to sort out the next few days travel.
One of the places I have always wanted to visit is the Sacred Isle of Iona, and before I began my trip, possibly before I even bought Thebus I had booked a visit to see it in early June. The long pre-booking was because in my researches of ways of reaching Iona it became apparent that Thebus wouldn't be able to come with me, and not being sure how much walking would be involved in a day trip I had discovered that a wonderful Paddle Steamer – The Waverley – was due to travel to Oban from Glasgow, and from there sail out for a day trip stopping at Iona. I just loved the look and the lines of the ship, and thought it would be a wonderful way to travel to an island I had long heard about. And thinking that if I got to the island I might be able to take a taxi up to the Abbey it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, so I pre-booked the trip there and then.
Not knowing anything of the geography of the Western Isles, or for that matter the geography of the British Isles, I hadn't appreciated that Fingal's Cave was quite nearby on the island of Staffa. Once again this was something that was high on my wish list of places that would be wonderful to see, and when my stay in Shetland was over I started (internet connections permitting) to do some research on the possibility of my getting there.
As I hadn't been certain of when I might arrive back on the mainland I hadn't booked anything up, so getting an internet and preferrably phone connection as well was imperative as now time was short - I had to be back in the midlands to have the snagging work carried out on Thebus in early June!
Oban had seemed very tight when we got off the ferry and I wasnt sure of parking, so phoned the council and they recommended a carpark by the sports centre, though it was quite a way from the harbours. Still it had to be done, so getting ourselves together we set off, not really looking forward to the very tight lane which had bought us to the campsite.
In the daylight it didn't seem much easier, and of course now we had various caravaners and camper vans all coming the opposite way heading towards the campsite, so that took quite a bit of squeezing by. Getting to the turning we needed for the recommend parking spot I seriously worried that we would ground on the sharp angle and incline, so chickening out, instead of turning I carried straight on, and guess what. There was parking on the side of the road, and three spaces together, which allowed us to pull into one and use the other two. The road was very busy as the ferry had just unloaded, but I would guess in Oban, at most times of the day the ferry will have just unloaded.
I waited for a lull in the rush - my door opens directly into the traffic, and then the two electric steps extend out into the traffic, not the easiest of things, but of course Thebus is designed for driving on the opposite side of the road, and got out to feed the two meters. It was by now gone lunchtime on Saturday, so with four hours on the parking meter that took us to 6pm when charges stopped, and there was no charge on a Sunday. Hooray. The road was wide enough for us and of course apart from when the ferries disgorged the traffic was not bad.
Being in a reasonable size town the phone signals were better and I could get an internet connection. So I could book a trip to see Fingal’s Cave, and also took a walk down into the lovely town facing out over the pier and bay. We were still quite a long way out, and I have to say I have missed having the use of the scooter on this trip, there are so many places I could have visited which I have now missed But one thing I certainly have not missed is the Wretched Rack, and my only regret is that I did not refuse to have it in the first place, or send it back as soon as it caused problems. Still, water under the bridge now, and in fact I have managed to buy another rack, second hand, which sounds as though it will be much better. At least I hope so having bought it sight unseen!
Road from Oban to Caravan Park
View from Thebus window when mists had lifted
Nice Cafe right on the front and overlooking the water
Selling lots of lovely chocolatey things and good home made ice creams
Below is the view from across the road