Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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Ferries And Fun But No Food

By Rev. Mick!

Day 4

This was one weird day. All started well. It was as nice an autumnal morning as you could get. One of those mornings where can wait to get going. So we blasted round the Coast of Bute. Lovely early morning, mirror flat loch to our left. 

The ferry is on a millpond flat stretch of water between Bute and the mainland
We see the wide deck of the ferry, the scoots parked on the deck and the scenery behind the deck

The ferry is very nice, it’s maybe half a mile so once your on you can just sit on your bike. The ride up the coast of Argyll is as good as any you’d get on that crisp Autumn morning. 

First we need fuel, not sure where the next stop might be. Molly Google says there's one a couple of miles up the road. It's one of those country stores and garage where everyone knows everyone. I thought "very busy at this hour of the morning". As I step out Drew is pointing to a printed notice on the door "As a mark of respect to Her Majesty etc we are only open 07.30 to 10.30" - looking at my till receipt it was timed 10.28. It also explained why the young fellas were buying loads of slabs of beer at that hour of the morning. So with that was a close one. 

We bombed off and there was no one on the roads so things were perfect in all ways. Tried my best to keep up with Drew but he’s a far braver and skilled rider than I am plus he has 75 more ccs and he’s not afraid to use them. Just solo toodling along on the faithful Innova on the perfect autumn morning with no traffic. At one junction stop in Inveraray as Drew checked with Molly the bell was rolling.

We drove onwards through this wonderful morning. I am just alone doing just what needed to be done when it was needed. Satori? I don’t know, I put it there with one of the great moments of my life.
We finally arrive in Oban in tons of time for the Castlebay ferry. "Just park 'em there lads we’ll mind them" said the always brilliant CalMac staff. So wandered off into Oban, only this day Oban was shut. We finally found two cafes next to each other with barista ladies going flat out. Suddenly we were all in it together.

The busy terminal at Oban with cars and buildings and boats
A different angle at the Oban ferry terminal

I have never been on as flat a crossing to any of the Western Isle by boat. We stood on the observation deck and it was sublime. You looked at one point into magical Tobermory (or if your kids are of the era of my kids - Ballamory.) We sailed out into the Lower Minch and slid to that point where land was fast leaving astern while islands were making them self’s felt. 

Slowly it becomes apparent as the ferry moves which island is ours. This is Barra, I’ve visited before and always enjoyed it. We quickly booked into our lovely B&B and at the Landlady’s insistence went for a meal before they closed. At both of the  only two places on the island doing food we had the same “have you booked?” - no - “sorry we are full”. We ended up living on Nobby’s Nuts and pint in the public bar of the Castle Bay Hotel. I was drawn to a night a few years ago and I was in this very room. Steve, Bob and I had sailed over. We were in this very room living on a menu of pints and crisps (they had not invented Nobby’s Nuts yet) as we could get nothing to eat until the community centre shop opened in the morning.

So we may have been a little happy but that’s what happens when you drink on an empty stomach. We asked or landlady for very early breakfast as tomorrow was a big day.

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Holy Water On Departure It's Rev. Mick!'s day of departure, in spite of his wife's misgivings. He's crossing Ireland and he's already lost in his own country.
Countryside, Culture And Carlingford Lough Rev. Mick! is finding a ferry and fascinating sights as he makes his way northbound towards Belfast. A good day all in all but there may be just one small hiccup ahead.
Police, Passages, Pals, and Pints Rev. Mick! is escorted by the police, hangs out with Scooter types and catches TWO ferries. It seems he can't have an "ordinary" day.
Ferries And Fun But No Food It's all ferries and frolics for Rev. Mick! as he gets deep into The Highlands and islands. The riding and crossings are good but there's a problem with acquiring sustenance.
Motorcycle Meditation In The Wild And Wet Rev. Mick! is having one hell of a day. The Hebridean weather is throwing it's worst at them as they make their way northbound to their raison d'etre.
Lovely Lewis And Chilled Chums Rev. Mick! finds today to be much calmer and enjoyable rather than endurable. A tour of the northern half of Lewis and some good company sees Mick swinging and snoring.
A Laid Back, Easy Day On Lewis While their hosts are working Rev. Mick! and Drew enjoy and easy mooch around. There's just that one place Rev. Mick! still hasn't managed to reach.
Homeward Bound From Lewis To Mallaig It's way too early for Rev. Mick! this morning but needs must. Sadly it's time to head homeward but that won't spoil a good day looking around Skye.
Veggie Brekkie, Bikes And A Blast Rev. Mick!'s enjoying a day through some classic Highland scenery then pondering the past, present and a future yet to come.
The End of the Fellowship With the parting of the pals comes a tinge of remorse yet Rev. Mick! still has many more miles to cover before his heroic return to home. Did anyone notice he'd even left?

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
Have we stayed at the same B and B?
Posted Image
29/11/2022 16:36:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Blimey! If it ain't the same hotel it's gotta be close.
29/11/2022 17:12:07 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
We’ll it is not quite the same, I would think it must be one of the neighbours. I cannot think for the life of me what it was called. It was lovely and we had the two garret rooms.
Lena Zavaronni’s parents fish and chip shop was just down the road. If of course you get that reference it places you, like me, into a certain age bracket!
30/11/2022 12:19:48 UTC
Bogger said :-
A group of five of us, on bikes, ended up on Bute a few years back. It felt a bit like a scene out of the Wicker Man to be honest.

We obviously ended up in a local pub....for local people!! It sort of all went quiet when we walked in. Any way.

At one point in the evening one of our lads put some music on the Juke box. One of the locals shouts out ' who the f***, put this s*** on'.

Black country Pete stands up and says 'Me, is there a problem'.

There wasn't a problem, as Black Country Pete is 6'6".

Funny when you look back on it, but at the time you do think FFS here we go.

05/12/2022 12:57:10 UTC

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