Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camping/biking in Scotland

Dad has had a few days camping at Barcaldine camping and caravan site which is about 12 miles north of Oban. A nice campsite but the only drawback the nearest place to eat/get a pint was 12 miles away (that was probably Oban !).  He's had a hike up to the trig point on Glen Stockdale but mostly he's been out on the bike. There are some good cycle routes around that area. He's had a couple of rides into Oban.

On Friday he took the ferry from Port Appin over to the Isle of Lismore. Bargain at £1.50 for foot passengers - the bike went free! The isles is just 12 miles long by 1.5 miles wide (I think even I could ride that !) so Dad rode out to the lighthouse for dinner. The name Lismore comes from the Gaelic "Great Garden" ... I think that would be lost on my Dad ! Dad was going to stop off somewhere en-route back to the campsite for tea but couldn't find anywhere so it was back to the campsite and Dad rustled up "Jack's Greatest Menu" - cup-a-soup, beef curry and smash and a tin of rice pudding for afters!  He managed to see two eagles. One was in the distance the other was flying down the lane in from of him. Wonder if Dad managed to tuck in behind and get in it's slipstream!

On Saturday it rained so he decided to head off on his bike to the Sealife Centre. However there was no where secure to leave his bike - they told him to "park" it on the car-park so Dad decided to give it a miss. Why advertise the Sealife Centre on the cycle routes if there isn't anywhere secure to leave a bike ! So Dad headed back to the campsite with a Sunday paper. By the time he'd read it the rain had stopped so he went off for a ride. He managed to see deer and he also saw another eagle which landed in a tree but by the time he'd got his binoculars out it had flown off.

Just spoke to Dad - he was in the shower block. I did say that was a bit much information! It rained all last night and today. It rained so much last night that his tent sprung a leak (an ex-plumber should be used to dealing with leaks!) and his sleeping bag got wet. So tonight he is in Loch Lomond YHA. Dad apparently got the last bed  It's a great hostel - I've stayed in it myself. I was giving Dad directions to the local pub/restaurant but Dad has said if it doesn't stop raining he ain't going out! He's been down to see what food they have on in the hostel but apparently the Chef hasn't turned up. I can see my Dad offering "Jack's Greatest Menu" to others in the hostel :)  I wonder how many cup-a-soup he has left !

He's met a fellow septuagenarian cyclist in his dorm who is tracing a route he cycled in 1952 ! I bet there will be some cycling stories swapped tonight.

Tomorrow he is heading on down to the Lake District to meet up with friends.

He'll probably be home Wednesday.

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