So Orbit and I became friends some time ago. We met through a friend of a friend. Unfortunately over the winter we’ve not been together much so a week off and a changeable forecast (ie a change from rain now and then) made us decide to set off to the Outer Hebrides! Spontaneity being my middle name, we planned our trip very last minute and while it was easy to get me onto Scotrail Orbit took a bit of time as spaces for her were full on many of the trains. Not to worry, 12 years before, Orbit had travelled around the Outer Hebrides so if I got lost I guess I’d just let her do the leading! The train was all rather fun. It’s funny being a local tourist in your own country. It opens me up to lots of fun stuff I never did before. So on the train I met some lovely tourists. A lady from Brazil working in a gluten free food plant in Bathgate and a lady from Germany off on a retreat to Iona. Coming off the train in Oban I met Andy and Helen who were doing a similar trip as me but over 2 weeks. Oban looked lovely. Doesn’t anywhere in the sun? Full of bikers eating large portions of fish and chips. The resident seagulls at the harbour tried to prize a piece of my crab sandwich but I didn’t let them. These seagulls are the size of a medium dog. There should be a warning to keep small children tethered. I took a late afternoon ferry over to Castlebay on Barra. Weather wise all was well. We glided past islands, looking at houses and wondering how they were accessed except by a boat. We failed to see Tobermory as we were looking out of the wrong side of the boat! Still Orbit would keep me right on directions once it came to the Outer Hebrides – have faith! I had chips on ferry. It seems like something of a tradition the eating of chips on a trip of this nature. Arriving in Castlebay something had happened…it was raining cats and seagulls. Oops…A little stiffness of the front wheel – the mudguard had moved during the journey – made me worried. Was Orbit up to it? Andy assisted and a small tweak later (with seagulls hitting land around us) I was all set. I had booked a B and B as the hostel was full. Off I went. Thankfully there was a nice dry place to put Orbit. She’d be well angry if she had to stay outside in that rain! Now I wonder why B and Bs always require to be overheated. This one was like an oven. And had the smallest bathrooms in the world. It resembled one of those plastic, all in ones you find in caravans. Still from there I had a view over the water. My plans to take an evening ride over to Vatersay disappeared owing to the weather so it was an episode of Grand Designs and an early night…..
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