Thursday, 1 December 2011

Berneray - June 2011

This year seemed to be the year that I caught ferries to Scottish islands I’d never been to before. We’ve got quite a running tally and this year added two more to the list.

It was June, a lovely couple had just been married and we unfortunately had to leave the party early to prepare for our early start in time to catch the ferry. The tent was packed along with wet weather gear, warm weather gear and winter gear. You never can be certain of the weather in Scotland. We hadn’t been camping for a really long time so I was worried it could be a shock to the system. We were also going wild camping i.e. sans toilet and shower block which I was a little worried about. Although we’d expected to be camping very close to the holiday home that O’s Mum had rented for the week. After a smoothish crossing (thankfully I don’t get travel sick) we arrived in North Uist and made the relatively short journey to the house. Once we arrived at the house it was clear that there weren’t any spots nearby on which we could pitch a tent. O’s sister and her family weren’t arriving until the next day so we decided to take a bed for the night and find a camping spot the next day.

We had a fantastic weekend, there were trips to the beach where we found our camping spot. There was a slap up restaurant meal which included me eating half a lobster. There were hand dived scallops which were the biggest things I’ve ever seen – thank you O, shame you don’t eat meat they were yummy. There were fiercely fought games of scrabble and arguments over the quality of certain brands of dictionary. There were books read, a small hill climbed and seals spotted. There were cuddles with nephew who we later discovered was suffering from a hideous cold that knocked me and his Mum sideways when we finally came down with it a few days later. (he handled it much better than either of us).

Unfortunately there were also arguments with the owner of the holiday home (they lived next door and had only been renting out the house for 6/7 weeks) who felt we were overcrowding the house – even though O and I were only there for the day. We decided not to ruin the holiday for O’s parents and we left the island a day early but we did have a fantastic few days. I survived “wild” camping thanks to having a house with hot running water a 10 minute drive away. I was staggered by the beauty of the beach. In my time I’ve seen some fairly impressive beaches but nothing that compares to that stretch of unadulterated white sand. There wasn’t a thing on the beach either, barely a shell, pebble of clump of seaweed to be found. We relaxed, spent time with family and blew the cobwebs away with all that “fresh” air.

photos by O

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