The V-Dubbers

Today was a mixture of complaining about our various aching body parts, and groaning in pleasure at the views we were treated to as we trundled past. After a leisurely breakfast of bacon butties we packed up the van.

It had been a very successful first couple nights in the van. Some of my fears had been dispelled; there was no leaking from the roof, it didn’t rock in the night with the wind to wake me or make me feel sea sick, and it was definitely warm enough. Also, most of the day was spent with the windows and doors open which means, so far, we haven’t had any condensation or damp issues. This was something I had taken great care to avoid so I am very happy its worked.

Out of Fort William we drove. Angus sitting pensively beside me, attempting to write in the journal as the van bounced its way along the winding highland roads. Every now and again he’d look up and shout “stop here!” just as we had passed a layby for a photo opportunity. I had to slam on the anchors quite hard a couple times to pull up in time, but the photos are definitely worth it.

We aimed for Mallaig, or Malaig, depending if your Scottish or English, but we don’t know which one is which. It’s a small fishing port town that was only a couple croft houses in the 1850’s. The landlord of the time decided to build a fishing pier so that boats could land their catch more easily. This simple investment made the town boom with fishing trade and soon invited the investment of a railway line only further accelerating the town’s growth.

There is a ferry that we wanted to catch from here to Skye but was booked up till 3pm. We parked up and went for a wander around the town. There is a bit of tourism trade here because the town manages to support two fish and chip shops with only a handful of houses. The fishing marina is open for anyone to walk around and I got chatting to a nice scots chap who told me what some of the kit was that was lying around the harbour. There was a sort of black rhomboid frame with bright yellow plastic discs on bearings and beautiful stainless steel pipes all over it. He took great pleasure in explaining to me it was a pressure washer for cleaning the nets of algae and could easily cut my arm off…. so we left to get an ice cream.

Our ferry deposited us on Skye and we headed around the coast to our next attraction; The Old Man of Storr. This is a precariously perched rock next to a beautiful cliff overlooking the sea. It has been the background to our facebook event for so long I was really hoping to go up there and have a proper look, but our legs were absolutely destroyed from Ben Nevis. It will have to be something to come back for.

Driving around nearby we looked for somewhere to park up for the night. This would be our first “Wild Camp” in the van and I was keen to be away from the road. One farmers track looked perfect as it lead up to a terrace that would give a great view. However while slowly inching up it the front swingarm hit a big rock and brought us to an immediate stop with a loud, worryingly expensive, thunk. Everything was fine but this was not a good idea to try again so we carried on around the coast and found a perfect layby with an amazing view and a sheltered cleft in the hill.
Night Stop On Skye

Lots of other campervans also found this spot and soon enough we had got chatting with our new neighbours for the night. We made quite good friends with a group of 6; Dee, Balls, Braces, Trilby, Ginger and Plaits, in 3 old VW campers they had rented. We spent the night making crude jokes and drinking around their campfire, overlooking an amazing ocean view.