West Scotland, June 2009

Subsets Of West Scotland, June 2009
Back To West Scotland, June 2009
13-14th June - Kayaking Near Oban
13-14th June - Kayaking Near Oban
15-17th June - Vatersay And Barra
15-17th June - Vatersay And Barra
17-23rd June - Eriskay, South Uist And Glen Coe
17-23rd June - Eriskay, South Uist And Glen Coe

15-17th June - Vatersay And Barra

Following the ordeal of gentle paddling in a flat calm sea in glorious sunshine, we felt the need to get away from it, and caught the ferry to Castlebay, Barra. Castlebay is called Castlebay because there is a castle in the bay - this shows the same sort of imagination that the locals of Shetland have in calling their main town 'da toon' and the main street of that town 'da street'. We wildcamped the first night on a dune above a beach on Vatersay, the island to the south of Barra joined by a causeway. The camp was shared only with a million caterpillars.

The next day, we circumnavigated Barra by bicycle, a heroic feat involving a long tea stop in an amazing beach-front hotel and lunch at the north of the island. Total distance 25 miles. Ok, not that heroic then. We then moved our tents to the biggest beach on Barra, which also serves as the airport - when the tide is out, of course. For an outdoors and aeroplane geek like myself, it doesn't get any better than wildcamping on a beautiful beach with aeroplanes flying around. As a result my holiday photos are looking more like I went to an airshow, but never mind. When an aeroplane is about to land or take off, they raise the windsock, and clear everyone off the beach. The Twin Otters seemed to leave the ground almost as soon as they opened the throttles, so I'm not sure they really need all that beach!

All around the dunes were dire warnings about abandoned vehicles being towed away. We saw this in action when two airport fire trucks towed a caravan and camper van into the middle of the runway / beach, tipped them over, and set fire to them. This triggered an island scale emergency response involving ambulances and police cars. Once they'd put the fire out, they towed them back to where they found them, presumably next to a sign warning you not to abandon your vehicles.

Tight Parking Spot, Castlebay, Barra Cooling Beer, Vatersay Rich, Debbie And Pete, Vatersay, Barra in Background Looking Down Runway 07, Barra Airport Debbie, Barra Airliner Taxiing, Barra Airport Airliner Taking Off, Barra Airport Wildcamp, Barra Airport Airliner, Barra Airport Loading Baggage, Barra Airport Airliner Taxiing Out, Barra Airport Airliner Taking Off, Barra Airport, After About 300 Foot Ground Roll Barra Airport Terminal Building Is Tiny Beach, Barra Debbie, Barra