Day 7: Ferry Oban to Castlebay
There’s a thin silver thread stretching across the horizon
Where the lie of the land upholds the truth of the sky.
I absolute love the journeys on the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries. That sense of excitement rises as you arrive at the port and the friendly CalMac workers marshall all manner of travellers into neat lines, to await their respective ferries. Delivery drivers, campers, motorhomes, cars and cyclists. It’s like the united nations on the dockside. Our bus was swallowed into the bowels of the ship, squidged in like a sardine and we were delighted to have survived the dreaded tail end scraping on the ramps, that seems to affect motorhomes with a long rear overhang.
Despite having only a few hours earlier had a sandwich in the bus on the dockside, once on board the smell of coffee and home cooked food coming from the restaurant proved too hard to resist. For some reason we waited until we were out in the open sea and there was a good swell before going along to sample the award winning delights of the CalMac kitchen. We succumbed to ‘Cullen Skink pie with seasonal vegetables,’ The thick fish soup covered with mashed potatoes was probably better at the start of the crossing and the ‘seasonal vegetables’ turned out to be chips, but we enjoyed it anyway. We joked with the man on the till as we paid for our meal, that we’d waited for it to get a bit choppy before we ate. He went just that teeny bit further and crossed the line by replying, ‘Aye! Let’s hope that’s the last time you see ye dinner today!’ I tried not to think about it as I ate my meal!
The snoring in the quiet area was getting a bit much, so we went up to the viewing lounge which gave expansive views of the the stretch of the Outer Hebrides ahead. The hills in the distance came down to meet the sea, with a thin silver thread stretching between the two. the sense of adventure and excitement rose as we approached the land.
The CalMac ferry finally offloaded it’s cargo of assorted vehicles, cyclists and foot passengers, all on their own voyage of discovery. We felt that this was properly now the start of our adventure.