No Dream!

It was an early start to our day.
Due to a cattle sale in South Uist
our ferry was operating to an amended timetable.
It meant rising at 4:00am to be in time to catch our ferry.

Oban Sea-Front from the Approach to the Pier - 4:25am
Oban Sea-Front from the Approach to the Pier – 4:25am

The previous day we had travelled north from Thame in Oxfordshire.
We arrived in Oban at 19:43 after a 12 hour journey by train.
The journey included 7 stations and 4 trains.

River Clyde
The view from the train window of the River Clyde and Greenock

The weather took a turn for the better as we were leaving Glasgow.
For a short while the railway runs close to the River Clyde.
It then begins to climb as it runs along the Gair Loch.
Views of Loch Long and Loch Lomond follow.
A rail-line of Mountains, Glens and Lochs!
And at no extra cost a sunset.

(In galleries mouse-over for captions and double-click for larger photographs)

Heading west the sunset from the train window
Heading west the sunset from the train window

After a bite to eat we took a walk along the front.
The staff at Oban’s Royal Hotel are to be commended.
They are friendly and helpful even at 4:20 in the morning.

At 4:20 Oban was  so quiet.
The ferry was very lightly loaded.
And we were the only two foot passengers.

Sunset in the Sound of Mull
Sunrise in the Sound of Mull

After a very early breakfast we sought out the reclining chairs.
The ferry was a touch cold and sleep did not come easy.
Darkness was giving way to a rather cloudy sky.
It had to be a dream that colourful sunrise.
Still a walk to the stern was in order.

There it was – my sunrise!
The dream was a forecast of what was unfolding.
The clouds were parting to reveal a truly colourful sunrise.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse standing our clearly in the dawn light
Ardnamurchan Lighthouse standing our clearly in the dawn light

The ferry was on a yellow warning.
Why? It was not just quiet in Oban – it was calm.
But once out of the Sound of Mull white horses began to appear.
Then between Coll and Tiree every so often a wave would break over the bow.

It was exciting watching the the waves.
It was something anticipating the next big one.
Walking on deck or up the stairs was becoming increasingly difficult.

The wind was steadily rising with gusts of 40mph.
No easy matter standing on the pier roundhead to catch the ropes.
A glance at the horizontal windsock showed just how windy it was today.
There was to be no gangway and instead we walked off from the car deck.

Familiar Landmarks come into Sight - Ben Hynish and the Gold Ball
Ben Hynish

Familiar landmarks come into sight.
We are approaching journey’s end.

The CalMac staff in Oban were welcoming even at 5:00am.
The catering team on board the MV Clansman were so friendly.
The purser and a member of the crew carried our cases down to the car deck.
As our son has remarked other travel companies could learn a lot from CalMac.
In terms of customer care they excel and this is particularly true of the Clansman.

It is great to be back here on Tiree and back in our island home.
Even if the wind  has continued to rise and the rain came on.
Sorry to leave family behind but back among friends.

The wind dropped. The rain stopped.
And the sun set over Scarinish
This is ‘Life on Tiree’