Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Six Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty.

That's the current photo and video count on my Nikon. I have `now overtaken the Kodak that stood at 6431. I've had the Nikon a third of the time. I might be able to claim “Nutter with a shutter” status now.

Jo and I went to Oban this past weekend. His parents were doing their tour of the children and the country. As we were to leave on the Saturday boat and return on the Tuesday evening ferry we thought to contact a cycle shop in Oban to get the trike serviced. We had all the parts, but it is nicer for someone who's done this for a while to do it. So on Saturday I got the bus and Jo set off with the trike.

We had the Clansman out and back.
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It came in to Tiree very light.
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Positively swung round the turn to dock.
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It was rather a mixed day weather-wise; consistent wind but inconsistent precipitation. Sun, rain, snow, hail, sleet, we saw it all in an hour. But the sea was fairly calm and it was a very pleasant sail over. I got a bit of knitting done and had a nice doze, Jo read most of a book.

Once in Oban it was damp. Not outright pouring it down, just constant mizzle with the odd bit of rain. The Clansman had apparently had a bit of a knock to her paintwork below water level.
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Jo and the other cyclists had to wait for the cars to disembark, including those on the mezzanine deck, so his parents and I had a bit of a wait for him. But unlike boarding, I got to photograph the trike leaving the ferry. In this case alongside a kayak with it's own little wheels.
 photo KayakandTrike_zps9btsua9u.jpg

We trotted round to the entrance to the flat building and I took the bags up with Jo's parents while he took the trike to the shop. It is a lovely flat and I was so relaxed up there I completely forgot to photograph the view! It was very close to the train station and above the bus stops so we got to spend a fair bit of time watching folk coming and going, including Jo coming back with the trike!

Turned out that the shop had closed early (we don't know why, perhaps an emergency) and they weren't answering the phone either. So Jo and his Mum found it a good place in the car park and we all went shopping to Tesco where Jo purchased two extra bike locks. The trike can easily be moved if you know how unless you add an extra lock or two.

Jo had left his mobile on the ferry, this caused a very amusing scene when it was announced and suddenly everyone on deck did the "have I got mine? dance", caused Jo's parents to laugh on the shoreside.  Before we went shopping we trotted to the ferry office to reclaim it.  I saw this basket of crabs outside a van offering fresh cooked treats:
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They are alive.  I was surprised they hadn't made a bid for freedom!  Upon picking one up (a lad watching me jumped back just in case it attacked him) I found out they were very sluggish and grumpy.  Quite hefty critters too.

Sunday the family went to church and I took a wander. I didn't know at that point that there were two sets of keys so I made a mad dash back when I noticed the churches had cleared out only to find them all happily settled. Oh well. That afternoon we went to Curachan, the hollow mountain.

Curachan was the first reversible pump/generator station in the UK, possibly the world (I can't remember) and is 90% efficient, not bad at all! You can't take cameras or bags inside which is actually a nice break. The tour guide and her “glamourous driver” were great and full of enthusiasm even on the last tour of the day. It truly is worth a visit I think, even if all you do is admire the loch.

 photo CruachanLoch_zpsmj6o5laj.jpg

On Monday we took a footpath in the direction of Dunollie castle. At the end of the paved bit you could either go up to the castle, up into the forest or back the way you'd come. Jo and his Dad went adventuring up into the forest and to the summit of the hill there, his Mum and I decided to walk back. I then went shopping. 

Loved this painting for the seal colony cruise:
 photo SealColony_zpshgoceztf.jpg

I had a list of bits I could only really get on the mainland and that couldn't come by mail without adding extra instructions like “surface mail only”. I had a pretty good explore and satisfied my yarn cravings with a visit to the two yarn shops. Didn't spend a fortune this time either. I even found a new pair of trainers and some snow boots that are waterproof to over the foot. I am prepared for next winter.

Tuesday morning we went to Aldi, Lidl, Homebase and Tesco. Just getting various bits and some fresh stuff to bring home. We got a giant tarpaulin too which we used to wrap up all the shopping and Jo's rucksack in the basket of the trike. The weather forecast said it was going to be Wet on Tiree and it wasn't kidding!

The journey home was a little rougher but while the stabilisers were out it was perfectly fine. The view was rather...monochromatic?

 photo ViewHome_zpsnoondr9u.jpg

Now then, here's a conundrum for you: What do you do if your phone battery is dead and the only socket available is 7ft off the floor?  The phone won't balance on the poster frames under the socket and the charger cable leaves the phone dangling precariously.

No ideas?  Well, other than the obvious wait until you get to your destination.

Use a detachable hood!
 photo HangingCamera_zpsgexhxwee.jpg

As for the weather at home, WET. Absolutely pouring with rain that had just enough wind to get under hat brims. By the time I got on the bus all I could see was huge water droplets on my glasses. We had planned to unload the trike onto the bus to save Jo effort but it really was too wet for that. So I rode back with two bags on the bus and Jo pedalled back with two crates, one coolbox, one rucksack and various extra bits all wrapped in a tarpaulin in the trike.

He's now outside drilling holes in the trike. But that's another post.


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