lothiriel_1: (try to grasp this)
Next time I plan a trip to, say, the Outer Hebrides, make firm decisions on where to stay and make the reservations several MONTHS in advance, especially if said planned trip is between June and August.

Holy CATS, that was a bit of a fiasco. The initial B&B I contacted in Tarbert let me know via e-mail that the room I was interested in wasn't available. Okay, how about your other rooms (this B&B is in such a great location for getting to the ferry)? Second e-mail states that all rooms are booked. O-kay. Whip out the ol' tourism guide and hit the listings.

June is a busy month in Tarbert, apparently. I called no less than FIVE different B&Bs either in Tarbert or the immediate area (most of them, somewhat amusingly, run by someone with the family name "Morrison"). All five completely booked up. Try the internet. Find another B&B, this one about 5 miles outside Tarbert on the Isle of Scalpay (linked to the "mainland" by a bridge built in 1997).

SUCCESS!!! Thank the gods! Otherwise I might have had to cop a squat in the ferry terminal for the night. The nice lady I spoke to is aware that I need to get to the ferry early in the morning and said she'd help me with that. YAY! So I'm booked for that night. Now I just need to cancel that second night at Laxdale and I'll be all set for the Lewis/Harris leg of the journey.

So, for this situation...

The pros: I get to stay in a real Scottish crofthouse, with Gaelic-speaking hosts. I also get to see another island, even if it's only briefly. The fare isn't cheap, but it's still a lot better than taking a taxi from Stornoway.

The cons: The distance from the ferry pier. I would have happily walked a mile or so, but 5 miles with my pack and a deadline of 7:00am is pushing it. Mrs. MacKinnon said that Tarbert has a taxi service now - it's fairly new, from what I understand.

Almost ready... 57 days and a wake-up.



ETA: Laxdale Holiday Park in Stornoway has been contacted. One bright spot about all these overseas phone calls? I get to hear those lovely accents!

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October 2009

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