Off to Scotland

If you are going away somewhere and don't mind meeting up with other Bongo owners or if you've been somewhere & want to tell us about it & stick up your photos, put the details here.

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Ian
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by Ian » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:08 pm

marionw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:41 pm
Bottles of Avon Skin so Soft purchased.
Smidge! If you go to the legendary Nevis Sport outdoor shop in Fort William and ask them for the best insect repellent they will tell you Smidge. But not everyone agrees. Mrs Bongo gets bitten even when covered in 100% Deet. Have a look at this for a discussion: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rockt ... eet-643493
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by mikeonb4c » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:16 pm

Ian wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:08 pm
marionw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:41 pm
Bottles of Avon Skin so Soft purchased.
Smidge! If you go to the legendary Nevis Sport outdoor shop in Fort William and ask them for the best insect repellent they will tell you Smidge. But not everyone agrees. Mrs Bongo gets bitten even when covered in 100% Deet. Have a look at this for a discussion: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rockt ... eet-643493
I'm a Smidge Man, though not yet tested north of Dent, where it worked well for several present. ;-)
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kandabongogirl
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by kandabongogirl » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:08 pm

Thanks Bob.

My pleasure Marionw. Would be great if you could add to the list after your trip. I have a trip to Mull and Tiree in the summer so will add more then, but that will be after yours. I also intend to sample Oban environs a bit more this time as last time just passed through. I believe the 'Atlantisleisure' centre in Oban (adjacent to long stay parking) does a value-for-money day pass for activities and showers. Not tried it yet though.

To all - other suggestions / recommendations I like to make are: to be 'low impact', to shop locally (dont just travel 100% self-contained with food), and to 'leave overnight spots cleaner than you found them'. i.e. litter pick and beach clean the vicinity for 5-10 minutes as often as you move on. I keep a roll of black bin bags and pair of DIY gloves for this. The classic example on my last trip was in Skye; on the long walk between the car park and the 'Coral Beach' north of Dunvegan Castle, and back to the car. I filled a large black bag, half with other people's litter :( (including top points for finding an empty rusting can of special brew! :) ) and half with driftwood. Re-sorted the two halves back at the bongo, binned / recycled the litter and used the wood on the beach-bbq later on that evening, with locally purchased monkfish (yum!) from mobile fishmonger in van (not a bongo :wink: ). Yaaaarkshire smugness all round. :)

Annual bash - Don't think I will be able to make the annual bash, though I would dearly like to.

ATB, KBG.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by kandabongogirl » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:10 am

Cheap re-fueling – here is a list of handy refuelling stops for a thirsty bongo, that avoid you being caught short and ripped off. Including 3 stops that are each less than 500m off the M6 en-route to Scotland when travelling up/down via the west side of the country. I hate those motorway fuel prices:

M6 – Junction 9 (Walsall): Morrisons in east direction off junction.
M6 – Junction 31 (Preston): BP in west direction.
M6 – Junction 43 (Carlisle): Tesco superstore in west direction.
Oban: Tesco superstore not far from ferry port
Fort William: Morrisons store, BP, ESSO
Isle of Skye: large Co-op stores in Broadford and in Portree
Sunart / Ardnamuchan: Strontian and Kilchoan PO, both have wee facilities if you get caught short.

ATB, kbg.
23 year old salt and pepper AFT who loves a twerk to a kandabongoman tune.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by marionw » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:00 pm

More handy tips, thanks. I have been warned about keeping the fuel topped up as fuel stations can be few and far between.
Also agree about spending money locally. They rely on us passing through.
As for leaving cleaner than I arrived, I was a girl guide so goes without saying, but always worth saying. As you have experienced, not everyone thinks the same way.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by Ian » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:29 pm

668. The Neighbour of The Beast.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by marionw » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:41 pm

Interesting articles, Ian.

The first one is quite disturbing, the way some people behave is shocking.

I know that I am a responsible traveller and camper.

The main concern that I am now feeling is, I had planned to travel without pre-booking, but am now wondering if I will experience problems finding just one space in campsites if I just turn up. Time will tell. I do not want to have to be in a certain place on a certain day.
That's not how I travel.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by Muzorewa » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:34 pm

marionw wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:41 pm
The main concern that I am now feeling is, I had planned to travel without pre-booking, but am now wondering if I will experience problems finding just one space in campsites if I just turn up. Time will tell. I do not want to have to be in a certain place on a certain day.
That's not how I travel.
I think you'll be ok. When we did THIS tour (albeit ten years ago now) we went in late July to mid-August and didn't have any trouble getting onto campsites. You'll notice we used campsites less as the tour progressed but even the busier sites near Balmoral castle and near Oban port were still ok.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by Muzorewa » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:43 pm

One slight correction to the above, the wild-camping magnet at Calgary Bay on the isle of Mull was absolutely rammed, and mostly with people who looked like they'd been there a good while. So we sought out our own little haven elsewhere and had a lovely night - and went back to exactly the same spot in 2013, and again nobody else there. For wild-camping, do your own thing :wink:
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by tootsmcfruits » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:12 pm

I know on Skye last year or the year before they had a surge of visitors (due to good weather daytrippers and also peopple tagging it on to the NC500) so much so that some nights they had to open up the local halls and put beds in for people as there was no accommodation anywhere on the island, so it is worth bearing in mind that it does get pretty heaving in the summer months. I notice a big difference when I go and visit my dad now-a-days. Mid week should be easier to get into campsites than weekends but if you can, a little forward planning to the busier areas might be a good idea.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by kandabongogirl » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:28 pm

My general take on this (after much reading and listening, and a little recent experience):

Well I think roughly speaking, outside of the Scottish (1/7 to 16/8) and England&Wales (15/7 – 2/9) school holidays you should be OK. Within these times then accessible and popular / trendy places (like Skye) will be busy. Remember for example that whilst Skye is an island it has a road bridge so no real inlet/exit choke. The other islands have somewhat of a useful choke which is the ferry route capacities. However, even then, since the ‘Road Equivalent Tariff’ (RET) was phased in to the ferry routes over the last 10 years (now ubiquitous) many of the islands have become more cost effective to get to by car and hence more popular. This has led to places like Mull warning visitors to be ‘impact aware’ and of others like Tiree and Coll to actually restrict numbers of campervans and motorhomes by requesting that you book a campsite or a croft site in parallel with your ferry booking.

We are going to Tiree in late August (after Scottish schools go back but before English do. A small sunny and windy island (good for our water-sports, and for blowing the midges away) it only has 1 formal campsite and around 10 informal (warden coordinated) croft sites - each taking only a handful of vans / motorhomes. So we have booked one of those at £12 per night (no facilities just a pitch) in order to comply. The formal campsite with facilities is about double that cost, and we plan to use it for a couple of nights in our overall croft booking plan.

In summary, if you are going to an accessible and popular island like Skye then you should be fine to ‘wing it’ in May-June and Sept-Oct, but more difficult to do so in July-Aug. Less popular places that get bypassed (like Ardnamurchan / Sunart / Moidart) might be easier. But even the campsites at Strontain and Kilchoan told me they get fully pre-booked in core summer holidays. On Skye 'free camping' roadside seems easier the further north you go and the further you are from tourist hubs like Portree. Certainly going by the distribution of 'no overnight parking' signs. Personally I would avoid Skye in July-August; as many tourists as midges perhaps. :wink:

P.S. I like to use the term ‘free camping’ or ‘free van stop’ for what we seek to do outside of campsites, rather than the ‘wild camping’ term which strictly is the of the carless / vanless variety – which I hugely enjoy as well, up in the mountains and deep in the valleys. But that has been debated elsewhere!!

kbg
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by marionw » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:23 pm

Thanks all for your thoughts on campsite availability.

Will chance it, as you suggest, in less popular areas, and once I know when I will be ready to go over to Skye, make enquiries then.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by kandabongogirl » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:04 pm

marionw wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:23 pm
Thanks all for your thoughts on campsite availability.

Will chance it, as you suggest, in less popular areas, and once I know when I will be ready to go over to Skye, make enquiries then.
Sounds good. If it looks (last minute) like we are not going to make the bash then I will PM you some Isle of Skye suggestions of 'free camping spots for responsible Bongos'. Mid May we free-camped for 7/7 days on Skye, with only 1 night of 'stressful' parking. If we do make it to the bash (still the aim) i will share these face to face; by the way, it is looking like we will only bong-over to the bash in a 1 day window as day-visitors for either Saturday or Sunday, due to other commitments. We will probably come and go the scenic way(s) through the White Peak and the Long Mynd rather than the M6, and free-camp en-route if we need to - i haven't booked a pitch as not 100%.

kbg
23 year old salt and pepper AFT who loves a twerk to a kandabongoman tune.
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by Muzorewa » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:36 pm

kandabongogirl wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:04 pm
marionw wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:23 pm
Thanks all for your thoughts on campsite availability.

Will chance it, as you suggest, in less popular areas, and once I know when I will be ready to go over to Skye, make enquiries then.
Sounds good. If it looks (last minute) like we are not going to make the bash then I will PM you some Isle of Skye suggestions of 'free camping spots for responsible Bongos'. Mid May we free-camped for 7/7 days on Skye, with only 1 night of 'stressful' parking. If we do make it to the bash (still the aim) i will share these face to face; by the way, it is looking like we will only bong-over to the bash in a 1 day window as day-visitors for either Saturday or Sunday, due to other commitments. We will probably come and go the scenic way(s) through the White Peak and the Long Mynd rather than the M6, and free-camp en-route if we need to - i haven't booked a pitch as not 100%.

kbg
You should be able to camp at the bash even if you don't book in advance (provided you're a Bongo Fury member). There are over 200 vans booked in but not over the site capacity so you should be ok - then you can have a glass or two of wobble-water and relax :wink:
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Re: Off to Scotland

Post by marionw » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:47 pm

To Kandabongogirl,
I have sent you a PM thanking you for the Skye information sheet, but am also thanking you via this in case you don't get the PM.
It will definitely be used.

Sorry not to have met you but hope to in the future :D
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