Friday, 6 September 2013

On Scoraig - Scotland Tour 2013 - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

After one of the most peaceful and quiet nights in a long time, disturbed only by thoughts of what was now nothing but ungraspable memories, I awoke to this view..

I sat up in bed and noticed silver light glancing off the surface of the water, was it? Reaching for my binoculars I saw them - dolphins! - a pod of about twenty where jumping and splashing in the morning light in the loch.

After coffee and toast I took a shower in the camper with water I collected from the burn, and began deciding what I'd take with me for the kayak trip across the 1km to Scoraig. Then after unloading the boat, I packed the hatches with some changes of clothes and my toothbrush and camera and set out across the loch.
It did get a little windy about 3/4 way across but there was no white water and I made it safely across in about fifteen minutes. I pulled the kayak up onto the stony shore among the other boats on Scoraig.

You can see the jetty on the other side if you look closely. It was good to start today with an adventure to help my mind move onto into yet another new life.

The jetty on Scoraig - can you see my kayak?

As I walked along the rough track that is Scoraig's only 'road' I started to notice the number of wind turbines there are here. There are many, all turning mostly silently in the stillness of this unique place.

The residents of the peninsula get their energy almost entirely from wind & solar power, and its a testament to what can be done with green energy. The croft I'm staying on generates enough power to have a fridge and a freezer powered 24/7, as well as the other usual electrical appliances.
Along the way to my friends place there were some beautiful views..

This afternoon was spent cutting some planks at the saw mill, then bringing in the onion harvest that should last the family all winter..

Using a band saw to cut planks from a felled tree trunk

This seasons onion harvest

We laid out the onions in the barn in order to let them dry out properly, as the forecast was for rain, though you never can tell in this part of the world, it could easily be sunny and warm tomorrow. As you can imagine there was a wonderful smell of earth and fresh onions.

It was nearing tea time, so that meant it was time to go and pick the food we would be eating. My friend here is somewhat of an expert on plants and herbs, and lives almost entirely from salads and vegetables they grow here on the croft. We went on a 'Salad Walk' as is the routine every evening, and picked enough herbs and leaves to make a salad for our meal and lunch tomorrow. Potatoes were taken from the vegetable plot, as well as runner beans, kale, and lettuce.

The basket shortly after starting the Salad Walk

While cooking our meal, and preparing the salad, we discussed basic living, and survival from green gardening and local produce. Our delicious meal was accompanied by some mackerel caught recently in the loch, and frozen under wind power in the chest freezer. Quite honestly one of the best meals I have ever tasted.

For more information on this lifestyle visit the Growers Ark Blog 

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If you're looking for a good map of Western Scotland and the Western Isles, the one I recommend is the 'Road 2' - this map used to be produced by OS, but they stopped doing it. You can buy it here for £4.99:

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