campervan? dormabile?

When did campervans cease to be ‘dormabiles’?

Whenever it was, the one I am in now belongs to that era… described as ‘quirky’ by the owner it drives like a tractor, and I am looking forward to exchanging it for the one I booked, which has a fault being fixed. Soon, hopefully…

Another day on Lewis, another lighthouse. This one has been put to imaginative use as a kennel and cattery. Earlier I had tramped across a bog to visit a chambered cairn. As far as I can tell the land is pretty much bog everywhere apart from the roads. Makes walking anywhere cross country quite an adventure.

Callanish, Calanias, Callernish: all different spellings for the same place, an extraordinary collection of standing stones, stone circles and chambered cairns dating back 5000 years or so. The main collection, adjacent to visitor centre with cafe and car park, is very busy. The two outlying circles, smaller and involving a bit of bog crossing, are deserted.

I learnt my first word of Gaelic – no idea of the real spelling, but it sounds like ‘molth’. It means the pebble shore, and where the landlady at the last b&b played as a child. Her house was so neat and tidy it reminded me of the woman in Under Milk Wood who said “and before you let the sun in, make sure it wipes its shoes”. She took one look at my walking boots and practically whipped them off me before I could cross the threshold. I had stopped to ask directions nearby, and the man I asked not only knew where the house was, but told me there would be a gray Audi and a Polo parked outside. Local knowledge indeed.


8 thoughts on “campervan? dormabile?

  1. Dear Stringji, now you are well and truly in your stride and this blog is turning into a masterpiece of the form. Especially loved the Under Milk Wood reference, it shows a new depth and a range of activity beyond string. So, we’ve moved from midges to bogs, this is hardly selling the islands as a must see destination unless, as it is, your focus is on standing stones and string. For we mere acolytes it all sounds a bit arduous and I hope your dormabile fellah is not going to charge you for a tractor! 2 things to add, we need more photos, perhaps not just of string and where are your other acolytes and their comments. Feeling like I’m the only one voice here. Ah well time for my nap.


  2. Agree with Dave re photos but loving the stories Anna, and so thrilled you are following your dream. Well done you! Still raining here, no midges but lots of fallen rose petals – feels very poignant.


  3. Hey Anna it’s great to be following your adventures. Nice Memories of our trips to Callanish and Harris . Makes me want to plan a trip West myself ! Oops courgettes are burning ! Wishing you many string encounters. Love from Jill x x

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Hi JIll, I am at Callanish, sheltering from the rain in the cafe… do you remember that wee shop where we both bought Harris tweed hats? It’s now a complete ruin, and the man in the new shop down the road told me a tale of woe, that the woman who owns it won’t sell to the community, and it’s now such a ruin nobody wants it anyway. apart from the the stones are the same, of course, although slightly more fenced in than I remember. Parked the van up last night down by the little jetty and had a visit late last night and early this morning on my own, which was gorgeous. In the drizzly rain both times… x


  4. Ah now there was a time when you could buy a ‘Volkswagen Dormobile 4 berth Caravan’ for £915 (no purchase tax) whereas my van’s licence describes it cutely as a ‘caravanette.’ It’s a shame you’ve got a heavyweight, but don’t do a Toad of Toad Hall and crash it so you can get another one.
    Have you been allowed your boots back yet?


    1. nearly did Toad inadvertantly… not great at handling sharp bends are they? But am swapping today for the apty named ‘Celtic Goddess’. what a relief!
      Boots v firmly back on. Slept last night in the shadow of the Callanish stones. AWESOME xxx


  5. Fantastic campervan…sounds like it drives rather like that Garden Organic/Severn Trent Water tank you once hurtled down to Daylesford in ??!


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