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PUBLIC TRANSPORT Day five


I cheated – Steve and Chris at Port Charlotte Youth Hostel kindly offered me a lift through to Lochgilphead, back on the Argyll mainland. I had foolishly not booked my Citylink


coach seat from Kennacraig towards Oban, and there was some doubt about whether I would be allowed to travel without booking, a point worth noting. Te MV Arran was now mended, and


gave a pleasant extension back to Kennacraig of the roundabout route of a few days before. It was the final leg of my Hopscotch ticket. Lochgilphead is a


Oban sits in an amazing location


beautifully situated little town, from where a West Coast Motors bus takes you up to Oban for £5.60. Te scenery on this route is truly


breathtaking, past the Crinan Canal, the very curious and immense Poltalloch House ruin (for a brief season in 1949 an SYHA Youth Hostel), and the beautiful Loch Craignish, with views of the spectacular Paps of Jura. Te 4pm sailing from Oban to Craignure (five-day Return Saver, foot-passenger, £8.25 – a car would cost £59) connected with the 495 bus to distant Tobermory (£9 return), where I had a brief Youth Hostel stay before catching the same service back the following morning.


Port Charlotte Youth Hostel (above) an old whisky warehouse with triple pitched roofs. Te West Coast Motors bus which dropped me by Oban Ferry Terminal (below)


Day six


Te transport bargain of the trip: advance single train fare with railcard, Oban to Stirling via Glasgow, 130 miles – £7.25. Like the earlier Corrour trip, the line


follows some spectacular country. Tus ended a memorable holiday, not least for the amazing array of transport taken at a cost of about £90.


06


ScotRail Rover tickets are popular, and include ferries and some buses. Tey are of the four-days-in-eight variety, so may not suit your travel needs. I found that the very low-price advance singles were actually cheaper. Glasgow offers several cheap day rover tickets and Edinburgh has a bus day rover.


07


SYHA Hostelling Scotland has teamed up with ScotRail to offer a discount of up to 30 per cent on group travel when staying in its Youth Hostels. Te arrangement is valid on any ScotRail service across Scotland.


08


Citylink coaches offer a 20 per cent discount to SYHA members and Young Scot card holders.


09


Tere are many other coach bargains, for example: on Citylink coaches for students and the over-60s, including advance booking Apex tickets, Super Singles from £1 and Explorer passes from £39, and on Megabus routes (which also connect with England). As with trains, it will pay to think ahead.


10


Tere’s always the bike – some bus services now take bikes, the Claonaig connecting bus I used being an example.


2012 SCOTTISH HOSTELLER 59


THE CHEAPEST DEALS.


AHEAD FOR PLAN


THE INTERNET IS YOUR FRIEND


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