Finally the crammed bus set off for Stornoway via Perth – but before we’d even reached the outskirts of town, the driver was lost. We ended up in the cul-de-sac of a new housing estate still under construction. This tiny close was not the main road north.
The driver turned the vehicle round and retraced his route back into town. He pulled up at the bus station, then announced that he was leaving us for a few minutes while he checked the way out of town with his colleagues. I asked if there was time for me to use the station toilets and he confirmed that there was.
The bus driver was much quicker taking directions than I was using the facilities. An altercation with a bunch of lads – who thought it amusing to threaten to attack me while I was on the toilet – partly accounted with my late return to the bus’ parking spot. By this time, however, the vehicle had left. I had no hope of reaching Stornoway with the others that day.