Scotland Part 1: A Barbeque in the rain and Palm Trees
Fort William, UK
So, after a bit of planes, trains and automobiles, we made it to Inverness…the start of our little adventure! Thank god we didn't leave all of our packing to the Monday we were leaving, it worked out to be a little more stressful that we thought. Nevertheless, we did it and for once my bag was lighter than James's…James argues it's because he's carrying all of the toiletries!
We're currently sitting on a picnic bench overlooking Loch Linnhe, with a couple of beers, swatting away the midgies (Mum, I don't think the home brew is working so well…at last count, I have 2, James has about 50!!) and working out our plan of attack. I think camping places like these really call for some form of personal transportation…unless you want to spend a small fortune on public transport. We're going to head off to Oban tomorrow, which is a day earlier than planned…but also fits in well with the impending weather front coming our way.
Inverness was lovely, stayed with the Matheson clan and got treated to some true Scottish weather - but we can now confirm that Peter Storm pac-a-macs are amazing at keeping you dry! (other pac-a-mac brands are available). Even so, we managed a BBQ, even if Rod had to stand under an umbrella for most of it! Leaving Inverness we headed south along the coast on the train. SPECTACULAR. That's the only way to describe the journey…Think Macbeth/Lord of the Rings (that was James's description!).
We hopped off the train in Plockton…if you don't already know, Plockton has palm trees (it's totally true and we have a picture to prove it). It was stunning day and we opted to get the later train in favour of a walk around the Loch to a pretty awesome looking castle….so off we trotted for a mile and a half…
The castle was closed for refurbishment - boo. Still, it was a good hike and proved that we weren't quite as unfit as we thought. Well, that was until we had to trek back up the hill to the train station with about 20kg each!
Back on the train to Kyle of Lochalsh and just in time for the bus through to Dornie - our first camping stop. It's always interesting being dropped off by a bus in what looks like the middle of nowhere and trying to work out what direction you need to go (I don't think this will be the first time that happens!). We came across our unassuming little campsite in Ardelve overlooking the Loch with a great view of Eilean Donnan castle and pitched up for a cheap night of camping.
After a warm sweet breakfast roll from the Manuela's little bakery across the road, we headed for a quick tour of the castle before our bus to Fort William…and here we are. It's a bit far out of town but has some good views over the loch. It all seems a bit quiet and there are certainly more midgies around than we have had so far. We're slowly getting used to our bags, shoulders are a bit tender, but we'll have a day off from carrying them around the day after next.
Tomorrow…Oban. And Whisky.