Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 25: The Highlands

I was woken to a text message on my phone at 7:30am. This vaguely annoyed me but the shower transformed me into a human being.

Breakfast was nice - most people seem to eat before 8am here. I dashed down to the shops to buy some cheap noodles for dinner and had a battle of wills with the girl on the register (she was unsure if my English £20 note was genuine - I had to pay in 20p coins) before I sped back to the hotel.

We left about 10am. Rain funnelled down the windshield, making me glad I had altered the day’s itinerary, also reducing the amount of driving Cazy had to do. We ignored muddy Loch Leven and the out-of-the-way Crannog Centre and took off for Fort William in the highlands. 

Glencoe

The day was wet, cold and miserable. Glencoe offered a cafe haven with wifi where I discovered online that Jeremy Clarkson was at Pitlochry, only twenty minutes away. I resigned myself to Cazy’s more realistic hunt for the railway viaduct at Glenfinnan - this was used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron were flying the Ford Anglia.

It was far too miserable for us Muggles to get any closer.

Scotland’s scenery has not disappointed in the slightest. Cazy says it reminds him of New Zealand which is no surprise - both countries were violently crushed by tectonic movement, giving way to gorgeous snow-capped mountains. I love it here. Pity about the rain.

After a drive-by at the viaduct (avoiding the pay and display parking), we located the hotel on Loch Lochy - nearly missed it because of the screwy satnav and the curve of the road. It’s a lovely, pricey place built in 1880 as a hunting lodge (there’s a recent deer head mounted on the wall). 

The views are wonderful - we can see the loch from our bathroom window and a mini-waterfall tumbling away beneath the downpour from the bedroom window.

The extremely hypnotic scenery behind Loch Lochy.

Now we are basking by the fireplace in the residents’ lounge. Scotland is an ancient land and I feel...a tug at my heart here. Write tomorrow.

Addendum 10:20pm. Met a nice couple in the residents’ lounge while we imbibed and used wifi. One was a Turkish artist who carves and paints dizzying wooden sculptures that draw the eye ever inwards. His wife is from Glasgow and was able to recommend the most breathtaking sites in the highlands to us. They had both witnessed me roaming around outside with the SLR earlier.

Converted Cazy to my Diet Coke/Malibu mixer. This alcoholic beverage seems to be a new invention to those I order it from.

James (who checked us in) served us the drinks. He seems pleased that he has been invited on a hunt with the owner’s son “next time”. Moving up in this world, James!!

He thought we were from Yorkshire! 

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