Hi, it’s Kate. For those of you who don’t know, I’m Kelly’s mum. While Kelly was away in St Andrew’s, her dad and I hired a camper van and took a wee road trip around Scotland (see what I did there?) which we have lovingly dubbed the adventure before dementia tour.
Sunday 1st July
Well, there you have it, 1daughter safely deposited at st Andrews for a week of geekology, & with a final hug & kiss the adventure before dementia tour is underway! At the next point of waking up, we were only about 20 minutes from Glasgow airport so helpfully navigating …a) I can’t read in am icing vehicle & b) I can’t map read, Colin got us to Open Road Scotland. After a refreshing cup of tea, Andy gave us our instructions in life in a camper van and after signing away the credit card in insurance we were off …..as far as the nearest garage as there wasn’t even a full tank of fuel. So now knowing at least how to fill her up we were finally off!
A couple of hours later we got to Glencoe which was our chosen stop for the night. Not finding anywhere to stop except on the main road we chose the Invercoe campsite. Plugging the van in, we went for a walk for the essentials …milk! We then decided to carry on walking & had a fairly decent meal at the Laroch inn in Ballachulish where Colin showed his hunter gatherer skills and got us a lovely greek salad and vegetable kebabs! . Once we returned to the van we thought we would sit out and watch the sunset over the loch ….until we sat down and found out the warnings about the midgies were true! Duly noted and to bed for our first night in the van!
Monday 2nd July
So after a little tossing and turning we finally decided to get up, head out for a lovely run, shower & breakfast so day 2 of the adventure can get underway…..to Fort William morrisons for bacon, rolls and milk! At this point I finally got to drive(woohoo) & Colin was on navigational duties. Northwards we continued, stopping off at the Commando memorial which we hadn’t stopped at the last time we were here. It brought tears to my eyes looking at the names of the young men who in this day and age are killed in action.
Leaving there, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Crossing into Skye, we missed stopping at eilean donan Castle which was used for highlander and a James bond film, next time honest!!
Our first stop in Skye was for a comfort break just before Portree, the main town for Skye, which when we did drive through, decided had too many shops and people to stop in …..guess who had the deciding vote on that one?!
At our comfort break we had looked at the walking books and guide books and decided to walk the Old Man of Storr that day as it was only a very short walk & the guidebooks were right you can see it halfway from Portree, my goodness me what an imposing visage that is. The rock formations and sheer size up close are astounding and you can see why it was used in scenes from Prometheus. I confess at one point I had a wobble on and decided I couldn’t walk round the rock as drops either side really don’t do it for me! Our next stop was at ‘Brothers Point’ a dramatic rocky spur jutting out to sea& where early Celtic Christians made their home. There are also remains of salmon fishing stations and depressions where the settlements were. Again unfortunately my head for heights or lack of it stopped us going out onto the spur but we did have a beautiful time out sat just watching the waves in the sunshine and unbelievably the sheep walking along on the pebbles!
Looking for somewhere to park up for the evening, we passed the sign for the campsite and instead drove down a single track lane to Staffin Slipway. We passed people camped out, thought we would have no luck as a big motor home was already in the layby so carried on to find somewhere to turn….except at the bottom was only 1 car! Bingo! We pulled up out the way of people wanting to use the slipway and that was us, kettle on, settled in and watched the sunset and the tide go out. As soon as it was dark enough and Colin had finished his proper photos we played with me running with the headtorch on and a long exposure time …thank goodness no one was around to see us!! We did see a sea otter though and a few bats flying around!
Tuesday 3rd July
Here we are, another day and another adventure! Today started later than planned….it looks dark through tinted windows and not even the fishermen had disturbed us! Off for our run, through the ages as the sign had said the bottom of the cliff was from the Mesolithic age working up to the top and present day, all I know was it was half a mile pretty much straight up!! Back from the fun it was a leisurely breakfast of bacon sarnies and a cup of tea before packing up and heading towards Uig, helpfully a local driver taxiing tourists suggested going up the Quiraing, a very steep pass through amazing mountains,time for a photo stop which you know full well will not do justice to the majesty of the land before you. Setting off again we headed out to Dunvegan, stopping at Uig for tea and toast. Stopping at Dunvegan tourist information, which is now no longer there we chose to head towards Dunvegan Castle and decide when we got there whether to go in or not ……which we decided not to do!! Too many people and neither of us could be bothered! We headed south and set up base at Glenrittle campsite overlooked by the Cuillain mountains and the sea in front of us. This seemed a good time to open the bottle of wine we packed! Goodnight all, let’s see what tomorrow brings …….
Glenbrittle, beach at campsite, and one of the various waterfalls dropping down the mountainside. My morning run took me out to the head in the distance you can see