Tues 5 Jun after leaving the Isle of Skye, we headed towards Balmacara. It’s a wooded estate managed by the National Trust for Scotland. As we weren’t really inclined at that point to set off on foot exploring the woods, we decided to drive on to Plockton, the Jewel of the Highlands. Very quaint little village. Ended up staying for lunch. A 3 hour drive to Glencoe just past Fort William included one accident (not us!), an oversized vehicle transporting three windmill vanes which impressively stopped traffic both ways (their journey would have been slow!) and a number of roadworks. We arrived at the Glencoe Independent Hostel about 4:30pm.
We checked in to our little log cabin. So cute!! We were so lucky to be in the shade. We drove down to the Clachaig Inn for dinner which would be our local for the next two days. Fish & chips and beers were the order of the day sitting out in the evening sun. Even the swarm of midgies couldn’t ruin the mood. Thank you again, Eleanor. Avon Skin So Soft is a body oil and great repellent for midgies. I met quite a few people as I took pity
on them swatting midgies.
Wed 6 Jun, as Aussies would know, was State of Origin. A must for Bill. He managed to listen to the broadcast and a decisive win to the Blues was great to hear and very welcome as only Blues supporters will understand. A hike to Glencoe Village (about 4kms) was on order. After exploring the village, we stopped at The Gathering Cafe for a late lunch and a quiet ale in the garden. Finished the day sipping a Pinot Grigio on the deck of our cabin watching the horses in the field and contemplating life.
Glencoe provides opportunities for a number of walks. Trails are minimally marked as the National Trust for Scotland try to maintain the ‘widerness’ aspect of their properties where possible. The Hostel has trail maps to assist and avoid the need for search parties. Lol. We decided to tackle one of the easy/medium ones taking in Signal Rock. Myth has it that Signal Rock was used many years ago to warn of an imminent attack at the onset of the Battle of Glencoe but there is no evidence that this is actually true. Harry Potter did fight a battle there
in the Prisoner of Azkaban. We managed to complete the ‘walk’ in the advised time of 2 hours but it was tough going in many places. Up and down steep hills. Tracks of stones and stepping rocks. My scramble onto Signal Rock wasn’t delicate. Thank goodness for Bill’s helping hand in more than one instance! There are a lot of pine trees being gradually cleared by the NTS with the natural vegetation being encouraged to regenerate. Non obtrusive fences and gates are used to control the impact of the local deer population. Bill’s good sense of direction got us back to our starting point. The walk was a loop of 7.5kms. We decided we had earnt a visit to the Clachaig Inn which, by coincidence was just down the road. Soup and lime & sodas! A 30 min walk back and we decided to go check out Fort William 18m away. A lot of tourists in town. The tourists seem to travel by campervan or motorbike. There were a lot of bikes in Fort William! For those starting to wonder which category we fit into - we’ve been in Scotland so long, we feel like locals. Ha ha. After a
Billy and Ben Nevis
Yes! It is raining!!
little retail therapy, we went in search of a good viewpoint of Ben Nevis. Following some good local advice, we found a series of locks on the Caledonian Canal. Ben Nevis looked magnificent especially with the rain clouds overhead. Yes! Rain in Scotland! It actually rained. We got soaked. Back home. Dried off. Down to the Clachaig for the last two game pies. Yum!
Fri 8 Jun we departed Glencoe, eventually. Bill was listening to the Raiders vs Penrith match. We left at halftime (10am here), the Raiders getting back to 8 all. We were down to updates as we were driving stopping off for a coffee near Castle Stalker just in time to hear the Green Machine lose by a field goal. Have always thought they should be banned in league. Bills mood darkened but only momentarily. Lol but it definitely lightened when we arrived at our next lodgings .... stay tuned .... ha ha.
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