Too tired to write last night, so you are stuck with two days worth.
We have decided we must be weak hikers. Everyone around us is going on these super long hikes. They German guy who sat next to us at breakfast was going to catch a bus, hike up to Old Man of Storr, but then walk back to the B&B. Easily 30 miles. We drove both ways of course and just did the hiking part of the hike. Oh well. We still have fun.
We said goodbye to the Isle of Skye yesterday and made our way to Fort William. Instead of leaving by the Skye Bridge, we took the ferry with our car. It was my first car ferry. They really pack the cars in there. I didn't think there was anyway everyone would fit, but we did, including campers and buses. It turned out to be a very nice ferry, with a cafe and nice WC. It was only about a 30 minute ride across the water. A video on Facebook.
The drive from the ferry on to Fort William was considered a scenic drive. Very twisty and windy roads, but beautiful scenery through
the valleys, with rock walls on either side, or else along the coastline. As we were leaving the car ferry we saw the Jacobite Train - the red steam train for tourists, that I believe was the inspiration for the Hogwarts Express (Harry Potter). That train travels across the aqueduct that was the bridge that was used in Harry Potter movies. The Hogwarts Express travels across this bridge/acqueduct and they show it in several of the movies. So we stopped in Glenfinnan to get a picture of the bridge/aqueduct. Pictures somewhere in the blog.
We made it to Fort William in pretty good time, so we drove past to Glencoe, a small town with some nice short hikes. Took a short 1 mile hike that was labelled strenuous, probably because the first half was all uphill with some rugged terrain. It was nice to stretch our legs after being in the car most of the day and it was a gorgeous hike through the woodland. Plus there was a small pond and all the baby ducks were out and about.
We had dinner in Glencoe at a Rick Steve's recommendation, The Gathering. It was casual and the food
was adequate. The servers were a little strange, or maybe we were strange to them. We both had fresh salmon and it was a good piece, but not flavored as nicely as our favorite place on the Isle of Skye. Everything was just OK, except they did have Pepsi in glass bottle.
We made it to our B&B, which was NOT a Rick Steve's recommendation - they were all booked, so we are taking at chance with Dot's Trip Advisor Research. It's very nice and clean, but the host talks way too much. Leave us alone! We walk in, carrying all of our stuff, raincoats still on and he is showing us around the B&B in much detail and then wanting to plan our activities the next day. I just wanted to put my stuff down and get all my coats off. Our B&B is nicely situated with views of Loch Linnhe (a large lake).
I forgot that this is the B&B where we have to share a bed. The only bedroom that had 2 beds didn't have a bathroom ensuite- it's across the hall. So we decided we could handle it for 2 nights. This is not
an old style B&B but very modernized with hard wood floors, great lighting, new bathrooms and lots of plugs. It's also very Green. Breakfast this morning was all healthy crap. Dot: I loved it!
There was a couple from New Zealand at breakfast with us. I could almost understand what they were saying. No Americans staying here, since it isn't in Rick's book.
We had an awesome hike this morning here in the Fort William area. Rain was in the forecast, so we ate breakfast quickly and hit the road to beat the rain. We drove to the trailhead - about a 30 minute drive, about half of which was on another of those 1 lane roads with 2 way traffic. Luckily we were pretty early and didn't meet many other cars. I almost killed our car. I decided to back into the parking spot. This was a very "natural" parking lot - no lines, no pavement, just an open area cleared out of the forest. I pulled in next to this large van and was trying to back up enough that I wasn't sticking out past him - makes sense, huh? I didn't realize that behind me was
a drop off at an angle, so I couldn't pull back as far as him. When I hopped out of the car to check my alignment, my rear tire was on a rock, inches from the drop off. OOPS - a very close call. My little car would probably fall right over. A few strong guys could probably pick it back up? Luckily we didn't have to find out.
The hike was awesome. About a 1.5 miles (all uphill of course) hike up to Steall Falls. The terrain was very rocky, slick and technical. Had to scramble over the some of the rocks, but it was fun. We like those kind of hikes. Almost the entire hike you could hear rushing water below but would only get glimpses of the water rushing through the rocks. At the end is the waterfall - pictures included. Also at the end is a chain bridge to cross the river. One chain to step on with 2 hand chains to hold onto to maintain your balance. Pretty cool - not too high. I checked it out. Videos on Facebook, pictures in the blog. It actually wasn't that hard. The hardest part was climbing
up to get on it - they need to add some steps for short people. The two hand ropes were pretty far apart. I had to stretch to hold on to both of them.
On our way back down to the car the rain started lightly, but it didn't really bother us and it kept the midges away. You can probably see from the photos we aren't wearing our Midge Nets. They are so cute. Dot: The guys on hikes were also really cute. Passed a lot of them. One good one on one of the videos of the wire bridge.
This afternoon was mainly site seeing. We shopped around Fort William, looked at some of the sites in Glencoe. Will probably walk down to the nearby pub for dinner tonight.
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