I left you at the bothy the last time. So this post is about to start from there as well. We had spent a nice night inside the warm cabin, listening to the rain pouring down on the scouts outside. We decided to wait the rain out before walking to our car, have a slow morning and then just start driving up north again. It was nice, sitting with small fire burning in the fireplace and just listening to the sounds of an old house. That meant mainly rats.
On the move again. The walk back to the car was surprisingly heavy. Not that it was very long, or had many climbs to it. Just that when you get yourself into a warm and nice place you kinda get lazy. And when you after that try to tell to your legs that they should transport you to somewhere, they might not fully agree. We finally managed to get to the car ( after a lot of “It must be after that corner! No, it is not. Now! Now we are there! Nope, not yet.. Maybe there? Meh, no.”) and were immensely happy.
Started off driving to a post card. And then into another post card. After the corner yet another post card. The landscapes are rather amazing over there. Driving forwards more than 3 km on one go, without stopping for photos proved nearly impossible. We got all the way up to a beautiful little town of Oban. We camped somewhere close by, with a double rainbow, descent population of tiny biting flies and chilly temperatures. Which convinced us to take a hotel again the next night
Forts and Bens and Glens. So we arrived in Fort William, which seems to be something like the hiking Mecca. Probably because the West Highland Way passes right through the city.
We were on the search for a place to stay, and found a lovely little hostel right at the foot of Ben Nevis, with an amazing view and extremely nice owner. Just a hint, for finding nice places to stay cheaply; go further away from the center.
Achintee Farm is the name to remember here.
BTW, a man in a kilt walking through storm. That is a sight.
A Hostel. So we stayed with an American couple in the hostel, looking at sheep blown around by the stormy wind outside. In those situations you find an immense amount of gratitude. You are happy you do not have to be outside in a tent in that weather. You are happy about a bed you can sleep in and the warmth that surrounds you and that you are actually dry.
It is a good moment to spread all your maps around and plan like crazy. We decided not to climb the Ben Nevis next to us thanks to the heavy rain fall. Instead we did find a nice path starting from the Glen Nevis and going over a few ridges and peaks and crossing a nice waterfall.
For the rainy day Waffle and I headed towards the Glens that were close by. First stop was Glen Coe, which is incredibly beautiful.
Full of tourists, yes, but still beautiful. I do think a wet and cloudy day was perfect for spending in there.
Glen Duror. We also drove through Glen Etive, searching for a spot to camp for the next night.
The camping over there did not happen. It was looking rainy, and we did know about a Bothy quite close by. So we drove to Glen Duror, packed our backpacks and started walking through a forest to the bothy. Waffle noticed that his smokes were left in the car. It was also raining. Waffle was not too happy, especially after we lost the trail.
We did reach the bothy. It was great! Empty and peaceful, looking down to the glen. All the dead wood in the forest was wet though, soaked to be exact. The hopes of getting a nice fire going were diminishing.
But we proofed, that if you just put enough effort into it, and keep trying and trying, you will eventually succeed. We ended up having a really nice evening and even the view got unbelievably beautiful, when the clouds moved out and the light of the setting sun found us and the mist that rose from the woods around us.
We made food, enjoyed ourselves and went to bed. Only to wake up couple of moments later to the sound of plastic being scraped across the floor. It was a culinaristic mouse. It had found our empty pots of chocolate mousse. Those pots were licked so clean you won’t believe it.
Falling a sleep in that bothy, with the soft light of our fireplace and a few candles, next to my own Waffle. I would return there anytime.
Back to the glen. The next day came, all sunny and nice. and we returned to the Glen Nevis. Plan was to cross the waterfall, climb to the Mamores, which stand right next to Ben Nevis. We had just heard that there were a search going on. A man had gone missing on that exact trail a few days ago and still not found. We were feeling safe, all those helicopters, police dogs and ambulances around.
That hike ended shortly. Apparently nice sunny weather after a rainy day, makes the snow melt rapidly filling up the waterfall pretty high.
We could not cross it, not with dry feet and neither of us was feeling too much like going through the ice cold water bare foot. Yes, we do like some comfort during our hikes. So we returned and drove to Glen Coe again, to see the thing in the sun.
That night we camped close to Kinlochleven, next to a loch, with a view to mountains. We met a lovely Belgian couple, who were spending their time driving through Scotland with a camper van.
We were the first Belgians they had seen the whole trip. So there was a lot of talking going on over a slight language barrier, which made things pretty funny.(They were French speaking, Waffle is Flemish and I only work with Finnish or English.)
Road, road. It was time to head for our last destination. Isle of Skye. So we packed the camp into our car, moved on, slowly, taking photos after every turn and were excited. The landscapes again. The landscapes. You pass so many glens, mountains and lakes in a journey of couple of hundred kilometers.
We finally reached Dornie. The village next to the bridge leading to Skye. The wind had completely died after a few stormy days, when they had closed bridges and ships had refused to sail. It was somehow scary even, something was brewing out in the sea for sure.
The final verse. I am not gonna let you with us to Skye. Not yet. That will be the final part of my Scotland postings. I do hope you have enjoyed the reading so far. More is coming, I promise. Slowly but I try to beat my keyboard as fast as possible.