I'm sitting writing this in a cottage on the Isle of Skye, watching the sun going down over Macleod's Tables through a pair of enormous patio doors. Yes, we're on holiday up north yet again and, as usual, we left it to the last minute to organise things.
It was just last Monday that I was given the go-ahead to search for a holiday cottage instead of us trying to book somewhere abroad. I'm quite happy with that as I don't like flying very much and I simply hate all the hastle involved in getting there and back. Airports and I just don't get on - you queue to check in, you queue to pick up your luggage (assuming it's taken the same plane) and then you could have a couple of hours on a bus to look forward to before you reach wherever it is you're staying.
And the travel agents can't understand why they get a hard stare when they try and sell you a holiday flying out from Manchester. No, we live in Glasgow, why on earth would we want to fly from Manchester or the other favourites, Newcastle or Edinburgh. Oh yes, we'd love to spend five hours getting to the airport and then another five coming home again…NOT! But I'm wandering off topic…
So anyway, I fancied Skye as we've never been there before so a root around on the internet found four or five promising looking holiday rentals that were available this week. I noted them all down in a new, public Google Notebook and passed that to Lorna for a final selection. Then a couple of e-mails back and forward, a cheque in the mail and we were all set by Thursday and looking forward to getting away on Saturday to Allt Ribhein in Fiskavaig.
So this morning, with the car all packed, we headed for Fort William, which is about half way so it was a good place for a break and some lunch. Suitably fed and off again, we were soon heading for Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge. Did I mention that I hate touring caravans and campers? Our roads simply aren't designed with these mind and it doesn't take long for traffic to start building up behind some slow caravan or camper, wending and weaving its merry way onward and oblivious to the fuming queue of cars behind them. If I had my way I'd ban them off the roads during the hours of daylight!
There was an amusing interlude on the Loch Lomond road, just north of Tarbet, when a huge foreign truck travelling south completely blocked the road. It simply couldn't negotiate the narrow, twisty turny road without using both lanes and then some serious use of the forward and reverse gears. Bet the driver won't ever try using that route again!
Anyway, other than the usual ordeal of caravans and campers and one complete pillock who braked suddenly, causing the enormous truck on his tail to swerve over into our path for a heart-stopping moment, the rest of the journey was uneventful and we started to see signs for places we'd only ever seen before in walking and climbing guides. We were heading for Fiskavaig in the Minginish area, which isn't far from The Cuillin, almost certainly the most challenging hills to climb in the UK.
Eventually, we reached our destination and, once settled in, we had a walk along the road a bit further into Fiskavaig before dinner and then scuttled back fairly rapidly as the dreaded midgies discovered us. Once safely back indoors and after some dinner, we settled down to watch the Argentina vs. Mexico football match in the World Cup.
The tale continues tomorrow…