We get up at noon, feeling a little seedy. We’ve been vacillating as to whether or not to drive to the far north for a driving tour that Lonely Planet describes as “perhaps Scotland’s most spectacular road trip, … a scenic feast, almost too much to take in.” We’ve accepted that we’re not going to see and do everything we’d hoped to in Scotland, but have decided that while we’re this far north, we may as well go a little bit further and miss all of the sites in the south — they’ll be easy to get to next time.
We drive to a CL in Bonar Bridge and spend a few glorious days working. I’ve been feeling really out of whack with all of the travelling we’ve been doing. My painting and my art blog are being neglected, something that seems to happen all too frequently.
We get a very nice surprise when Keith and Sarah propose that they stop by for a visit! Turns out, they’re staying at a place not far away from us. They say they’re stopping by just long enough to convince us to catch up with them on the Isle of Skye — and it works. We decide to forego our usual 1 Travel Day:3 Work Days routine once more and meet them in Skye before they leave for home. There’ll be plenty of studio and programming time once they’re gone.
It was windy on the drive here — enough to make driving unpleasant — but the wind has picked up even more now. We’re having to move Nettle whenever the wind changes direction so she points into it rather than catching it side on like a sail. Sometimes, I feel like we’re going to blow over. I can barely open the door. Even with the stabilisers down (which we only discovered the existence of at our most recent MOT), it feels like we’re on a boat in choppy seas. We learn from our neighbours that exposed roads and bridges have been closed! There’s some talk online about The Rapture Fail — it was prophesied to happen last night and evidently didn’t, although I’m not too sure it’s not happening right now. Plus, there’s a sheep outside that looks like a zombie.
We plan to leave for our driving tour a couple of times but think better of it when we imagine driving down the coastal road in this gale. After a couple of false starts we finally decide it’s time. We pack up Nettle and are about to leave when a motorhomer pulls in. I see him and Mike chatting outside, then Mike comes in saying “we’re not going anywhere today”. The other motorhomer told Mike they had driven around a corner that pointed them headlong into the wind, which had actually lifted up the front of their motorhome! They also said they had to pull over frequently to pull themselves together, take a few deep breaths, and push on. Message from the universe received loud and clear; we stay put and check the weather forecast. The wind is easing up today, everywhere except the West coast, which is our destination. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. The wind has eased up where we are at the moment. The stillness is eerie. I hope the weather forecast is accurate and we’re not missing our window of opportunity.
Finally, we set out on our driving tour along the west coast. The weather has not altogether cooperated; true, it’s not threatening to blow us off the road but the rain is a mist in the air, obscuring the scenery which makes this “Scotland’s most spectacular road trip.” What we can see is enticing. Dramatic silhouetted cliffs with sea lochs at their feet tease us the entire way. We still enjoy the drive but we can’t help a sardonic smile now and then as we reflect on how far we’ve come and how little we’ve seen on our journey through Scotland so far: first Perthshire, then the Cairngorms and now Scotland’s most spectacular road trip. It’s funny how circumstances have consistently conspired to see us linger in places of little priority and race through those we’ve had our hearts set on for years!