Sunday, 9 June 2013

Still at Glencoe - Scotland Tour 2013 - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Today has been a relaxing day at Glencoe again - I got mesmerised by the spell of the place, the river pool, mountains on every side and the great weather, and decided to stay on another night. So here I am after sitting by the embers of my campfire and taking it easy all evening.

I was out on my bike earlier today and took a ride down to the village where I chatted to the man in the shop - he'd been a soldier in N Ireland, so thats what started the conversation when he heard my accent. He was sharing tales of how well he could handle the whiskey and was a bit of a connoisseur by all counts! He reckoned that because the whiskey has been in the bottle for years, you need to add a drop or two of water to bring it to life again and enjoy the full flavour..

Well, I bought an ice cream and cycled down to the loch to relax. The Glencoe yacht club were out, so I spent a while watching the yachts weaving in and out, then suddenly all moving in sync, remarkably there were no collisions, though they were sailing so close I was expecting it. I had the ice-cream, and a mince and onion pie (in that order, well I didn't want it to melt), while relaxing in the sun. I'm well into the travelling spirit already..

Yachts on Loch Leven

I headed up the main road, and onto a track by the side of the road that led into the woods for a while, then came back out onto the main road through the mountains - another beautiful day. Its was great to cycle right around the area, and I was in no hurry.. It didn't seem long before I was cycling into the valley again on the dirt track.

On return to the campsite I headed straight for the river - its been fun meeting different people (and dogs) there every time I go over. This morning there were two dogs chasing a ball, and the little one was afraid to go into the water, but after about twenty minutes of trying it did! This afternoon there were two friendly Scottish kids and a couple of Canadian women one of whom claimed she had no swimming gear with her, but would definitely go in of she did. Anyway the kids went through a whole arduous process and slowly immersing in the water amid shrieks and squeals, but eventually were swimming. The cool water was perfect for me after the bike ride.

I washed up the dishes outside the van, and began chopping some wood, when I had new neighbours arrive in a white van. When the guy began looking around for firewood, I split a log with my machete and gave it to him, in a few minutes he brought me over a can of beer in return - that was just welcome at the time. The label read,

 'The award winning Wainwright Golden Ale is inspired by the famous Lakeland writer, Alfred Wainwright. It has been crafted as a labour of love by Thwaites with the same passion that Alfred Wainwright put into his detailed walking guides. Like a walk in the fells, it is both rewarding and refreshing!' 

Walkers beer eh!

Washing dishes in the sun

I spent the rest of the evening sitting in the sun by the river, then relaxing by the campfire, appreciating the day that had gone before, and thankful that I'm able to live in this way. Tomorrow its time to move on again - next stop Applecross..

There are people all over this holy land, tonight enjoying the fruits of their day. Basking in the sun, being blessed by the woodsmoke as the fish caught in river, loch or sea, cooks slowly to satisfy earthly hunger..

If you're looking for a good map of Western Scotland and the Western Isles, the one I recommend is the 'Road 2' - this map used to be produced by OS, but they stopped doing it. You can buy it here for £4.99:

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