Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Secret Highland Road which goes Nowhere

Sometimes you get an e-mail that simply bubbles with enthusiasm. Paula and her friends came in the Autumn for a short break, and made the most of it. The pic shows the road they describe, very lonely and beautiful, ending in Kinlochhourn.
We loved your e-mail Paula, thank you.

Hi John and Gillian

What a brill couple of days! We travelled up on Friday morning about 9ish and stopped in Callander for lunch. We went to the Waverley, which doesn't look the best in the street, but their beef burgers were the best I've tasted in a long time, and the service was superb.

We arrived at the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe around 3 and checked in there rather than going on into the village. Took a short walk which was good after the journey. Rooms were lovely and comfy at the Inn, but I thought the food was very average. Took the opportunity to book a table for the Holly Tree for Sat night. Breakfast was something else though! Huge! Really nice and cheery ladies - makes such a difference! We decided to go to Glen Nevis for a walk to the falls. That's something that Linda and Chris did years ago and wanted to do again. The path was a bit hairy because of the rain/mist, but it was sooo worth it. How lovely is that valley?

We went back to Fort William and had a warm up in the Ben Nevis which was quite nice. So refreshing to go into pubs and not be overcome with other folks smoke! Jeff and I are ex-smokers, but we can't stand the passive stuff so it was lovely to sit and not be aware that your clothes are going to stink when you leave. Bring it on, England!

Arrived at Bayview around 4.30 and made the classic mistake of rushing up to the garage to find the key and then reading " the outhouse, not the garage." Doh! What a lovely cottage! Cosy, warm, welcoming, homely. It looks like someone lives there (if you know what I mean). Linda and Chris bagsied the double bed and Jeff and I had the twins. I couldn't believe how comfortable they were. We had a bottle of bubbly and then went off to the Holly Tree. By the way, 300 yards in your email and 400 yards in the info in the cottage is actually a good half mile when you check it in the car! Nice evening for a walk though. There were very few tables occupied that evening, but again, the service was top notch. I had oysters, my first ever. Chris said they were Pacific oysters and that the natives are a bit smaller. That might have suited me a bit better and no-one had told me about the crunchy bits of shell. Ah well, you live and learn. Anyhoo, they were very good. Then I had langoustines. Much better! We had such a lovely evening there. Everyone enjoyed what they had and I wouldn't hesitate to go back. Might have to save up again first.

Sunday we took your suggested trip to the hamlet at the end of the single track road from Glengarry. What a lovely road. Hardly anyone else on it and I have never seen so many red deer all in their finery. Monarchs of the Glen indeed! When we finally arrived (bearing in mind that we were 4 adults in a 1 litre Yaris) we were a little bit sad that the hamlet didn't have a small, welcoming, local bar with a roaring log fire in the grate. Instead we got out of the car to walk around the headland at the end of the track but were almost blown off our feet. We decided that it would actually be too dangerous to venture along that path as it is so close to the edge of the 'cliff' and the tide was rising rather rapidly. So, we just did a short walk to that point and back again and drove on out. Ended up in Fort Augustus which was really quite nice as Linda and I had said that we would have liked the opportunity to explore it a little bit more at some point. Picked up a chinese take-away from Fort William on the way back and ate like Lords when we got back to the cottage.

We were so sad to be leaving on the Monday, especially as we had to leave quite early so that we could get back at a reasonable time because Linda and Chris then had to drive on down to Berkshire. We have taken some photos, but we haven't downloaded them yet, so it may take a couple of days yet (and a bit of nagging!).

I think Jeff and I would like to go back to Bayview at some point. I've been telling the guys at work all about it as a lot of them go climbing and hill walking in Scotland quite regularly so hopefully you may get some extra bookings out of it.

I really thought it was a lovely place and we were surprised to read some of the comments in the book which seemed to say that a lot of people were disappointed by the weather! For goodness sake, it's Scotland! It's supposed to be dour and driek (with occasional sunny spells!).

Anyway. We had an absolutely fabulous time in your cottage and I thank you. Please let us come again some time.

Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
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