Wednesday, December 27, 2006

John, we just can't get through to Glencoe

Look, we've never said it doesn't rain sometimes in the Scottish Highlands. Only sometimes, mind. This is a December travellers tale. You can try a short break in January at the cottage.
It probably won't rain then, er, possibly.
The phone went. "John, the road is flooded, we can't get through and we are not sure where we are."
"Can you give us a clue, Mon?" She and her brother were taking a short December break in the Highlands and had driven in to some terrible storms in Perthshire.
"We are coming from Edinburgh, we've passed Stirling and we are just coming up to some place called Cullender, or something like that"
I thought of telling her a few tales of Callendar's history, such as it being the original location for the Dr Finlay Casebook television series, or the Roman Villa remains they found there, and the Antonine way, but something made me think of more practical things. "Wait Mon, I'll call you back within 20 minutes"
Quick web search with the AA found the road blocked up at Lochearnhead - same place as last year's landslide. No chance of going back, then round Loch Lomond to Glencoe. Its cold, its wet, its windy, its late, they're tired.
What they don't know and were about to find out is that they can rely totally on Highland Hospitality in Callendar. A snug B+B half a mile up the road and they were in for the night, all fixed within the 20 minute time span - says he polishing his fingernails with pride much to Gillian's disgust. "Self praise is no recommendation" she says, and she is right.
Here is the letter Mon sent us afterwards, reprinted with permission of course, as are all these traveller's tales. Aren't our clients really, really nice?
Dear John and Gillian,

We just got back from Scotland last night.
We ended up staying in Aviemore for rest of the holiday as weather was slightly better there.

We were still thinking to go to your place next day. But roads were still closed & it was raining. Finally we gave up.

Thanks for helping me anyway John!. We really appreciated. Thanks for returning the cheque to me as well. Hopefully we can come back to your place next year in summer time.

We wish you a Lovely X'mas and a Very Happy New Year!
With best wishes, Mon
Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
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