Saturday, 7 May 2011

Coffee Escape, and The Hunt For Food

Day two of the great Scotland adventure started much like day one - in the morning. After a surprisingly good nights sleep on a camp bed. I went downstairs to join the other members of the holiday crew who were already awake. After a simple but enjoyable breakfast of toast and coffee, weetabix, and porridge that resembled concrete, Jim and Leigh took their dog Jack for a walk with Cain, while me and Ben very kindly washed up the breakfast things. Martin and Richard very kindly watched. Soon Jack brought Jim, Leigh and Cain back and we all gathered our things and hit the road.

After a few minutes of hitting the road, we realised that this was getting us nowhere - so we got in our cars and tried driving. This proved to be most successful. Our first point of call was the town/village of Alva, where the fabulous Gwen Turnbull (mother to Ben, Leigh, Martin and Richard - and Grandmother to Cain) lives. I haven't seen Gwen in over 7 years, so shouldn't have been surprised when she refused to open her door saying "I've got a dog you know!". After a brief identity check, we were allowed in and had a mostly enjoyable time. I say mostly, because there was a brief worrying moment where Ben spilt his coffee on his mum's brand new sofa. Had it not been for the rapid response time of Leigh (who was on standby with a cloth, knowing what her brother was capable of), there could have been a right rumpus. Thankfully Gwen never twigged what had gone on - it truly was a great escape.

We soon had to go - as Ben wanted another coffee, and we could risk another spill. We were back in the car and back on the road on our Way to Glencoe. It was a two hour drive (not for me, I was in the front passenger seat), and the scenery is amazing. It truly is a beautiful part of the world. So, we arrived at Ballachulish, our destination. Our accommodation was very nice - two sitting areas, big bedrooms, a log burner, large open plan kitchen - it was very, very good.

And still is, because we are still here.

The weather turned for the worse unfortunately, and we have had fairly prolonged spells of rain, intermixed with periods of no rain. There was also quite a severe issue with dinner. We went to the supermarket to buy provisions for the week. It was a poorly planned mission, and although we got pretty much all that we needed, it was quite stressful. Then we thought about eating for tonight. We had seen a pub about half a mile from our accommodation, and (via our smartphones) checked it out, and saw  that it had good reviews. We tried phoning it to see if they took dogs, but the phone just rang and rang. We took this as a good sign - the staff were obviously so busy serving the horde that had packed out the establishment that they were unable to answer the phone. We decided to walk down there, and check out the vibe.

 As it turned out, our sign reading skills were rubbish. The pub was closed - for refurbishment. We spent the next hour and a half looking for somewhere to get a meal. In the end we had to get takeaway from a hotel that we had previously visited in a vain attempt to get food. And after all that, the food wasn't all that - £7.50 for fish and chips? You're having a laugh!

As I finish typing this (amongst such comments as "he only types with two fingers!" and "freak!") we are all sat in the upstairs seating area. It's very warm, and I am sweating. I may need a wash.


But then again, I am on holiday.....

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