August felt like almost a full month of weekdays! I was working during the week – not that I work full time but I keep myself pretty busy with one thing or another. Then on four out of the five weekends I was doing my counselling skills course on Zoom. So in addition to what I normally do during the week I had assignments too. Needless to say when I did have one weekend off in the middle of the month it was a welcome break. So what did I do with myself? Well the family were all off too so we decided on a mini-break. Obviously due to the pandemic we couldn’t exactly jet off to Spain – well we could but that would have meant quarantine and … yada yada yah 😐
So… we hired a motorhome and drove up north to the Highlands. Neither hubby nor myself had ever driven a vehicle as big as the motorhome but we soon got used to it. There were a few hairy moments driving on single track roads in the highlands; like when a little yellow sports car came flying round a bend towards me in the middle of the road. To be fair I think the guy got a quite a fright – he may have slowed down a bit after that 😝.
We picked up the ‘van‘ (motorhome) on Thursday afternoon and headed for Dingwall. Why Dingwall? Two reasons really – first there was limited availability at the various campsites we looked at and second (and arguably more importantly) our favourite gin is made there. 😂 It’s as good a reason as any to choose a campsite I reckon 😁. Not that we could actually visit the distillery but we did buy a bottle of the gin in the town for a few pounds less than we pay at home. After figuring out how to reverse park a motorhome and hook up to the electric we got a wee barbecue going. Not a bad start.
Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with an hour by hour recount of our trip. I’ll just fill you in on a couple of the highlights and maybe even a ‘lowlight’ or two. 😬 There was one little issue I hadn’t thought of when booking the van and that was the height of my hubby and son. Let’s just say that they didn’t fit very well in the beds. There was quite a bit of shuffling people around to try to get everyone the best night’s sleep we could. There may also have been a little bit of grumbling about the lack of sleep too but I couldn’t possibly comment.
On the first full day we drove over to Skye. I have been to Skye twice before and both times it lived up to it’s nickname of ‘The Misty Isle’ so I didn’t see much of it. Thankfully this time although it was quite dull and misty as we were driving it cleared up beautifully and even got hot enough for a dip in the Fairy Pools. The scenery was truly beautiful and I don’t think my photography skills do it justice but hopefully you’ll get some idea from these pictures.
The downside of Skye as any Scot will tell you is the midges. We managed to stave them off for most of the visit with Skin So Soft spray which works wonders as a midge repellent but after our dip in the fairy pools we got well and truly attacked and eaten and had to head back to the van. We had fish and chips for dinner that evening before heading back to the campsite – a mere 2.5 hour drive.
After our second night in Dingwall we headed down to the Cairngorms via Loch Ness. Again we got fantastic weather although we didn’t manage to get a glimpse of Nessie. The main purpose of our journey that day was to visit the Balmoral Estate (the Queen’s Scottish home) and see Prince Albert’s Cairn which looks like a pyramid. I’ve lived in Scotland all my life and only discovered this year that we have a couple of pyramids here. Not quite the size of the Egyptian ones but good to visit all the same.
That evening I had planned to ‘wing it’ and find somewhere to wild camp on the route back to where we had to return the van the next morning. Let’s just say that didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped! 😝 We eventually found somewhere we could park up and sleep and as it happened it wasn’t far from my brother’s house so we popped in there for a yummy cooked breakfast the next morning before heading home. So all was well in the end. I’d definitely be up for hiring a motorhome again but I think I’d adjust a few things next time to avoid the wingeing! 😂
Hope you enjoyed my pics. Scotland really is beautiful in the sun – it’s just a shame it can’t be guaranteed. 😆