An Squrr-Scotland

After leaving Skye we attempted to drive up a mountain pass in pouring rain on a one lane road. After getting to the top of the pass and nearly crashing into an oncoming car in the heavy fog we turned around and headed back to the semi main road leading into the Highlands of Scotland. The scenery changed to what felt like an overgrown Japanese garden with cliffs, jutting rocks and small lochs (bodies of water) lining the road. We eventually arrived at the small town where we would meet Tims friend Bob for our hike up Beinn Alligin  the following day. Our plan was to camp out but the heavy rain was not very inviting so we stopped at a small pub for a pint to decide our next move. The pub was a hotel as well and we were informed that they had a bunkhouse with beds available so we paid our nights lodging and settled back into our seats at the bar for a few more pints. An elderly British couple sat at a table near us and the four of us ended up having a wonderful lengthy conversation. The fellow served in the RAF during the 1940’s and was in Pakistan during the partition with India and later in Egypt. He had a great sense of humor and some good stories. The next day we drove to the youth hostel at Torrindon to meet Tim’s friend Bob for another Munro hike but the weather was horrible in the nearby high peaks so after a coffee we agreed to follow him to his vacation cottage and do a hill near his house. The small village sat on a bay with a series of quaint houses that were built in the late 1800’s as transition housing for the tenet famers who were evicted from the land and waited for relocation to Canada or Australia during the Great Highland Clearances.  Bob’s wife provided a nice treat of coffee and tea and small finger pancakes with butter and jam before our hike. The hike up a muddy track and thru the usual bog topped out to an amazing view of peaks and water as the sky opened up to warming sunshine. The three of us took a circuitous route back to the cottage through the lovely countryside. We were very pleased to have decided to hike this small hill in the sun. After a lunch we drove another 2.5 hours in pouring rain to the village of Ullapool were we would spend the night at another youth hostel and enjoy a pizza at the Frigate. Journal: “So many dreams, and many very unsettling. The last few nights they come on in great length with their ending only after a half awake awareness and a struggle to convince my sleeping mind that the dreams are not real.”