Skink to Skye to Skirts (and Men in them!)

Trip Start Jul 31, 2011
Trip End Aug 19, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Saturday, August 6, 2011

Aug 6, 2011

When we last left our Scottish adventurers, they were traveling at snail speed down the highways and byways of the northernmost parts of the United Kingdom….with every oncoming car, quick curve around a jutting rocky crag or need to put the car into reverse I was sucking air, making a screaming face like Van Gough's painting or just simply repeating "ay, ay, ay, ay" like a Mexican mantra. But I will tell you right off the bat that I am now much more comfortable with all of this driving (it IS our 5th day, afterall).  Janine, you would be proud of me.

We left Glasgow as you know and made it to the quaint, beautiful village of Kilmartin up in the mountains and by a beautiful, lush glen.  Luckily, we stopped early in the afternoon because we got the last two rooms at the Kilmartin Hotel.  It was one of two small hotels in the village (about as large as the little neighborhood where I grew up—shout out to La Cuchilla!).  There were several cairns and standing stones in the area.  Despite the rainy, misty weather (it IS Scotland, afterall!) we walked around getting in touch with Anne and Paul’s potential ancestors.  It’s amazing that these are said to have existed up to 3000 years before the Common Era.  Not sure what they were but they seem to have been burial sites and/or sacred sights (which is what I think we say about anything we don’t understand).  In any case, it delighted Paul and that was good enough for me.  I’ve attached some photos of these.  What really strikes me is the many shades and depth of green.  Especially coming from the desert, the green almost hurts my eyes…..let it hurt!!!

The rains cleared up the following morning.  The remaining fog and mist down in the glen below was beautiful to watch.  It ebbed and flowed like a slow moving ocean, concealing and revealing trees, farm houses, cattle and sheep in its path.  When the sun finally made it from behind the mountains at about 6am the fog began to burn off.

From there we made it to our next stop just this side of the Isle of Skye.  We drove through dense forests, over high “mountains,” next to beautiful lakes (lochs) and through small villages to finally make it to the Kyle Hotel that would be our base for the next couple of days.  Unfortunately, I was still tense with the driving that I only enjoyed the views when we stopped for a break or to take photos.  You’ll see about what I saw….I’m consoled by that fact that Paul on his iphone/maps and Anne in the back seat sleeping saw about as much as I did that day…..ha, ha!

We checked a couple of restaurants (there weren’t that many) and ended up at our 3rd choice—and Indian food place.  It was quite good and we were quite hungry so it all worked out.  We were really tired and fell fast asleep upon returning to the room. 

The next morning was our day to explore Skye—and that we did.  The rain and mist returned and it did not deter us.  I was feeling much more comfortable driving so we headed out northward.  We stopped at our first place where we were treated to a beautiful view out over the cliffs into the Atlantic Ocean.  What an amazing spot it was.  I can only imagine what it looks like on clear, sunny days!  I think that while we get 340 days of sun a year in New Mexico, they must get that many days of rain in Scotland!  It’s been a treat to walk around in rain and mist.  I joke with Paul that just like the Eskimos have many names for the different types of snow, the Scotch (Scottish?) must have a number of names for the many different types of rain there must surely be! 

Paul had his first cullen skink and he's loved it....that's skink with an "i"!!  We've also tried blood pudding and a mixture of haggis and in this form it was tasty.  More adventures in eating later, I'm sure.
The highlight of our trek (at least for me) included a climb in our car on a single lane “road” up a mountain.  Once at the top Paul and I took about a 1.5hr hike to some beautiful views.  It was just breath-taking.

We just had a loooong day celebrating Paul’s birthday at the highland games in Newtonmore and have moved into our castle hotel for the next two days.  I’ll write all about this and our dinner tomorrow (after our hiking tour of Loch Ness)…..send help if you don’t hear from us in a few days…..just in case we were taken hostage by Nessie!
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Ruby on

Rain, drizzle, mist,haze...enjoy every bit of it! Loved the bride. What a cutie.

Mando on

Sounds like an enjoyable trip, Mario Andretti. Git ya a Nessie steak before you leave.

AECota on

Querido, so glad to be in touch with your adventures! To hear about Paul and his mom and the blessed moisture!

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