Sunday, April 13, 2003
Basically, I have nine weekends left in Edinburgh before we're off to do the West Highland Way and after that there will only be the odd couple of days of frantic packing up of the flat before I hit the open road... Or the open train track anyway! I am working tons of overtime to save up for all the hilarity planned, which I have to fit in around my rather demanding gym schedule. Having decided to walk from Glasgow to Fort William over eight days, it has occurred to me that I had better be in slightly better shape-funny how six months to train myself up for it has turned into two. So I'm at the gym every other day, doing overtime most other days, and frantically visiting all the tourist sites in Edinburgh on the weekends because, of course, I haven't bothered to do anything tourist in the last two years and now am trying to cram everything in. I am attempting to visit every pub in my lonely planet ;)
However, over the past weekend, I had my last two days paid holiday so Alan and I headed north. We drove up through Inverness into Wester Ross (west coast highlands) and stayed overnight at the emptiest youth hostel-only five couples in a rather huge place. The next day we went walking to Coire Mhic Fhearchair (it took the entire five hours of the walk to pronounce that). It was a dull day, but decent enough until we started walking back towards the car when it rained, and then hailed, we saw some deer, it hailed again. Typical, cause the entire rest of the weekend it was sunny.
We drove up to Ullapool, a port town which is the gateway to the Outer Hebrides. Then next day we went to stay in a haunted castle which has become a hostel and visited a nearby church at Croik, which had graffiti on the church windows from 1845 by people being cleared from the land to make way for sheep. We also saw a Pictish stone. It was a lot of driving on one track roads through very uninhabited areas. There would be all these names on the road atlas and we'd drive through them to find that the village consisted of three houses and a barn.
On a different note, lent is about to end!!! As the result of a dare by an Irish Catholic at work, who claimed that non-religious people have no willpower, I gave up chocolate for the forty days of lent and it's finally up on Saturday. Just in time for my birthday, when I fully expect Alan to present me with the most chocolaty cake possible.