Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Sunshine on Scotland

The weekend before last we had a fabulous day in Glen Coe. Diff was filming and I tagged along to carry bags, with the promise of a day's climbing in Glen Nevis on the Sunday.

We were in Glen Coe by 08.30 on Saturday, and had the most perfect weather imaginable. Enough breeze to keep the midges away most of the time, as well as glorious sunshine all day. It was hot and sweaty work carrying film kit up Buachaille Etive Mor, but the views from the top were undoubtedly rewarding.

How often do you see the whole of Scotland spread out before you, tops as far as the eye can see, the sea in one direction and Rannoch Moor in the other. Even the Ben was cloud free. Incredible.

We were exhausted by the time we headed to our digs in Fort William. We had chips to keep us going, sat on the harbour wall, wondering who the hell thought it was a good idea to concrete over Fort William's greatest asset - it's sea loch frontage. Sometimes I despair at the shortsightedness of urban planners and developers. And while I'm having a whinge, why is there nowhere decent to eat in Fort William?? Curry, Chinese, a chippy and everything else looked as though it had come from a Brake Bros. refrigerated van. If we missed something, recommendations on a postcard please.

And on Sunday it rained. No climbing :-( We were so disappointed and frustrated, but it just wasn't going to happen. We went to the Oban Sealife Sanctuary instead, and tried to learn 11 things for the £11 each it cost us. Did you know, for example, that there is a 1 in 10 million chance of a baby cod making it to adulthood? And did you know that 150,000 sea turtles are killed accidentally by fishing nets and the like, each year.

It's a beautiful spot and they do some good work there rescuing seals and returning them to the wild. By the time we headed down the road to Glen Ogle to check out some of the crags there it was bright sunshine, but all the crags were running with water. We strolled along the disused railway and ate wild strawberries. Not quite the day we had hoped for, but we felt better for being out and about.

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