September 25 – 28, 2013
After our week with the family, Chandler and I borrowed Alyssa’s car, and headed out on a road trip. Our plan was to head straight up to the Isle of Skye in Scotland and do some hiking. Things didn’t go quite as planned. Long story short, we ended up spending a while trying to find butane for Alyssa’s stove, before realizing that we had another stove that ran on gasoline like ours that we left in France.
We had some fun though along the way. We went on a nice walk along the Hadrian’s Wall path. We were hoping to see actual ruins of the wall, but had no such luck. The path took us through some fields, but we turned around after realizing we were just on a cross-country walking path that only approximately followed the wall’s alignment.
Learning to drive on the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the road was a fun experience for Chandler. He did all the driving, but insisted I give it a go also. Thank goodness the pedals were in the correct position, because it took a lot of concentration to shift with my left hand while staying on the left side of the road. Chandler did a great job on the narrow roads and we are still alive to tell the tale.
The transition from England to Scotland was anti-climatic. There was a sign, but the land didn’t change and there was no other indication. It wasn’t until we hit the Highlands that the Scotland I imagined finally emerged.
We also made a quick stop at the Eilean Donan Castle. The castle was built in 1214 by the MacKenzies but destroyed by the Jacobite Rebellions. In the early 20th century the MacRae family rebuilt the castle by the original plan. The castle was closed when we arrived, so we weren’t able to go inside.
We found a great campsite with views of the peaks to the west, which were surprisingly a lot larger than we expected. We got to bed early that night because we had a big hike the next day, but not before creatively drying out the rainfly.