293 – Friday 17th June 2016: Inverness and Highland Gathering
Stripey cushions transformed our budoir into a more cosy nest at a royal cost of? very “liddle”!
Highland gathering of the Clans Clune, MacKenzie, MacMargaret, MacShirley and MacOthers – sorry, MacOthers! Drinkies and no-meat repasta – a late night for some – weaving across the grass at someoclock am! Nuff said, K.
A truly neighbourly mix of esoteric and eccentric folk…
A ‘quick’ stop at a discount store to replace the Toblerone I’d eaten on the way up to the Meet (I’d stepped up and eaten the lot – solo!), and ended up with a lovely bed cover and new cushions. Getting homey in the motorhome!
What sort of gatherings? These are NOT spliffs! I’m assured burning rolls of kitchen roll keeps the midges away! But whose to know?!
294 – Saturday 18th June 2016: Burning stuff
A slow start in the Clune Camp – K out of necessity waiting for the Neurofen to kick in and J nobly keeping her company! Breakfast – full (English, Irish) Scottish – they all taste the same, although the Stornaway black pudding is so addictive – cooked outside.
Angus, our host, said the mountain walk was ‘easy! He hadn’t been up for some time! Somebody had grown the mountain into a Himalayan precipice – with bits of Scafell, Nevis and imprecipitous precipitability thrown in!! The Mission Impossible motley crew crawled up the heather – K, J, Tina, Karen, Oscar and Holly shot (?) up the hill… the photos speak for themselves. Tina dived headfirst into the bog – the mountain rescue crew winched her out feet first in to the helicopter, with Holly hanging onto her painted toenails! Do I have a shade of exaggeration here? Just a large bit, James!
Saturday BBQ was meat-ful – the German sausages by Tina (who had recovered from her ‘rescue’ by an all male ‘Chippendale’ crew) – she didn’t want to leave the heli copter – were amazing.
George gave out dodgy sweeties with pure alcohol inside – a sort of ‘alcosweedgly’ bite! But we now know how to make toffee vodka and mint vodka … just need to stock up on Werthers Originals and Murray Mints! Plenty of empty bottles to brew it in!
Warmed our bits before the huge campfire – magic dust appeared magically turning the flames blue – thanks, Nicky. Another one-o’clock bedtime for some – is it becoming a habit?
Yep, we, two lasses and their miniature pooches are headed up here.
Fab views and we’re only halfway up.
OK – we’re about to leave the path and head off across the heather and bogs!
Our final summit – although not the real one!
Knee high heather. Ankle high dog … we took turns to carry Oscar – the real reason we did not make it quite to the top!
The hill climbing posse – Karen, James, Moi and Tine. The monstrous peak in the back. Incident free other than Tine landing thigh deep in the bog.
Best bit – burning stuff. K finally warmed up.
People had been asked to bring instruments. Margaret had spent 7 weeks learning how to play the whistle and we’d heard her impressive practice in the morning (I was still in bed!) and Gordon on the Guitar. I had a bit of a moment when they played ‘Will you go lassie go’ as it is one of the songs that Nicky used to play and sing. She’d have loved the fire and music.
295 – Sunday 19th June 2016: Fort Augustus Lunch
“Sunday, Sunday” – Mamas and Papas? It’s Papas Day in Fort Papa and everywhere… K sent Papagreetings to Grahame “Grumps” PapaLeslie in Moldovashire! A run and Pilates for K – much overdue!
We were driven to Fort Augusta for lunch – past spectacular Papaviews (oh Dear, James) – which included fish and chips for some Papas – and a modicum of wine. Travelled back with Papa Angus and Margaret – we rested on our laurels an easy evening. We reflected that the 15 vans were piloted by a motel crew of individuals from all walks of life, but we all had a few things in common: a love of independence, value of scenery & quality of life and friendliness. No wonder we had such a good time.
The old military road to Fort Augustus is stunning – we stopped for a photo opportunity.