Steve Anderson

Scotland 2012, Highland happenings.

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September 2012

Moffat (1 night)

       Damp night in small tent, must remember to set up tent without inner and outer touching. I have stayed in the campsite in Moffat before and while tidy it is probably the most expensive campsite on the planet £20 per night compared to £7 in Dunvegan which was frankly a better site. The one compensation is that Moffat has a delightful little Italian restaurant, I wish I known about the last time I was there. While on the topic of food I had breakfast in a cafe which was recommended by one of the wardens at the campsite, he said get the half breakfast you won’t eat the full one. When it turned up I could not even eat that. It’s the cafe opposite the bronze sheep if you ever pass that way and need sustenance.


Sligachan Hotel - Skye  (1 night)

       Arrived on Skye, booked into the Slig as the locals call it for one night to find my feet and bumped into an English guy from Cornwall who ran the bar in the Old Inn in Carbost. He explained there was music at the Old Inn, so I ate supper and wandered down to Carbost (home of the Talisker distillery), where the weekly music get together was happening and where a chap called Farquhar was strutting his stuff. It appears he is quite a celebrity jetting around the world to play fiddle or pipes depending on the gig. All of the musicians were very good and played a mixture of classic Scots and contemporary music. So after the fun which went on for some time I made my way back to the Slig.


Dunvegan campsite – Skye (5 nights)

       I drove to Dunvegan the next day to find the campsite which had been given some good reviews, and indeed it was very clean and organised, and on a pretty prominent location on the edge of loch Dunvegan. Dunvegan (the locals call it Dunvegas) is a weird place on the face of it, it is all a bit scruffy with the main attraction being the castle and family seat of the clan Mcleod, there are 2 pubs both located in hotels and at the risk of libel I did not even set foot into the Misty Isle Hotel, according to those that know, this is a place where you wipe your feet on the way out. The Dunvegan Hotel was certainly cleaner but lacked charisma, and sported a cellar bar where they had music and occasional dancing of the disco variety. I decided to make Dunvegan my base for the next few days partly out of sheer laziness and partly because of its locality to a large area of Skye I had not visited before. I had some good bike riding in the area and saw my first golden eagle and first otter of the trip there. I nearly fell over the otter on the way back from the Dunvegan Hotel one night, I could almost have kicked it, it was so close. (Not that I would have done of course, I might have kicked a mink or a rat, actually I can’t believe I am listing wildlife I would be happy to kick). On one of my pedalling excursions I had a cup of tea in a beauty spot which at the time was the temporary home of a migratory tea and chip van called ‘The surf and turf’, and on the side of the van was a pub advertised at a place called Stein (pronounced Steen, not Stein, while we are on the topic the Sligachan is pronounced with  a soft ch so more like Sligahan. Just so you know!) I decided that the pub looked good and having consulted the map found it to be about an 8 mile journey, perfect for the bike I thought. That evening off I set and obviously had not taken the ups and downs adequately into account when planning the route, it was a bit like cycling into Everest base camp, and the lack of wind and much puffing up the hills meant that when I stopped to adjust my saddle I was instantly swarmed with midges. I had left without my “Smidge”, so the saddle was left as it was and I puffed over the hills to avoid having my skin chewed off. On arrival at the Stein Inn, I availed myself of a meal and a few pints and progressed to the bar stool where I got chatting with a chap from Edinburgh who used to drink at the pub I worked in as a youngster, and after exchanging memories set about a whiskey tasting which rather got out of hand. The barmaids where amazed that after all of this I was still insistent on cycling back to Dunvegan, and for a few days I kept

It is said that all Scots have a sense of humour, because its a free gift.

The magnificent Cuillins