A day of false starts (& a happy ending)August 20, 2017 in the United Kingdom
Not wanting to venture too far, we'd set our sights on a visit to nearby Fort Augustus and possibly a Nessie hunt on the loch. Alas, Sunday proved a popular day with the locals (especially on that rare day when the sun is actually shining), so this tiny town was bursting at the seams and not a car park within cooee.
A change of plans - to the coastal port of Mallaig via a promised scenic route (the "Road to Isles" tour). After passing through some pretty ordinary towns, (although the Bridge of Oich was interesting), a quick stop at the less-than-impressive Neptunes staircase (OK so it was an engineering marvel of mutliple locks and might have looked better with flowing water), the "scenic" drive finally kicked in just before the Glennfinnian monument. Commemorating those who rose in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, nevertheless he clearly hadn't planned for parking and once again we by-passed this bursting-at-the seams tourist attraction as we made our way west.
The traffic thinned, the mountains grew more and more imposing - it was easy to imagine the challenges that would have faced settlers and explorers alike in this mountainous region. Arriving at the pretty port of Malaig (gateway to a number of the western islands), we briefly contemplated the ferry to the Isle of Skye as a loop route home, only to discover said ferry was fully booked. Undaunted, we fortified ourselves with ice cream and retraced our path, intent on a less populace region on the morrow.Read more