Our Scottish Highland’s road trip fail

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Sunday

First image: One of the most photographed houses in Scotland.

Second image: The Yakima SkyRise roof top tent when we first set it up. Loaned from The Roof Box Company.

Third image: The roof top tent again at dusk.

Fourth image: The River Coe.

Fifth image: Drinking red wine by the fire.

Sixth image: Kelly, Kurt and Josh sat by the fire at the Red Squirrel campsite.

 

This Sunday we set off on a road trip to Scotland. We headed up past Glasgow and Loch Lomond to Glencoe, where we stayed at the Red Squirrel campsite.

The campsite is lovely, set by the River Coe and nestled in the trees, it's quiet, well kept and a nice safe place to stay. It was £25 for Josh and I to stay, which we thought was worth it because we know the toilets and showers are kept so clean and it's set in such a picturesque area. Last time we visited the Red Squirrel campsite was back in 2017. It was much quieter then and we woke up to deer around our tent!

Kelly and Kurt decided to stop by on their way home from Ullapool. It was nice to catch up with them and hear of their adventures on Harris - where we were heading to! I was so excited and Kelly kindly lent us her two paddle boards.

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Monday

First image: The van parked somewhere on Skye.

Second image: Josh walking, also somewhere on Skye.

Third image: Erik sat in the heather.

Fourth image: Uig harbour.

Fifth image: Uig harbour from our bed.

Sixth image: Erik fast asleep in the roof tent.

 

We woke up early, cooked ourselves a bacon and egg butty, packed up and continued our journey to the Isle of Skye. We stopped off at Fort William for a few things we needed and ended up getting ourselves a pork, stuffing and apple sauce sandwich - it was DELICIOUS.

It was quite a long drive, but a very scenic drive. We stopped at a few places along the way to let Erik out for the toilet and a run around. The first few images were taken along the road to the fairy pools. We were going to walk to them but the paths were heaving, so we decided it wasn't for us. Plus, it had started showering and we just weren't up for walking too far in the rain at that point. I say we, but really I mean I. I really need a new waterproof jacket. Ideally Gortex as all the other jackets are never actually waterproof!

Then we drove to the top of Skye, where we needed to catch the ferry from early morning. The wind and the rain was horrendous. We couldn't find anywhere to stay in Uig that was out of the wind, so instead of heading in land a little, silly us decided to stay on a road side, basically on a cliff over looking the ferry port.

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Tuesday

First image: Me after crying for 5 minutes at our situation.

Second image: Erik on a bar stool in MacKenzie's Bakery in Portree.

Third image: Portree bay.

Fourth image: Salt and pepper squid, pan fried scallops and of course, a portion of chips from The Lower Deck Seafood in Portree.

 

When we woke up in the morning, we were glad to have survived the night. However, as soon as we started the van we had all these warning lights flash up... 'fuel tank empty', 'brake pad wear' etc. We thought there may have been a little water damage but we still headed to the port to board the ferry. We were cold and wet so had the heaters on and then the engine started cutting out. From there it was all down hill...

We ended up being left on the lane to the ferry when everyone else boarded. The kind lady in the ticket office offered us a full refund, which I thought was extremely kind considering it was totally our fault. We waited for around two hours for a tow truck to pick us up to take us back to Portree. Then we had to walk around Portree in the sodding rain looking for somewhere to sit and eat and drink. Everywhere was full, so we had to wait for ages to get in to a cafe. Finally we got a seat by the window and we sat there for almost 3 hours waiting for a call from the garage. Long story short, the problem was with the fuel pump, which explained the engine cutting off. It wasn't fixable, so we stayed on the garage forecourt that night.

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Wednesday

First image: Portree roof tops.

Second image: Portree bay.

Third image: Loch Portree, early morning.

Fourth image: Josh in the tow truck, on our way to Kyle of Lochalsh.

Fifth image: Erik asleep on my knee in the tow truck.

Sixth image: Airing the tent and sleeping bags out behind Mormar motors. Waiting for a call from Josh's insurance and the RAC.

Seventh and Eighth image: The Skye bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh.

Ninth image: Erik and I in the taxi to Inverness to pick up a hire car.

Tenth image: Loch Alsh during sunset.

Eleventh image: Erik between my legs in the hire car.

 

When we woke up, the sun was shining. It was a beautiful crisp morning so we took it in turns to take Erik for a walk. It was uplifting to see the sun again. I love crisp, fresh mornings like this. The most perfect Autumnal morning! We were then towed to Kyle of Lochalsh to the garage that would then transport our van back home. We sat there all day, in the sunshine. We were notified 10 minutes before our taxi was due to pick us up to take us to Inverness for a hire car. 10 MINUTES! Had we known we would have packed everything to take with us from Inverness but instead we had to go to Inverness and then come back to Kyle to pick all our supplies up. What a nightmare! Honestly, this holiday just went against us in every single way.

That night, we ended up arriving back in Glencoe at the Red Squirrel campsite at 11:30pm. We set the tent up, had some food, a beer and went to sleep. I received a text from my Dad that morning to say it was one of the coldest September nights in Scotland ever recorded! Thankfully I was in a winter sleeping bag, with a comfort level of up to -27 degrees and Josh's is -12 degrees I think...

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Thursday

First image: Loch Etive.

Second and third image: Me by Loch Etive.

Fourth image: Looking through the trees over to the mountains.

Fifth image: Josh on a swing rope.

Sixth image: Me on a swing rope.

 

Thursday was another glorious day. We packed the car and headed to Glen Etive, around a half an hour drive from Glencoe to reach the end of the road. We were hopeful we would see deer. Which we did but not as close as we had hoped! We would love to camp/stay in the van here. It's so peaceful and the views are incredible.

Then we began our 4 and a half hour journey home, stopping off at Burger King on the way of course. When we reached Sedbergh, of course it was raining! We hurried to empty and hoover out the car because Europcar were collecting the car at 6pm. Anyway, two days later and the hire car is still sat outside our house! We could have potentially stayed an extra night in Glencoe had we known! The weather was much better than home too! Anyway, this is our failed road trip summary. I can't believe what an ordeal we had but we kept telling ourselves 'it could be worse'. I had so many things I wanted to see and do. Perhaps I will share those with you in another post anyway, incase you ever want to attempt this road trip! Speak soon, L.

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