Blue sky at Skye, the Monster of Loch Ness remains unseen and Mrs Brown makes an appearance.
28.09.2015 - 05.10.2015
The trip is drawing to a close, and I am back in Ireland again. The second week in Scotland was every bit as good as the first. The weather for three days where I was staying turned out to be the warmest place in the UK, with regular sunshine and clear skies (you will see in the photos).
I spent a whole day on the isle of Skye, doing a few mountain walks and covering pretty well the whole place. The scenery was fantastic, with the highlight being climbing the ridge known as The Storr (see photos).
Wading through the herds of wild haggis and avoiding the dreaded bagpipe spiders (one bite and you do the highland fling till you drop dead) I went to Urquhart Castle along Loch Ness. Despite the whiskey, I was unable to get even a fuzzy out of focus picture of the Monster, so had to be content with the castle. Typical of the era, the place was cold and drafty, and built for smaller people than now (ducking through stone doorways is highly recommended, I might add), and fought over for a few hundred years. The Caledonian Canal runs right through Loch Ness, and links the eastern and western waters of Scotland. Loch Ness itself is huge; to give you an idea, the volume of water in the loch is greater than the combined total of all the lakes in England and Wales. That gives an idea of how deep it is. It is also still volcanically active, and the earthquakes in Scotland mostly occur here.
All eyes have been on the rugby World Cup, which everyone is very pleased with now that Australia has driven England out of the competition. The arrogance of the English team has been duly noted in the media and caused a lot of animosity (the pinnacle was when the English team announced very vocally that not one of the Australian players deserved or would make the English team). The following day, Australia flogged them. This has been historic as it is the first time ever that the host nation of the world cup hass been knocked out of the competition before the finals. So everyone reckons England got what they deserved.
On the way back to Ireland, when I joined the queue of cars for the ferry, and who should pull up with his entourage beside us but Brendan O'Carrol AKA Mrs Brown and co., on the way back from a tour in England. Very clever and friendly, we had a bit of a chat, and I managed to convince them to come to Australia again for another tour (Jan 2016 - keep an eye out for tickets).
The last couple of days will be spent here in Ireland, feasting and drinking and catching up with the everyone before heading back home on Wednesday night. Will see everyone when I get back, and regale you all with stories of the trip.