At last, an hotel with internet access. Free wifi for guests in the lobby area, no less! Congratulations to the Inver Lodge Hotel for being the hippest hotel in the Highlands (although I am afraid it does give the impression - as do all Scottish interiors - that my granny was the designer). Perhaps the rugged beauty outside creates a need for contrasting banality indoors?
I won't bore my serious-minded readership with my adventures, save to say that Roger Thornhill's mention of Lochinver in comments to the previous thread inspired me to head over here today. The four-hour journey from the Trotternish Peninsula on Skye (where I read his comment last night via iPhone) was amazing. The coastal road through Wester Ross provided ample opportunity for Vittoria (pictured here on a Highland road) to show her awesome mettle as I sang along to "Little Deuce Coupe" on the on-board jukebox.
Then I drove many slower miles on single track roads with occasional passing places. At some points I had to slow to a crawl as I passed between carrosserie-threatening stone walls on one side and rough rocks on the other. Glorious variety. I stopped for a rest and a drink of diet Irn-Bru (an innovation since my last trip?); gazed out over magnificent landscape and pondered why the Scots are such a plague in Westminster when they could stay home and enjoy all this. I had a wonderful day.
Scotland is as beautiful as I remember from my last trip five years ago, but looks rather more prosperous. Everywhere that should be is neatly clipped; the inhabitants -even in supposedly poor highland areas- look rather better dressed than I remember. It's nice to know that the proceeds of Gordon Brown's rieving of the English Treasury have at least been put to good use.
Still the abiding impressions are of the gentle courtesy of the Highlanders (not one of whom has failed to compliment Vittoria) and the glorious natural beauty of their home. Even Gordon Brown (God rot him) can't taint my pleasure in that. Here are some more photos for anyone who is still interested (L-R: The Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, Dunvegan Castle on Skye, a view of Skye over Vittoria's dashboard and Flodigarry Island from my hotel window last night).
I don't think I have ever been in Scotland so long without visiting a distillery. Perhaps tomorrow...