Spectacular Scottish September (PT 2: Super And Sombre)

Hello and welcome to the second part, thanks for reading, I greatly appreciate it. Enough of the Cheesy stuff, let's get into it.


9/9/2021

Scotland had been taken from us early doors

For almost 24 hours straight we stayed in the house - sometimes sleeping, mostly blogging, just y'know...holidaying - taking it easy and unwinding.

I've got to be honest, having a lovely double bed to myself was lovely - and it was super comfortable - I suppose the sofa in the other place made me truly grateful and appreciative and maybe it made this one even more comfortable?


But no matter, a bed is a bed and if you can sleep in it, then it's good enough and it does it's job...and this one did it very, very well.


Lazy days were also rather nice for me because I manage to catch up on blogs - because with so much going on in Scotland and so much happening, sometimes I'm just like... 800 Words Per Minute is not enough - and sometimes I write part of a blog, call it a night, go to sleep, have an activity the following day and it's almost as if I'm a page behind or something, so I don't know - whilst holidaying is nice, getting behind (seriously behind) on Blogs are JOOTT (Just One Of Those Things) and I know I shouldn't get stressed out or like panicked by it, but after producing blogs for a year it's like - I should be used to this?


Although, yes, there's been a virus, but still, I should be used to playing catch up - and I'm sort of in this Catch-22 situation where I'm like - relax, chill, unwind, slow-down - and then I'm also like - this blog isn't going to write itself - I'm writing the 3rd Sept's blog on the 8th, 9th, 10th, I've got to catch up and then there's the thought of - who's going to read this who cares? Is this interesting enough? Is it too long? Too many pictures?


Nah, nah, I have friends who overthink things, and its an easy thing to do - and simply put - I'm going to read these, my family are going to read these - maybe I'll show these to my kids of a ghost I'm going to impregnate (not in a kinky sense, just the fact that nobody wants my crazy ass)


Detour.


So, after spending almost 24 hours in the house, chilling, blogging and sleeping, Charis suggests we go out and get some food for us just to be stocked up.


Firstly we nip into a cute little Post Office which turns out to be the Tardis with the amount of amenities inside - being so small, it's more of a "grab what you need and nothing else" sort of shop, I do this to a certain extent - no, I didn't need Haribos, but they were there and dirt cheap so I decided to have a packet.


We'd then go out to a slightly larger shop and stock up on some more general and "non-essential" items.


Charis would cook me my first hot meal since Maccies on the 6th September (I don't know, either didn't feel hungry or want to eat or had anything to eat). She'd make a nice Pasta and Tomato combo which was lovely of her.


10/09/2021


Starting bright and early at 8am, the 10th marked the half-way point in our holiday - meaning less time remaining than time already spent on the holiday.


In particular, today was an early start because Charis had booked coasteering for herself and needed a little lift there.


It may have taken over an hour to get there, but it was well worth it - Skye was spectacular and any drive to see more of this Island I'd take any day of the week.


We'd meet the coasteering activity operators at a supermarket before us (the other coasteer-ers, operators and ourselves) driving north towards, well....the coast where the activity was happening.


For those in the area - or with knowledge of the area, the activities would take place at Kilmaluag Bay.


From what I saw, coasteering is essentially getting from one side of the coast with some "side quests" (almost like that) along the way.


Whilst Charis was coasteering, I thought I could rave to Tom Grennan whilst writing a blog, but I was badly needed for photography duty!


On this day, Charis would do a bit of rock climbing/clambering, wading through water, walking along a narrow grass bank, treading/swimming in the water and also cliff-jumping.


Whilst I was able to take a few pictures, the group coasteered away from the car-park/where I was and thus I wasn't able to get all too good pictures.


Around the other side, they (the group) were said to also look around some caves.


First Pic: Me steering around a sheep that refused to move aside.


Video Of Charis Cliff-Jumping



By the end of this, my camera was probably on 26% - 30% charge, as when I next opened it up in our next location, it was flashing due to having one bar of battery left.


We'd go to a beautiful, quiet, little, rocky stream and watterfall. I had to juggle taking high-quality pictures (focussing, framing and everything) with a quickly dying battery, it's fair to say that whilst I got some "below mediocre ones" - a full battery would have made this job a whole lot easier.

Eventually we moved up stream slightly and I got about half a dozen pictures before the camera died on me. Fantastic.

For me, this trip could not have gone worse.


I thought I had sufficient charge on my camera...but my camera had other ideas. As I left in the morning, it was on three bars - even though it was not on full charge. By the time I was snapping coasteering pictures, this dropped to two. It was on one and flashing as we headed to the waterfall.


Under stress that my camera was about to die, many of the shots I took were blurry and unusable - or out of focus - these 6 were probably the only half-decent ones in a very large variety.


Next up was my attire. When someone says "stream and waterfalls" to me, I think "okay, there will be a path leading up to said waterfalls and said stream. There was. To an extent. As the "hired photographer" I was asked to test the limits of my shoes and clamber over rocks of all sizes - eventually I was stopped by my own comfort zone - a fallen tree. With expensive, valuable and important electronics in my pockets, I had already risked enough - and almost slipped over on a couple of occasions. Had I been in appropriate shoes (and with sufficient charge) I am sure things would be very, very different.


We’d return back to the accommodation shortly after.

11/10/2021 - The Sombre Day.


The darkest day in American history. Other than the Titanic, there is no other tragedy that I commemorate as much as this one.


I don't know whether it was the complexity of it, the fact it happened in my birth year or the fact that it was the sheer destruction and loss that it bought - never before in known history has someone used a plane as a weapon to not only strike a building/buildings, but to bring them down entirely too.


Every year on this day I've written a "moving" speech on my Facebook profile. This year was no different, especially being the 20th anniversary


My heart goes out to every single person involved and affected by the tragedy - from those on the ground to those with family members, friends and relatives still living with the scars (both physically and emotionally) that those cowardly and heartless attacks have caused.


On this day, we went to the fairy pools, another set of waterfalls - some smaller, some larger.


The day started very eventfully with someone (who was trying to get into the Fairy Pools Carpark) having slid into a ditch.

Example of how the Multipla on Skye was stuck...

Onward. In the beginning, I considered just wearing my trainers on the 1hr + walk, but after looking at the map and seeing it was a long one, something in my mind said "maybe you should wear something a little more study and comfortable? - and I am so glad that I did. It was rough terrain.


After quickly nipping back to the car to get my camera, we took a few pictures of a waterfall to the side of the Fairy Pools before walking down to where they actually were.


As the plural in the name suggests, the fairy pools are a series of waterfalls (not just one) that "cascades" down from a nearby mountain range called the Black Cuillins.


Ignoring the miserable, bleak, typical Scottish Weather, we went onward and went a little further up the walk.


Here, we stumbled upon another beautiful waterfall.


Following this photoshoot, we'd continue further...


We'd eventually arrive at the largest of these waterfalls...

With over 500 pictures taken (in total) and Charis uncomfortably cold from her swim in the waterfall/river/stream, we headed back to the accommodation via one viewing point, us only staying here for a matter of moments.

That evening, after getting back to our AirBNB, I noticed a flock of sheep incredibly near our house, so I picked up my camera and recorded a little video.

Part 2 for those interested: here


Other than having a Pizza and me exploring the garden, it was a very quiet night in.


Local Wildlife & Surrounding Areas:

12/09/2021


Probably one of the most beautiful days on Skye - or outside our window, but we had a lazy day. Other than see a lighthouse, there was not all too much I wanted to do on Skye, so I was happy just to keep plugging away at the ever-lengthening blog.



Unnecessary iRacing Section


This week was Week 13 in iRacing, the fun week where the majority of content and features are released - this time, iRacing received the Hungaroring a brand spanking new Ferarri 488 GT3 (Evo) and Porsche 911 Cup and also Bathurst to AI Racing, meaning beautiful smashes in F3 AI...he he he.


With being in Scotland and University, I'm likely just to come down for two dates to download these/have an odd race, but aside from that, give the sim "the cold shoulder"


It was the 24hr series at COTA, but as the series was only held to get the Le Mans 24 Hours on iRacing earlier in the year, not a soul from Kabort ran it.


ISRC also ran at the Red Bull ring, but since being in Scotland I've come no closer to competing in the ISRC.


Real Life


The British GT series headed to Oulton Park and Formula One headed to Monza where, spoiler, the championship leaders would take each other out...yes, they'd last until Lap 26, but they still had 27 to go. Neither scored points and should either finish, it'll be at the Russian Grand Prix where the championship is decided - with just 7 races to go, it's one of the closest season (endings) in a fair old while!


And there's nothing to say that it'll be wrapped up in Russia - there's only 5 points that separates them, and whilst Russia isn't the most exciting circuit, should something happen to Max - Lewis isn't out of contention for his 8th Championship - beating the all time highest amount of championships set by the one and only Michael Schumacher.


13/09/2021


We stayed up. Late.


There's was a hell of a lot to be done - washing up, packing suitcases, making sure we hadn't left anything behind...it was probably about 3 - 5am by the time we were done (poor hosts, they were only in the annex next door)


In order to have the house ready for the next guests, they requested that we leave the property by 10am, which we did - with an hour to spare.


With so much time, we decided to have a look at a nearby lighthouse, which would put us at the most Westernly point on Skye, and indeed the most Westernly people on the Island Of Skye.


Before that however, we stopped off at a beautiful viewing area.

Onward from here, we'd continue further down the road and arrive at the lighthouse.


After not being able to see the lighthouse on arrival, Charis would shortly begin to explore higher ground to see if she could see it from a higher vantage point. This turned out to be incredibly successful and said lighthouse was able to be seen, us then taking a short walk up to it.

On the way down, we'd pass a metal structure.


On the day, we both thought it was an old, defunct zip-line, but on doing later research (whilst writing this blog), I'd find out that it was in fact a mechanism that " transport(ed) stores, equipment and sometimes keepers down the precipitous cliff!" (Source) Here's how it looked before being dismantled (as seen in my images)

Neist Point Lighthouse (Est. 1909) Height: 19 M

Automated: 1990


Walk back to car


On our way back to the car, we'd discover an area of "exposed earth" which clearly displayed several hundreds (if not thousands) of years of different deposits on top of one another - legal or not, I took two pieces - one which had a beautiful purple colour to it and another that hadn't been touched by a single human...until I pulled it out.


The last time these weren't pressurised by layers of earth on top of them, it was likely a very different time - this walk - nor lighthouse probably didn't even exist!

After a great morning of walking down to the lighthouse, it truly was time to get on the road.

Leaving Skye behind was quite difficult - whilst we only spent 4 nights there, it felt like we had spent so much longer there.


There's nothing quite like being in the middle of no-where and being disconnected from everything - the hubub of the city, the noise and rush of the mainland.


We'd continue on down the road, and as Skye is quite small and has quite the limited number of roads, I'd recognise quite the number of these, especially those going past our AirBnB house.


Whilst writing this blog, I was curious as to how many people actually lived on Skye, and it turns out in 2011 (last census, due to COVID, next census will happen in 2022) there was 10,008 people who lived on Skye - Tom Grennan did a concert at Alexandra Palace holding 10,400 people - I cannot remember if he sold out or not, but to be able to perform at said venue, you've got to at least be able to fill it half way (I'd imagine!).


With the Isle Of Skye in our rear view mirror and a good 4 - 5 hour drive ahead of us and an activity later on in the day, we decided to not stop off at any attractions. Should I go up to Scotland again, I would have liked to have seen:


- The last turn-table ferry (The Isle Of Skye Ferry)

- Glenfinnan Viaduct (Viaduct used in the Harry Potter films)

- The Kelpies (Falkirk, South of Stirling)

- The Falkirk Wheel (" ")


One last note on Skye, I saw an Alfa Romeo Stelvio and a mid-2000's Aston Martin...and that's the only sporty/supercars I saw, but I found it interesting how still over here someone was brave enough to bring an Aston - no roads big enough to floor it, weather conditions 90% of the time too grim to put the roof down, consistent winds enough to make rust a worry - and road-works (or "half-way in between" road conditions that may make you think twice about taking your pride and joy out for a spin. No matter, I hope he was just a tourist staying for the week!


No matter, that night we'd spend the night in Stirling, this being one of the only places available at the late notice we had given- especially given everything was booked and sorted.


Due to the late notice of the Tom Grennan concert, and the fact that it was a couple days after the "original" leave date, we decided to extent the holiday out to the 17th September, and to compensate start the holiday a little later - on the 3rd Sept. compared with the 1st.


For anyone wondering why we chose Stirling and not Glasgow, some parts (or one part) of Glasgow has a bit of a reputation for being a little bit "shady" during the night, so to play it safe, we decided to go to the next town over.


That night was a little bit messy.


Quickly brushing past the difficulty of actually finding the property, the actual problems started when we didn't have anything "proper" in the fridge. I offered to go down to the local shop which was literally two doors down from us on the corner of the road.


After filling our arms with food, I went to pay.

Cash Only. Fuck.


There wasn't an ATM nearby. Bollocks.


Upon leaving the shop (to find an ATM), I caught the shop-owner returning our items back to the shelves...back to square 1 I guess. I'd find a petrol station with an ATM inside, nice.


After a quick peep in the fridge, it appeared they only had pepperoni pizza. Great.


I banged in "Tesco" into my SatNav and drove there - and for once I could buy a whole lot of products without any issue.


Fast forward to me arriving back at the house, I'd dump the stuff down and go into the mini-market/mini-mart I had done before and bought the pizza things (mini pizzas almost) and a drink. Being 5 minutes before closing time, the shop-owner cleaning up and with him having the shop keys in his hands, I knew that I had to be PRONTO. I'd return to the house, have one of these pizzary things for dinner and hit the hay.


Final part of the Scotland blog tomorrow, hugely looking forward to it- it's been a long time coming and, admittedly I've got quite far behind on them. See you then!

- I was on the move...






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