Scotland Hiking Trip Itinerary: with Chuck Marshall.
Ten days, 5 hikes, 7 pubs, 4 castles, 5 different beds, and nearly 50 miles of trail.
Day 1: Depart from Detroit.
Day 2: Survived the Amsterdam layover, located “The Albanach” for a beer and lunch, purchased a Kilt, and explored the city of Edinburgh. Highlights from the day:
Day 3: So many firsts on day 3:
- Rent car and experience driving on wrong-side of the car!
- Road trip to Kinlochleven
- Meet our first (and favorite) Inn Keeper at the MacDonald Hotel
- Breakout the hiking boots and rain gear for our first highland hike
- Experience the Bothy Bar located conveniently in the MacDonald Hotel and ate our first vegetarian haggis
Day 4: Ring of Steall, 10 miles of Pure Scotland! Another day full of firsts:
- Christened by our first bog
- traversed our first wire bridge
- felt spindrift and wondered how it could be snowing
- peeling-off wets socks and crawling back to the Bothy Bar
- ordered our first dram of “peaty” scotch
- stuffed our shoes with newspaper and soaked our legs in ice water
Day 5: Garbh Bheinn of Ardgour, 5 miles/bog factor 3:
- experienced our first Scottish car ferry ride
- made new friends, Jo and Dave, saw spider man, touched the sky, got lost (again!)
- enjoyed a beverage at the Grog and Gruel in Fort William
- discovered the sign makers in Scotland have a strange sense of humor
Day 6: Left McDonald House but forgot my jacket. We used our first payphone to call our Scottish Mom (Frances, the Inn Keeper) and said good bye to Fort William. Said hello toIsle of Skye and the Blairdhu House. It was a full day as tourists:
- Toured two castles (Eilean Donan and Dunvegan),
- Photographed hairy cows, sipped peaty whiskey at Talisker and
- Finished the day at Saucy Marys.
Day 7: Who knew that all the restaurants are closed on Sunday, we didn’t. We hiked to the Old Man of Storr (5 miles/bog factor 3) and then drove the perimeter of Isle of Skye. Along the way we:
- stopped at Kilt Rock
- found a fairy pool and a hobbit
- ate at Saucy Marys again, it was the only open restaurant
Day 8: Back on the road!
- Next stop Urquhart Castle on the shores of Lock Ness where we learned about beer.
- Second stop, Lock Ness Tourist Centre and Exhibition.
- Our third stop was suppose to be Cawdor Castle but it was closed so instead we saw a witch at the Clava Cairns.
- I glanced at the Culloden Battlefield as Chuck flew-us-by headed for Ramada in Inverness.
Day 9: Tom a’ Choinich and Toll Creagach, Glen Affric (10.5 miles/bog factor 3): Our only flat hike but it required a 90 minute car ride on a single track road. I think we saw 3 other cars.
Day 10: Back to Edinburgh for the “Rose Street Challenge”. That would be a pint from 14 pubs the night before an international flight home.