A Highland Thing Part 3 – Some random thoughts from the third time up there (from this lockdown year 2021)

When they say yellow warning for rain – they mean it will rain like buggery.

The M6 North/South – what can I say? A “4 hour” journey (according to google maps) took 10 hours. Southwards a “5 hour” journey took twelve hours. In all, there and back, we spent seven hours in traffic jams. And those damn birds blocking the way out of the service station didn’t help much either.

From the campsite you could see the wind-driven rain coming at you from across the loch. It hits. And then it goes away and you may get a beautiful sunset later.

When you ride on the Harry Potter train, keep the little windows shut if you don’t want to have little grains of burnt coal soot in your hair and on the tables. The viaduct at Glenfinnan is a stunning ride. Mallaig has ditched the Celtic trinkets for Harry Potter souvenir shops. Shame really.

In 1787, an unusual rock which had been found in a lead mine at Strontian, Scotland, was investigated by Adair Crawford, an Edinburgh doctor. He realised it was a new mineral containing an unknown ‘earth’ which he named strontia. In 1791, another Edinburgh man, Thomas Charles Hope, made a fuller investigation of it and proved it was a new element. He also noted that it caused the flame of a candle to burn red. Strontium is best known for the brilliant reds its salts give to fireworks and flares. It is also used in producing ferrite magnets and refining zinc. Modern ‘glow-in-the-dark’ paints and plastics contain strontium aluminate. They absorb light during the day and release it slowly for hours afterwards. The village is also the only place where you can buy petrol in under an hour’s drive from the campsite overlooking Loch Sunart at Resipole.

It is a lottery on the Corran Ferry. Sometimes Peaches gets charged the £9 for a car/light goods vehicle, at others £13 for a “motorhome”. It was 50/50 on the four times we used it. The £9 worth of Range Rovers were still bigger than her, the cheats!

From the train you can see what a lovely location Inverailort Castle enjoys (bottom left).

Finding a lovely stop to cook up some food is always a pleasure in these parts.

And the moral of the story? What I have learnt from all this? Simple really: the Highlands of Scotland are still one of the places I would recommend to anyone visiting this planet for the first time. Not just for how beautiful it looks, but equally for how much it beautifies your soul.

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