Tom suggested we drive to Loch (Lake) Etive on our way from Glasgow to Inverness. It is at the end of a single tract road. He promises it will be worth it. We decide to go and add 90 minute detour to the 4 hour drive to the Isle of Skye.
His directions begin with “look out for a town named Tyndrum before you get to Glencoe”. Then after we have driven about 30 minutes past that town we should look for the Glencoe Ski Resort sign. Then turn left when we see the next small white sign with “Glen Etive” posted in black on its face.
Terry begins the 12 mile drive weaving in and out of a forest. We pull over when meeting opposing traffic. Thankfully there aren’t many cars coming the opposite way.
At the end we do find the “pot of gold”….a beautiful loch. We each practice what we have been learning, Terry with his ND filters and I find an interesting dead tree that has washed up against a giant boulder. We are in the middle of nowhere and TMI, I need the loo. It is then I remember seeing a sign for a Lodge just before we reached the loch. The property is set back from the road and is marked by a high stone wall. I think it is a good idea to visit the lodge and use the facilities. It is customary to buy a coffee or tea when using the cloakrooms.
We turn off at the sign for the Lodge and drive through the trees. We park and are met by the grounds keeper who tells us it is a private lodge. Tea and Coffee are not available. We are invited to come inside the main house to view the property. Guests from the previous week have just left and the property is vacant. The main house sleeps 15 and has a private chef. The Lodge sits on over 13,000 acres, 5 Monros (Scottish mountains named after Sir Hugo Monro that are over 3,000 feet high) and has a river which provides them with fat trout. They conduct private hunting trips during season. There are wooly “coos” grazing in a pasture in front of the main house. I am entranced and forget about the faculties.
She tells us the property is owned by the Fleming family….you know Ian Fleming who wrote the Bond novels? I want to come back and spend time here away from the world. It is quiet and remote. We sit in the car looking out at the property and surrounding Monros and talk about renting the property for a week after our workshop with Andy Mumford in Iceland in late June, 2019. Then we could rent another VBO for a month in the Scottish highlands with a week-long stop in Edinburgh. Want to come?
We start and car to retrace our steps back to the main highway and travel on to the Isle of Skye.
No good deed goes unpunished….or so the saying goes. Beware of GPS instructions that don’t give you alternative routes…or be sure you know enough to preset your desire to AVOID ferries or toll roads. We didn’t do either of those things and were taken on a route to the Isle of Skye that included a ferry crossing, not a land route. We merrily drove down a wider road and wound up at the ferry crossing around 5 p.m. Isle of Skye was within sight, literally, just across the water. We found out the ferry was oversold and there wasn’t any room for us. We had to backtrack 40 miles back to the turnoff for the land route to continue to the Isle of Skye and continue from there. Then the road got narrower and narrower. We had been on the road since 9 a.m. After all the backtracking, we pulled into our hotel on the bay at 9 p.m. 12 hours on narrow lanes and one-lane tracts almost drove Terry over the edge.