Our alarms go off before anything shady can happen
But, we have made sure that we get to maximise on our sleep, so we are only just waking up in time to not have to pay for parking.
We get dressed, shift the bags to the back of the van again and get on the road so we can find somewhere to cook brekky.
Pretty much, the way it works, is that this trip is made of driving for around 2-5 minutes, before I start slowing down, weigh up all the pros and cons, and then justify to Bec again why I am turn the car again in the name of another wicked shot.
This morning, pretty much we just drove until we came across a spot where I decided to turn the car around.
Luckily, the spot we found was an access road, which led to the edge of this bloke’s farm. This was sheltered enough that we really didn’t have to worry too much about the wind. The whole cold butane cans issue was still relevant, but the wind was a factor we didn’t have to consider any more, and that was a huge bonus.
We were up by 8:30, but the sun still hadn’t fully pierced the horizon. I wasn’t aware of this at the time, so I just casually pulled up and as I began walking to my vantage point for the shot, the light got progressively warmer in colour. I was not complaining at all. For me to get to this location, however, I had to climb 3 gates, cross a river, and walk the side of a muddy hill. When I came back, I didn’t even need to explain anything to Bec.
She could see that there was a little bit of a struggle with the mud.
I was happy, though, I had the shot I was after.
After I am back, I begin to empty my pockets, and find that I only have on glove. Bec raises a goo point “We should be stuffing one glove into the other, so that way when you loose one, you loose the other. You always find only one glove. Its so annoying”. She’s not wrong…
I collect my camera again and head back to find my glove, because, you know… I may want to shoot the exact same landscape again, from a marginally different angle.
…which is exactly what I did.
I am searching the ground the whole way back. All the while, scanning the possible options that it could have fallen out at. I finally find it, sitting at the bottom of the fence that I tried to hop over because I could feel my nuts pressed into the top wire, and I wasn’t sure if it was wired up or not at the time, so I kinda did a levitating fit over it, instead of a clean step.
Naturally, this is where a glove would have fallen out.
I head back to the car, and for the 4th time, have to try cross this river, with my camera in hand. I gave already done a fair few things that I shouldn’t have with my camera. One was take it into the Blue Lagoon, this time, I am balancing on rocks, with the camera in hand. Not super smart.
I get back, and Becka has just wrapped up brekky, and is sitting in the front seats, waiting.
We tuck into a quality cooked breakfast, I do the dishes, and we make a move through the Lakes, toward Glasgow. Just as yesterday, we are greeted with stunning scene after stunning scene as we zig zag through the Lakes District. We pull into a few little towns, all the way along, collecting little gifts for birthdays coming up. Each town has its own vibe, and much like Iceland, all these towns just sit under the shadow of the looming mountains around them. Its amazing. They’re all dwarfed by the views around them. All the people we meet are truly lovely too. I head into a camping shop to kill some time and get talking with Neil, who like most people I meet, has a story about that time he visited Australia a few decades ago.
Its really funny.
Speaking about funny. In this one town we pulled up, instead of the parking inspectors coming around and marking your tyres, you pull out a card, adjust it to tell the time when you parked the car, and then the parking inspector knows when to fine you. This is ridiculous. Its surprising that it actually works.
All the time while I am exploring these places, there is a little sense of being at home. Its really odd hey. Anyways, Neil tells us that if we go anywhere in Scotland, we have to go to the Glencoe Pass, which leads into the highlands. We are already headed to the highlands, but it is good to know that we are on the right path.
We continue on our path, frequently pulling over in the name of photography.
We jump on the motorway to Glasgow, which is only about an hour away, which still does my head in, that we can go from one country to another in an hour. We pull into a roadhouse to tuck into some lunch.
We both go to the toilet, get the food out, cook it up, clean the dishes, eat and are back on the road in 20 mins.
If roadhouse meal prep & eating was a competition, we would have won gold. We are that good.
We continue to Glasgow, and are a little bit surprised. We were expecting there to be a little more romance to it. Obviously, Glasgow isn’t going to be rivalling Paris or anything, but it pretty much just seemed like an industrial town, and it was a headache to get around the CBD, so we kinda just figured that we’d keep heading for the highlands instead.
We find somewhere to tuck in for some wifi, and I do some research on Scotland’s sights. I’m not so interested in seeing the same sights as everyone else, so I pick places like ‘The Devil’s Pulpit’ and ‘Fairy Pools’. I would find out that these were the right choices to make.
We keep driving, and it begins to get dark really quick, and I mean really dark. So much so, that unless i have my high beams on, it is really genuinely hard to see where we are driving. It doesn’t help that the lights on our Wicked van are utterly useless, but that is beside the point. It is still soooo bloody dark.
We drive through to Stirling, which has this casual castle right at the top of this bloddy huge rocky hilltop. We are starting to see a little more culture and character to the country side now, but we still have our hearts set on making the most of the highlands, so we see what we want, and check out a bit of the cobble stone drives around the old city and continue on our path.
We get to where the Devil’s Pulpit is, but it is way too dark, even for long exposure shots, so we decide to just pull up, cook dinner and settle in for the night. We are driving along, and we find a little cul-de-sac kinda thing just off the edge of the road. We pull in there, and assume that position as our camp ground for the night.
There is a house just on the other side of the fence, and they are still kick around. As we are cooking dinner, and I am stuffing butane cans under my armpits to keep them warm I spot someone peeking out the window. I was told by Ol’ mate, Neil in the Lakes District that in Scotland, you can pretty much just rock up and park wherever you want, no worries, so I assume that this is the case here.
We are cooking away, when out of nowhere, there is this light and I hear a voice “You roight?”, which is pretty much the UK’s way to say “G’day”. It has done my head in hey. We were walking past a pub, and I say g’day and this guy asked me if I was alright. In my mind, this guy wants to have a blew, and I just said hi. What a knob. Turns out that he was just saying hi back. I head over to the fence and just let him know that we are travelling and that we have pulled over for the night.
His name is Scott.
He is a Scot.
I couldn’t have dreamed of a better name for a Scotsman. He is just being a gentleman. He just wanted to make sure everything was ok. He tells us that we are on the farmer’s property, and that “he is a bit of a dick”, but if we are off in the morning, we should be fine. Good man. Looking out for the other punter.
Bec and I have a bit of a chuckle about it. Bec cooks up a wicked curry, and we jump in the car to eat dinner. First time pretty much ever that I have actually set up the table in the van (yes, its designed to have a table inside too), but it was worth it. We settle in for the night, and use the block of chocolate as stakes for perudo. It was a great night, and I am so looking forward to the highlands tomorrow.
Come back tomorrow,