What to do when out of Africa… you road trip… as much as you can.
April happened to be a good chance to get up to Scotland for a two week jaunt around the northern part of these British Isles.
The last time I was in Scotland was to watch the Springboks get their jerseys handed to them by the Scots for the first time in 23 years. Other than that, it had been a good 15 years or so since I set foot on thistled pastures. Embarrassing really that I hadn’t yet explored the highlands, and so this break in the school year was the perfect opportunity to get into those far flung, wild and barren corners.
I converted the back of my Toyota into a little mobile home, curtains and all, and set off on a 3500km trip.
It’s not a particularly beautiful time of year. Coming out of winter, it’s not white with snow, nor draped in colour or sunny. In fact, it’s probably the most bleak time to visit. At the moment it’s either threatening rain, or is raining. And in the odd glimpse of sun shine, I leap out of the car to capture the world bathed briefly in sunlight.
Things never go to plan on a trip, we all know that. And so this time it happened to be my camera lens. Completely malfunctioned a few days into the trip, and so I battle on, trying various techniques googled online to coax it back to life. I get one or two photos a day out of it, but it’s really not worth the time and effort, and is more frustrating than it’s worth. So onto my iPhone and long lens.
I was fortunate to join my buddy Will Copestake for a walk up two corbetts. Will’s since completed all the corbetts in Scotland – what an absolute joy to walk and spend time with this legend. And fellow adventure buddy Cheryl Boshi joined me for the stint in the Outer Hebrides.
My drive took me up from London, to Fort William (where I briefly considered walking across Scotland on the Great Glen way, thought better of it and continued on four wheels), to Inverness, up to the North Coast, down to Bad Call… it was a bad call, Applecross, Skye and the Outer Hebrides, before heading back down south via Loch Lomond.
I highly recommend driving the North Coast 500; British Isles at it’s very best.
Here’s a round up of the trip –