Roadtrip - One car, two people and 1476 miles

The premise was to jump into my car accompanied by the irrepressibly optimistic and boundlessly patient Prideesh, and spend the first of two weeks touring this great sceptred isle, primarily the northern reaches. The second week was to be spent shacked up in some remote cottage outside Fort William with great access to long walks and a local pub. Fort William being some 90 miles and three hours north of Glasgow for those still with us, at the base of Ben Nevis to be precise.

The roadtrip was a plan fulfilled encompassing Oct 9 thru Oct 21, covered 1476 miles and 22 hours of driving, of which most took place in the first week - it felt like we did 140 miles and spent three hours driving. It was probably up there with the greatest holidays I have ever enjoyed and I feel the need to tell you all about it, well at least the first week as it was the given task of Prideesh to journal the second week for which there is currently a sad lack of produced output. We live in hope.

Day One - Stratford Upon Avon

It had been decided that this should not be an overly hurried or taxing start, which was just as well, as it was circa 2PM that we found ourselves accelerating along the A34 Oxford bound. As this holiday was also going to be heavily focused towards literature it was Stratford Upon Avon into which I had programmed my rather erratic carbon based navigation system.

Of course Prideesh had arrived at mine that morning just after the allotted time: ten of the morning. I for my part had only just organised clothing, had suitcase open on bed for effect and had yet to organise two new front tyres to replace those worn bold at the outer edges a thousand miles previous. I suppose in the great scheme then, leaving four hours late was actually an achievement. It started raining about half a mile down the road.

At this early stage there were a few minor hitches on the driver, direction giving front. This mostly revolved around the non driving participant forgetting that it was not only in her head that the direction needed to be communicated. The result: a slightly circular tour of the middle stages M40.

Soon enough though, hotel was located, car park was negotiated via a tour of the Sainsbury delivery bay and we were soon leisurely strolling about the streets of Stratford upon Avon, beneath grey but rain free skies. All around were lopsided timber framed buildings. It was not yet four of the afternoon.

The initial planning coffee, Al Fresco, was interrupted by a slightly less than coherent, but smiling Irish geezer from the black country, a formidable mix of genetics and culture that demanded attention. He managed in a few precious minutes to flash a number of livid knife wounds, a result of his recent trip to Swansea and invite us to stay at his mothers house, the last building on the west coast of Galloway apparently. He left us with his mobile and email details scrawled in a notepad and was last seen ambling down the street clutching what was according to the bar staff his 17th bottle of Stella since one that afternoon. There was a white van at the end of the street waiting to pick him up.

A leisurely stroll down Bridge street and we happened upon the canal, probably painted and immortalised below curved struts a million times. Our search for the RSC box office was also over. We had entertained faint aspirations of some play that evening, in the unlikely event, according to the 'guide book' there were any tickets remaining. There were in fact several tickets available, a quick decision and we made our purchase under the austere gaze of Ian Mckellan, framed above details of his forthcoming stint as King Lear. An excited conversation later, now emboldened, we were soon also clutching tickets for that event circa May 2007. Undoubtedly this will be one of the two shows during the run that will be performed by his understudy.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent toiling about the streets of issue high street shops plugged into these Tudor constructions. As the light crept away too the autumn sunset we sat outside once more sipping coffee, this time with our own company while taking in the delicate structure that is reputed to be the birthplace of the great man himself. Shakespeare that is.

At 7:30 we were seated in the RSC theatre, lights down enter front right Julius Caesar, or at least a mannequin of. This was my virgin live Shakespeare event, once I overcame the need to understand each word and began enjoying what was happening on the stage, I rather had a good time. I did count myself fortunate that I never pursued the brief affair I had with acting circa my ninth year, the result of a much lauded impersonation of Pam Ayres; It must have taken ages to learn endless and infinitely intricate dialogue, and to act as well! I also doubted my ability to muster quite as much projectile saliva, not to sure I would pay the extra to sit in the front row, maybe its considered the done thing in Thespian circles.

The evening was rounded off with food from the kebab shop eaten in our room, it seems Stratford eateries shut down as the men of Rome begin falling on their swords.

Day Two - Warwick the M6 and Windermere

There are 159 worn sandstone steps leading to the summit of St Mary's of Warwick. If your lucky somewhere between 90 and 120 the clock will chime its song across the East Midland countryside. The view from the summit though, does not live up to the promise of the tightly spiralled steps. Save for the distant castle the hazy pre autumn countryside is harshly dotted by various low buildings of industry.

We came to St Mary's innocent, while walking off the loss of an inch square of Prideesh knee skin, the result of a leaf like fall post turned ankle. We had been attracted by its proud demand for attention, almost forgotten in the high ground above the castle. Inside there was something captivating in those grand designs, of the intricate detail, erstwhile devotion through generations laid at the feet of silent gods.

Post St Mary's the streets took us to coffee in the precariously angled Lord Leycester Hospital, which at the time was receiving attention from the David Dimbleby camera crew. Following this the streets and alleys took us around the perimeter of the castle which promised for just under two score, a complete medieval experience. Evidence of this was visible in the suitably attired house wench we saw running across the road to partake in a quick fag.

Finally, we took a tour of the box square museum sat conspicuously mid-town square, probably the sincerest of the attractions. We learned of the geological foundations of Warwick, of the volcanoes and subsequent ice age just 25,000 years ago that shaped it, of the great tusked mammoths that roamed this same tundra, proud fossils of which lay behind freshly polished glass.

A span of almost two hundred minutes and a similar number of miles saw us magically transported North and some way West to the rolling green velvet of Cumbrias Lake District and the glass like Windermere. Oh the magic of early afternoon travel via the M6 toll road.

Being unusually laid back on the whole accommodation front I.e. Had nothing booked, we had ambled through and beyond Bowness passing tired lodgings and high turnover guest houses thinly disguised as Hotels. Soon though, via an auto dial telephone lost in a deserted booth next to a ferry, we were led to the freshly laundered bed upon which I now type this entry. The bed itself sits inside a building atop a long slope the locals refer to as the struggle and opposite a grounds containing lots of howling dogs. The howling we were assured was not the sort that only made itself known on moonlit nights, low cloud prevented any furtive checks on lunar status.

A very pleasant evening then, was spent reading Vladimir's Lolita in a trendy little student bar set amongst slate walled buildings and streets. Once more though we were forced to rush at the late hour of nine to locate a vendor that was prepared to trouble themselves in the matter of serving cooked food. We ended up in the overly contrived Lucy's before a night cap in the wine bar and a relaxed if slightly breathless walk back up the struggle.

Day Three - Wansfell Pike

The mission accomplished for Windermere was for two nights set either side of a day spent walking amongst forest, crag and fell. Despite a disjointed finale to a nights sleep, 8 of the AM saw Prideesh and I sat alternating our gazes between each others bleary eyes and the horizontal rain lashing upon the glass windows of the B&B. Careful and prolonged inspection of our faces may also have hinted at some resolve, for we were not to be diverted by a light shower, or for that matter thunder and lightening.

Two hours later thunderstorm was in its final throes and rain was temporarily at an ebb. I was kitted out in my thick walking socks, tightly knotted walking boots, jeans, t-shirt, sweat shirt (which fulfilled on its promise) and gore tex all weather coat. This last an unused hand down from my uncle who buys such condiments as I do electronic gadgetry. Atop my freshly short hair sat my outback hat (minus corks). I had a romantic illusion as to the sound rain might make upon this hat, the result of countless daydreams at the flickering image of Clint Eastwood. Has a man ever looked so cool wet?

Prideesh for her part was a slightly more conventional incarnation, the hood on her waterproofs saving her hair for a short period from the moist attentions of the day.

At this time we should probably take a quick snapshot of two images to give you some context to the events of the day. First we have jaunty figures laughing and pushing at each other, striding down the hill with the expectation of the day stretching ahead. Secondly we have the two same, but sodden, bedraggled souls that make their way back up this incline some four hours later.

First stop for our intrepid duo was the bemused climbing shop where compass 'remove luck from the equation' and local map of walks were purchased. We already had a specific walk in mind, gleaned from an older incarnation of the same book over breakfast, courtesy of our host. This choice of walk appealed to Prideesh as the final two kilometres (of ten) wove its way down beside a torrid river which often served as a worthy opponent for daring canoeists.

Into the void then, or almost as we spent a worrying period finding a way out of the reflective rain covered streets of Ambleside. My compass seemed to indicate that at all times we were walking in the symmetrical opposite direction to that indicated by the plastic covered map held firmly in the small red gloved hands of Prideesh. All my attempts at flagging this fact fell on wisely deaf ears, for I would later discover I was reading the wrong end of the needle.

Soon enough, we were to be seen striding the 800 metres up Skelghyll Lane and were stepping literally breathless through Skelghyll Wood, a wild and deep collective of gnarled fairy tale tree's that skirted increasingly higher above the misty eastern tip of Windermere.

Over a period of two kilometers tarmac gave way to forest floor, which in turn gave way to pale igneous rock down which streams of rainwater tumbled around our thick soled boots. Eventually an opening in a tired slate wall, held together it seemed only by the fusion of time, heralded Jenkin crag, a short walkway to a protruding rock above a shallow cliff face that stood 200 metres above the barely discernible lake.

Onwards we went. Taking advantage of a brief abating in the incessant rain, jackets were drawn open to release heat and welcome the cool drift of this late summers breeze. Above, dark skies flashed lightening one final time that we recollect, followed a few moments later by a parting rumble from the trailing thunder. Over time the rock beneath broke onto and gave way to a track cultivated by man which led us through the aptly named Skelghyll Farm and into the vista of rolling dales. On the far horizon a red and blue dot slowly made their way towards us. It took nearly 30 minutes of weaving up and down, around and over these rolling, slate wall lined, grass covered rolls of earth before the two dots manifested at a gate as a male and female. He just into his sixth decade, she well into it, it seemed. He stepped through, the rain peppering his gleaming blue mac, and dryly delivered a line he had probably rehearsed for the last five minutes “Dr Livingston I presume!” We all laughed. I was thinking more like 'Lawrence of Arabia' but kept this to myself. As they headed in the direction from which we came, over his shoulder he told us the coffee in the Troutbeck post office was not to be missed.

A further kilometer and we disappeared down the side of a dale and stepped onto the lose grit of a road, soon we were loping down into a village, turned left at the t-junction and walked the last few meters to the entrance of the post office. There was no indication as yet as to the village name but deduction and the wooden plaque to the right of the door 'Tea and coffee served' allowed us to conclude this must be Troutbeck!

At this time, 5 kilometres into our epic journey, despite being outwardly wet our spirits were still high. Rain had long ceased tapping a tune on the water loaded brim of my hat that now hung limply about my head. Inside the layers of protective clothing, save maybe for Prideesh's matted hair, our only cause for damp irritation was that manifested through sweat, perfectly acceptable. I took the opportunity to remove the hat and coat and leave it propped up in the hall entrance that led to the post office main.

This post office is a scaled down version of the type commonly seen in small villages throughout this country, with a little less emphasis on security. The main booth, immediately to the left upon walking through the door is little more than a wooden frame, fronted by slats of perspex. These in turn were covered in partially pealed, faded stickers that dated to the final decade of the last century. If one had need to communicate with the seated employee you would just pop your head round the side of the open booth. Next to this was a typical angled display sparsely populated of popular sweets, on from which ran a counter that turned at a right angle and sealed off the three smiling staff looking expectantly at our ruddy faces. Behind the staff shelves rose to the ceiling which held precisely one of every essential tinned item you would normally find in grocery stores. This shopping nirvana was completed, on our right by a large glass fronted fridge which held three cokes, two cans of diet coke and three bottles of lilt. We ordered two coffees.

It would be to do these three people a huge injustice to compare the situation to the 'league of gentlemen', but there was some resonance in the difference equally felt between the locals and the obvious city types that currently stood dripping on the dust covered wooden floor. Genuine but over used conversation was undertaken on the topic of holiday destinations sought by those that lived in gods back garden. It seems Norway and Sea houses are hot favourite's. Another local entered while we sipped from the blissfully sweet, hot coffee and engaged two of the staff in a short and rather heated conversation regarding the pro's and con's of showing the proud and well maintained gardens of this village to the general untrained rabble of tourist.

Post purchase of a football sized plumb cake that had been calling to me practically from the moment I stepped into the shop, we re-applied the outwardly wet layers and stepped back into the vast open valley of which we could not see past the first house on account of the vapored haze that we later concluded was actually the lower strata of cloud. We would meet its close relative; 'thick I can't see a bloody thing' type cloud in the not to distant future.

This my dear reader, is where things started to fall about our blissfully inexperienced and literally wet ears. Yes we could look up and see the peak which our map headed us towards, far off enveloped in thick, unmoving buds of wool. There was some measure of unreality set between us though, in the drizzle of the roadside that heralded the upward winding path and that far off summit. Some part that our minds told us the path would conveniently circumnavigate this inconvenient cumulus and bring us to a clear peak with breathtaking views that would see our cameras happily clicking at distant horizons.

So then, with our innards freshly warmed and safe knowing that we had enough plumb cake to sustain us for at least two days, we stepped forward onto the rising rock strewn path and began the 520 meter (1700 feet) ascent of Wansfell Pike. As is the way of such things, the path rose in a zig zagging fashion for perhaps half a mile and then diverted, via a large gate into the serious work of multiple steep summits that by increasingly steeper and winding paths always heralded the next incredibly steep summit lost in that depressing veil. As this haze permeated every spare vent and space in our clothing, drenching us both from within and outwardly, we lost all correlation of distance, time but fortunately never completely heading. This despite an ever present opportunity to lose ones way in visibility that could be measured at best in the distance Prideesh can throw a ball, which I can assure you fair reader is not very far at all. These constant false summits and the winding path to the next higher, steeper summit was taking its toll. My lungs felt like the inner layer had been painfully stripped away and my legs felt lead heavy. There was the ever likely concern of turning and finding ones ever flagging angel either disappeared or spreadeagled in the long grass, for there was much groaning and speak of feeling bilious. Somehow, eventually the path ended and heralded by a vicious wind as if from no where, we made the final summit, plonking our weary bodies down on the nearest cold damp rock. To hell for now with piles.

To my oxygen starved brain I have to admit that it seemed in this visibility, which stretched all around us at no more that three meters, fenced off on one side, there seemed no obvious path to which we might continue. I suddenly had a premonition of being filmed on Cumbria TV as the hopeless, hapless southern tourist that got rescued in dire conditions after getting lost with nothing more to sustain a successful journey than a cheap map, confusing compass and football sized portion of plumb cake. All this much to the merriment of the locals crowded round TV's and who would all spend that evening patting me on the back and having a jolly good laugh while consoling poor Prideesh on her sorry choice of walking partner.

With a determined set to my jaw I resolved to get us off this rock and pulled out the instructions to my compass. It was of course at this moment I realised in was the red needle that pointed northwards and the black one southwards, they had all been black when I was a nipper.

I managed to prise the map out of the reluctant grasp of Prideesh and after some minutes aligning the directional markings with my jittery red needle managed to follow the printed direction arrow to the rather obvious but unusually constructed style flanked either side by fence, that stood insolently about two meters front and left from my current position.

Prideesh of course claims to have seen said obvious route immediately and had wondered why I was so determined to double check the path with compass (given its erratic recent past), she is quite obviously fibbing. The compass did have its moment though. After twenty minutes of descending carefully, step by step on jagged slippery rock it became apparent that there were three intersecting paths and no obvious indication with zero visibility which one would take us west and back down into Ambleside. Enter stage right, moi by now as expert in compass wielding. West most path was located and this did eventually lead us down into our required destination.

As we came below 300 meters the cloud started to clear and hazy outlines of buildings way below could be seen, 200 hundred meters and we were stepping between stair like slabs rather than jutting rock and at 100 metres were back onto tarmac. If the walk up had been wearing on our minds and lungs then the walk down was physically exhausting, as the muscles in our backs, abdomen, thighs and calves would constantly remind us over the next two days.

By the time we stepped from tarmac onto the concrete pavement of the village the incesant rain seemed like an irrelevant foe. We weaved our way through the throng of mid afternoon shoppers, who even accustomed to the wet and tired visitor seemed somewhat taken aback by these two thoroughly damp castaways escaped from natures cruel clutches.

A quick stomp up the struggle was followed by a triumphant shedding of clothes which were hung to dry in the utility room set aside for visiting climbers (of which we now proudly counted ourselves). Next was a warm shower, loose clothes and falling as a pair of felled great oaks onto the heavenly bed, deep sleep lasted to the early hours of the evening. Despite weary bodies we dressed and walked back into the now rain free village, took dinner early and reclined to the wine bar where, between bouts of Lolita we plotted as only the human mind and its ability to look forward can. Our next great conquest would of course be Ben Nevis in a few days time.

Day Four - Holy Island

Sometimes, between the turn of a new day and the promise of lights dawn, the subconscious mind hears some rhythm of the nights symphony that does not play as the sheet music dictates. In a common place these irregularities, the two step of a passing train, the drone of air conditioning, the laconic blades of a fan, can be slotted into the play order and thus embraced as part of the symphony. In a strange place, even one high and away in the remotest reaches the minds conductor may fumble on any irregularity.

I awoke on Thursday morning in the dead pitch of night, alerted to concious by some discorded note that had now passed or was temporarily ceased. Sea blue light outlined the glass top of the table and the downy outline of a body beside me, on its side, facing away. This aqua luminance comes from the display of an enthusiastic device, devised to tell the time and artificially rouse minds from slumber. Its numerals are hidden, facing indolently towards the wall, arranged as such by a tired hand at the will of sleepy eyes intolerant of its unfettered glow.

My internal clock would have me believe this must be 4AM. I lay on my elbow, my breath teetering on the brink of expectation, waiting on the all clear from ears reaching out into the silent night. My minds eye conjures dark shapes in the deep black, some partially formed wolf man, blink and the shape has contorted, not through movement but of imagination.

Of course if Nabokov ever heard these words and were to learn their creation in this order had been inspired but his prose, he would be merrily spinning in his grave. I make no apologies though, other than to you patient reader, who invests precious life in reading this. The beauty of his prose, for me is in his unorthodox use of words and structures, layered upon his unhindered vision of existence. I dare  anyone with any want for writing to not find themselves attempting to simulate this, if you have read it.

I did wake as described above, if not quite so dramatically. Rather than wrestle with escaped wolf beasts I lay on my side for two hours wide eyed at the exploits of dear Humbert, especially during his little swim to the centre of the lake avec wife and the hand Mcfate was idly waiting to play him. Eventually I did fall asleep again at the tender touch of Prideesh but was awoken again by the same not more than an hour later. Apparently she was quietly rummaging.

By eleven we were fuelled, packed and Bowness an ever shrinking cacophony of random lights as we weaved through a high sided, misty glen. We were headed towards Hexham via a beetle like crawl across, around, up and through the Pennines. Down we came the other side, skipped off the Newcastle border, skirted the Tyne and trundled up the A1 ever nearing the North sea, a distorted reflection of the grey sky above, courted by castles aplenty.

Our destination this day was for Holy Island and Lindisfarne, our timing to coincide with the tide which at low ebb, reveals the causeway connecting this mesh of tundra and volcanic rock to the mainland. This occasionally submerged road is cheerily described in our 'Rough Guide' as presenting a 'real possibility for drowning'.

A real tourist pull then judging by the number of cars lined up in rows on  a grass field outside the small village at the heart of this island. Our 'guide' indicated this was a national trust site and we decided to take the trust up on its special membership offer. This offer hung rather limply beneath a portable rock on a temporary table, positioned next to a battered blue Volkswagen that guarded the exit to the parking area. Barry (we learned later this was his name) was busy selling a lost cause to a nubile blond wearing a pink top, beige combats and nothing in the middle. We waited increasingly impatient, “We have money, want to join!”, silently, as tradition dictates, in line. The sun reflected of the soft down on her lower back, pushed grass like by the playful wind.

Barry and his fancy were eventually left behind. We soon stood beneath the castle, which sits atop a rock feature known as crag and tail; This a result of volcanic rock shaped by retreating ice, its tail the detritus left behind. Its a small castle, very pleasing to look upon, in some part due to the moody grey backdrop of the north sea. You imagine some last bastion fighting off marauding men looking for pillage and other such nefarious wants. The reality is, it was built some 800 years after it may have served some use against Vikings. Although there has been a castle here for many years, atop this rock, it was only almost attacked by mistake once. The home that pulls the walls about for protection does so only against the weather. It was redesigned and rebuilt mostly within the last 100 years.

These descriptions of actual objects are not meant to be some semblance of any guide, but I would warn hardened visitors of historic buildings against entering this castle. If you are already a member of the trust it is owned by, then with free access available I would deliberate on whether I had time enough with the worthwhile Lindisfarne Abbey still to view, and presented with greater attention to historic context.

Begin Rant – So then Lindisfarne Castle or rather its innards, for which we redden at the jowls.  History is of interest to me, that which resides outside of my lifetime attracts me most. The places in which people have existed draw me, and by the number of shoulders I jostle with, through all weathers, I am not alone. So then, if you would entice me to your historic building then the very least I expect, even  in as sparse a torso as this Castle, is some context to the historic objects you seem to randomly place about the redesigned, rock bare walls. If you have a neat chair sat in some corner, do not expect me to just be grateful that this chair came from time past, tell me from which time and give it some context in relation to this castle or its inhabitants or that time! Likewise, if you have rows of painted faces, apparently created at hands now dust, even if they have no connection to the floors and walls that surround us, just tell us from what time they come and give some context to its parallel. Do not expect me to scratch my stubbly chin, look knowingly at my bemused partners in audience, and move on. Surely you do not expect us to just be grateful that they are there; “Nice chair, Looks old!”. Dear grandmother, do you think fit this mindless fodder for our generation, just because we spawned 'reality' entertainment? - End Rant

If you walk back along the path, especially after midday, you should notice the sun, or some part of it illuminating the ruins of the abbey that has existed here since the 7th century. Admittedly there is not much if anything here that dates back before the 12th century, mainly due to Vikings and a leaning towards wooden structures during the first millennia.  There are many ways in which you can get to the ruins, one is to bank left and head towards the fishing huts which will take you above and around to the back. The other is to carry on walking down into the village and follow the signs.

The Abbey site is owned by English Heritage, most frustrating if you forked out for a years worth of National Trust membership before entering the castle. These two organisations bitch like brother and sister and offer nothing in the way of concession.

So, if your looking to maximise time and pound sterling on this Holy Island, follow the path from the car park, walk round the base of the Castle, look out over the sun shimmering bay and head back to the abbey via the fishing huts. If need be, it is worth it, pay to stand amongst the different areas of the Abbey that once were and walk through the museum that stands just a few strides away. Much time has been spent in giving you some idea of local history, geography, function and context.

As we trawled back over the causeway it seemed that Berwick-Upon-Tweed would be a good layover before the last push into Edinburgh, especially given its pivotal part in English, Scots history. But it was not to be. Either we took a wrong turning or our 'guide' misled us, probably the former. Nothing took the eye that we could not have attained in any other city of these lands, so we passed on through.

Edinburgh is only 56 miles north of Berwick, so onto the A1 we headed and had reached the city limits as natural light departed the sky. A  service station stop allowed for a biological refuel and appropriation of accommodation.  To this we headed via the A720 bypass and the A8. We were in Edinburgh, Scotland, had cosy accommodation, were too tired to venture forth so sat in the large bar area reading Lolita. I could of course spend another 500 words painting some picture of our fellow patrons, and of the staff, but have put upon you enough for one day.

Day Five - Edinburgh Castle

Walk up the royal mile, onto the plateau of the courtyard, through the relatively new gatehouse guarded by two legendary men and then take a right, past the old guard room and through the portcullis gate. If you keep going, ignore the Lang Stairs, far to steep, you will be able to spiral your way up, through this cornucopia of history. 

Eventually you will come across an almost perfectly rectangular building, one of the further most reaches of this rock. It is no bigger than your average domestic garage and sits directly atop the crag, itself built of volcano shaped of ice. If you compare this buildings construct to the those around it, you will notice a difference in the rock used, a workman like styling in the layering and joining of these stones. At varying times these four walls have been used as a chapel and a gunpowder magazine. As it now stands, serving  the purpose for which it was originally constructed; a chapel built by a son, to honour Margaret, a Queen of Scots who was later anointed a saint by the man who was the orthodox Christian pope. Remarkably, for all the history within a radius of 6 miles, this 12th century building is the oldest standing of Dun Edyn as this city was known before it was given the name of 'Edinburgh' sometime in the last millennia.

The only reason we left the Castle was from exhaustion, having walked its cobbled streets for the best part of the day. We had wondered through its proud and detailed war museum, oh how mans mind excells when it involves killing other men. We stood in the room that witnessed the birth of England's first Scottish King, listened to the history of and looked upon the cherished 'Honours of Scotland'. The best value for thirteen pound, including radio and headphones that did fill our ears with information on the history of this castle and its city all day.

Tomorrow was going to be the trek across to Glasgow and up through Dumbarton along the A82 to Fort William and Ben Nevis. For now with the castle illuminated high in the night sky we walked down into the neat Georgian streets connecting George and Princes. A bustling Italian was located, complete with mischievous chef's tossing pizza and world weary waiters, every action laden with charm and accomplished with a fourish. Especially if you have a plunging neckline. We ended the night full of good food and wine, this time in the biggest bed I have ever wiggled my weary little body into, courtesy of the Royal Scot Hotel.

To be continued...

ED: to be Continued when Prideesh gets her notepad's sorted and start typing up her part of the stories!

Submission: Last post 22 October 2006
Revision: none