A mission to accomplish.
It is Monday, November the 15th. We are leaving Bludenz. Finally. Wednesday became Friday. Saturday has become Monday. When we finally hit the road we cannot believe it and it should take us a while before we would realise what has changed in our lives. For me this is the second time as I have become used to sleeping in a bed again and having regular excellent meals and to shower when I feel like showering. Recently temperatures have dropped to near zero. Winter has been approaching fast. High time to leave.
Our journey to Edinburgh takes us initially through Switzerland visiting briefly Zermatt. We cross into France near Chamonix and the Mont Blanc. "Shall we go up and see the glacier?" "No", is Heidi's firm response, "we have mission to accomplish: Go to Edinburgh and see how the Land Rover is". After an evening in Paris we reach London on 17th, stay for 2 days then drive north and again pass by at Foley SV in Roydon for the usual Land Rover talk. After spending half a day in the Yorkshire Dales we reach Edinburgh on Saturday November the 20th at 3 p.m.
The Land Rover which I left here more then 2 month ago is still here but in a slightly bad condition. The list of damages reads like this: the battery is totally discharged. Continued heavy rains has put a lot of water inside moistening the mattresses. Further more a mouse has eaten its way through my food supplies and had left its droppings and smell. It is not a great sight at all. The goal being still to sleep in here tonight, temperatures around zero and darkness approaching fast we have to make plans quickly.
First, drive around for 2 hours or so to get the battery recharged. Second, turn on the heating at max. and get the mattresses dry one after the other. Then find a camp-site where we could do the rest of the cleaning and launder the covers of the mattresses the next morning. Brushing away those first disillusions we are getting on with the hard work and several hours later, just before midnight the truck seems ready for our first night. Thick blankets are supposed to shield us from inside temperatures of C-1°. And surprisingly we spend quite a quiet night.
Sunday morning is bitterly cold with icy winds and we realise that we have yet to learn how to live with the cold, manage the cold and life outside.But Sunday afternoon suddenly sees temperatures rise to pleasant and dry 15 and plus degrees. "God is on our side" I say and we spend most of the time rearranging stuff from the Audi into the Land Rover and vice versa. Monday afternoon we leave Edinburgh and drive north into the Highlands. Our new live has just begun.
Camp in Glen Etive and a revisit of the West Highland Way
Camp in Glen Etive near the West Highland Way (WHW), We drink water from the streams. Cook, eat outside - it's warm enough. For two days we walk the last 2 sections of the WHW, where I suffered the most then, when I walked them in August. Then I did not think I'd come back so quickly.
After a few days in Fort William where I succeed in getting the web-page back on track by choosing a new provider, this time a Canadian, (after the old - new one, a German, had let me down poorly), we drive further north on 27th of November around Loch Lochy via Invergarry to Kyle of Lochalsh.
Next day after touring beautiful Loch Carran, impressive Ben Eighe and magnificent Loch Marree with Slioch, we reach Ullapool (this is where I had got to know Heidrun). We are staying in the Scotpackers youth hostel, West House (The Coolest Independent Hostel in The West Highlands), we dearly need to clean our stuff. I was here in September, only to upload my web-page then.
Richard, the owner, about 50 (he had been a dispatch rider in the city of London for many years and now has made his way back to his origins in Scotland), likes the 6-wheeled Land Rover. "If that was my Land Rover, I'd sleep in there for the rest of my whole life." My obvious reply is "well that is our plan" not without a big grin.
And we do sleep well inside the Land Rover, with fresh air, breathing through it, you sleep like a stone, dead, until you wake up when the lights go up outside, incredible! much better then in a solide room.
On the 29th we are back in Edinburgh, this time not to clean the Land Rover but to thoroughly check the pub scene around Grassmarket. We like Edinburgh. On 1st of December we leave, drive both cars to Carlisle, England, leave the Audi there and take the ferry at Stanraer, Scotland to Belfast, Northern Ireland.