Summer Solstice on the Ben

So, its been 8 months since my last blog… I’ve had plenty to write about, I’ve been out loads but between work, play and adventure, its been difficult to make time for a written ramble. This week i experienced something so awesome that i need to get it down in actual words for my mental preservation. I knew i’d be able to do it, i knew it would be emotional, bloody hard work and a once in a lifetime experience. Ben Nevis, in the dark and a sunrise so beautiful that we cried unashamedly…

On the 20th June, my friend and I headed towards the Highlands in my mostly-finished camping Vivaro. He (Harvey RV) now has a sofa bed with storage and a kitchen at the rear. The back door flips up and becomes a roof/shelter allowing me to be able to cook outside. The first official stop was at the ridiculously crowded Three Sisters car park in Glencoe. One solitary space was left and I parked with the rear facing the mountains. The greatest place on earth to enjoy a humble cup of tea. Boot flipped up, kettle on, mugs, teaspoons and contents were rattled into place. A lone piper appeared in full Scottish regalia. I shouted across an offer of tea which he accepted. “Milk, one sugar” The kettle whistled its final stage and tea was poured while we enjoyed polite chat about the weather. The further we chatted, the more i learned. His grandfather piped on that spot until his 87th year was reached. This piper has been christened in the tiny village of Buchlyvie: the village i grew up in! How small is this world? He also knew a gentleman from Strathblane, the village i now stay in. I had so many questions but asked only a few. Sometimes its nice just to wonder and enjoy a short impromptu meeting with a stranger. Cars and coaches rumbled through carpark potholes, spewing out selfie-sticked tourists that surrounded us, clicking and bustling to get that ideal Facebook post. Harvey found some fame too when the steaming mugs left the back caught the attention of about 15 travellers. We were surrounded by photographers clicking and chattering away in Chinese intrigued at the van conversion. A spokeswoman approached politely asking questions requested from her companions relaying my reply. It was outrageously surreal and we praised Harvey on being such a hit with the ladies…

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Moving on, after a quick stop at The GlenCoe Ski Centre, Black Rock Cottage and Kings House Hotel) we drove through Fort William, keeping Loch Eil to the left. We visited the viaduct, train station and the Bonnie Prince Charlie monument. No surreal moments there but all require a definite visit if you’re in that area.

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Black Rock Cottage with Buachaille Etive Mor behind


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Stag at Kings